Archive for online perfume shopping

What Perfume Should I Buy My Mom?

Posted in perfume shopping, personal shopper with tags , , , , , , , on May 4, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

What perfume should I buy my Mom? So many perfumes to choose from! So many Moms with different tastes! You’d like to give her something she’d like, something special, a gift that would make her smile. So how to select a perfume for your Mother?

If you know the perfume she wears, the answer should be simple, right? But don’t buy her just the perfume she wears. Buy her the accompanying products that go with the perfume. Buy her the perfumed lotion, the perfumed cream, the perfumed mist, the perfumed talc…whatever else is in the line of her favorite perfume. Why? Because generally speaking, women who don’t always buy perfume for themselves, will rarely spend the money on the extras of the perfumed line. That’s the special gift she’ll love. And if you have the funds, also buy her the perfume to go with it.


If you don’t know her special perfume? I’ve said this before, don’t just buy her a perfume suggested by someone else or by the fragrance consultant at the store. They don’t know your Mom. Perfume is a personal product that only the wearer can choose. But, women love perfume, so don’t think that you shouldn’t buy a perfume for her.

You can buy a perfume sampler. Department stores, cosmetic stores and online stores sell them. Perfume samplers are kits of samples or smaller size bottles made by a company that introduces the wearer to a number of their (usually) best-selling perfumes. It’s an ideal way for a consumer to test out perfumes and find new ones for them to enjoy.


You can find perfume samplers at stores like TJMaxx, Ross or Marshalls,,, Ebay online or at the fragrance brand itself. If you go to the brands sites, some of them offer specials on their purchases. It’s like a perfume gift that keeps on giving. Mom will be able to test out a variety of perfumes for weeks and have loads of fun while she’s testing them out. She can layer the different perfumes or wear them separately. So much more fun than one bottle!

Most importantly, do not think about age when buying perfume for your Mom. Age is never a factor when a woman chooses her perfume. Her nose is. Never insult a woman by saying she should wear a certain perfume because it fits her age. Remember, it’s the woman  that rocks the perfume, not the perfume that rocks the woman!



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

How To Buy Perfume Cheap.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2016 by sorceressofthedark


A common question for beginning perfume hobbyists is how can I try all the perfumes I want? There are so many out there that I want to try, but I can’t afford them. What’s the best way I can try the ones I want without going bankrupt? Do I buy full bottles or samples? Where do I get the best deals? Where can I buy perfume cheap?

Loving perfume can be an expensive hobby, or you can make it a fun hobby with a budget. It’s all up to you. And your wallet. Everyone knows how much money they have to spend.

First, decide what your budget will be each month that you’ll set aside for perfume choices. Next, your decision should be what types of perfumes you’d like to buy. Are you the type of person that buys only perfumes you’ve sniffed before? Or are you more daring and you’re willing to purchase perfumes based on others’ reviews and the notes in the perfumes?

If you’re familiar with the kind of perfume you like, sometimes blind-buying works out. Blind-buying a perfume is when you purchase a bottle without ever smelling the perfume first. It’s basically a 50-50 gamble, unless you arm yourself with the education that’s at hand of reviews online and information about the perfume.


Full bottles or samples? Samples are the little tiny carded miniatures that are usually .01-.05 ml that are given out through promotions at department stores sold online through auction sites like Ebay , or other outlets. These can range in price from .99 upwards to $4.99 and more, depending on the age and name of the perfume. Sometimes, you can find carded samples in box lots of 5 or more at a time. Buying these are a cheap alternative for trying perfumes.

Full bottles are just that, any bottle is considered a full bottle usually at 1/2 ounce or more, unless the bottle is pure parfum at a 1/4 ounce. Other ways to buying small samples of perfumes one at a time are available at online retailers such as,,,,,, and others. I am not affiliated with any of these listed and cannot verify the authenticity of their wares.

Just remember that the vials are tiny, starting at 1 ml, which is enough to give you about one good wearing on your wrist. I find that to properly test a perfume I need to wear it more than once and also, I need to have enough of the liquid to mesh with my skin to get a good feel of it. What I smell in the bottle or on a strip of paper is not the same as what goes on my skin and blends with my chemistry. 99 cents may sound cheap enough, and it certainly is, but to properly review and know if the perfume is going to be right for you takes a bit more than the equivalent of one or two good sprays. But in the spirit of having fun, it’s another way to go to experience a lot of perfumes.


Perfumes can behave differently under different temperatures. Some “come out” or “shine” better in the colder weather while in the summer heat they may be too cloying. When you have a miniature, you have enough liquid to last you and test it out over time. You also will have a little collectible bottle that nice to put in a cabinet. (Out of sunlight and direct light.)

Another way to go small is to buy miniature bottles. Tiny bottles of perfume are often sold by perfume stores online or also by sites like,,,,  They are also very inexpensive. Instead of paying for a full bottle, you’re only buying a very small amount, and you’re able to experiment with enough perfume during different weather conditions (such as the different seasons) to see how the perfume reacts with you.


If you prefer the spray method for your perfumes, you can always decant them into 5 ml or larger sprayers that you can order online. Or, you can use a mini-funnel or pipette to pour the contents into a sprayer. It just takes a few minutes, but for those who either enjoy spraying or feel spraying disperses the scent better, it’s well worth it.

Design houses of perfumes sometimes have a contact form at the bottom of their page where you can write them. Take a chance and ask them for samples of their perfume if you’re not able to find any elsewhere.

In the USA, there are discount stores like TJMaxx, Ross, and Marshalls that sell (usually) last season’s perfumes that at times, might be considered gray-market at a considerable discount. They are the same perfumes that you would buy in regular department stores. It’s a hit-or-miss what you’ll find. Other countries have comparable stores.

Don’t ever pass up drugstores and even grocery stores to see what they have in stock. Many times they’ll have old stock that they’ve discounted to very low prices just to get off their shelves.

So if you’re beginning your perfume Journey and want to start your collection, remember to:

  1. Create your monthly budget and stick to it. There will always be perfume for sale.
  2. Decide on the types of perfume that you’d like to buy along the way. Keep a journal or notecards. Oriental, woody, floral, musk, gourmand, green fruity-there are all types to try. This is your fun opportunity to learn about them. Try as many as you’d like by sampling first.
  3. Read reviews. Arm yourself with information about perfumes. Once you try a perfume, go back and re-read those same reviews and see if you still feel the same way. It’s the only way to learn and steer yourself in the direction of what fragrance type you are leaning towards.
  4. Blind-buy full bottles? Order samples? What’s your choice? Base your decision on this ahead of time or you’ll be caught in dilemmas, wasting money, and before you know it, perfumes won’t be fun. It’s your money to spend, but spend it wisely.                                                                                                                                                       Having a hobby is fun. Pursuing goals is excellent. Putting this all together can be Heaven.   I know it is for me. Do it wisely and you’ll not only be developing a creative hobby that’s very enjoyable for yourself, but having scents to delight in, relax with and drift off to sleep with that is the utmost in stress-relief and unwinding your life.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Peace.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Sorceress                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Ciara. Incense For The Heavens.

Posted in bergamot, Brazilian Rosewood, cedar, Ciara, incense, jasmine, leather, lemon, neroli, opoponax, oriental perfumes, orris root, palmorosa, raspberry, Uncategorized, vanilla, ylang-ylang with tags , , , , , on August 5, 2014 by sorceressofthedark
Ciara, Vintage and New.

Ciara, Vintage and New.

Spray cautiously. This is potent stuff! There is such a mixture in here I feel as if I’m rolling in fields in a surrealistic daydream. In comparing my Charles Revson Ciara (vintage) to my  Revlon Ciara (newer) , there are very distinct differences.

The opening in Revlon’s Ciara is tack sharp and more  assaultive. It hits your nostrils with a thinly-veiled shrill opoponax and tonka bean. It’s a bit of a wait for the drydown for the beauty of this perfume. The Charles Revson version opens immediately with a smooth rich intoxicating blend of spices, tonka bean, leather and opoponax with a hint of vanilla. It’s full-bodied and straight out of the past and you can inhale it, feel it and wrap it around yourself. It’s a juicier composition where the Revlon one seems to be cracking in its components.

This is an ideal comparison of where new, unfortunately, just doesn’t cut it. The woodiness seems stale and musty in Revlon’s version, yet Revson’s is an old cabin in the woods that has been taken care of with love. It’s the same with the leather in the two versions. Revson’s leather is a beautiful settee, that although still in pristine condition, has been well-used and loved for years. The leather is soft, comfortable and broken in. The leather in Revlon’s Ciara is non-existent or at best, perhaps pleather.

I love the incense quality which both have. Spray too much and you’re sitting in a church pew. Ciara is a sweet perfume that can overpower if applied heavily and becomes far too cloying. It’s a beautiful fragrance that only needs to be dabbed lightly to be appreciated for its’ warm beauty. This is wonderful in cold weather, the lower temperatures just seem to bring the smokiness of Ciara out. There’s a slight hint of fruit, barely there, but it’s so overshadowed by the incense and other notes you’ll hardly sense its’ presence.

Love that the raspberry adds a wonderful dollop of juiciness to this quaint perfume. Charles Revson made heaven in a bottle when they created this little beauty, that’s for sure. It’s intoxicating, it’s mesmerizing, it’s a heady brew. Such a shame that it’s not what’s in those Revlon bottles stamped with the same name. If you have the opportunity to sample the original, please do. You’ll understand why so many love vintage Ciara. It’s almost magical in nature.

How to tell the difference between vintage and new? And what is the difference between the 80-100-200%? The 80 would be considered the cologne strength, the 100 is the eau de toilette and the 200 is the eau de parfum.  Revlon is the current reformulated version while Charles Revson is one of the vintage formulas. Ciara was also marketed under the manufacturer “Ultima”. If you do buy new, go for the strongest concentration you can find.

Considered a drug-store find, available online, discount stores and in drugstore chains.

Top Notes: Neroli, Bergamot, Lemon, Raspberry.

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Brazilian Rosewood, Palmarosa, Orris Root.

Base Notes: Leather, Opoponax, Vanilla, Incense, Cedar.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.


Avon Timeless Perfume…40 Years Strong.

Posted in aldehydes, amber, bergamot, budget online shopping, budget shopping, cedar, chypre floral, gardenia, iris, jasmine, lemon, musk, opoponax, patchouli, peach, rose, Timeless, tonka bean, vanilla with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2014 by sorceressofthedark


While  vintage Timeless plays the aldehydes strongly, the newer version is a creamier mix of honeyed vanilla that hits home right away. The honeyed vanilla mix takes time in the vintage to arrive, but the wait is well worth it. The vintage version lasts much, much longer, is deeper in tone and reminiscent of Shalimar. Gardenia brings greenness, iris brings a rich earthiness, while jasmine carries this scent strongly to wonderful heights. There are so many notes in this perfume that mix together wonderfully to make it a blend that is pleasantly aromatic, elegant and one that belies its’ own price tag.
Timeless is a perfume that could be worn anywhere-to dinner, to an event, to a gallery or with jeans. It is a perfume that wears the person, the person doesn’t wear it. It is a mature fragrance, one that reminds you of notes found in many other remembered classics, like Shalimar or Emeraude or one of the Chanels. Its’ rich warmth is its’ own elegance.
This is a fragrance that is wearable year-round and since Avon offers shower gels, body creams and deodorants at a ridiculously low price, you can pamper yourself with a complete set.  Yes, Timeless is an Avon production that was created in 1974 and is still going strong today in 2014, 40 years later.
Timeless wraps itself around you with a graceful quality reminiscent of older perfumes. You can wrap yourself in its luxuriousness easily just as you would an over-sized cable-knit sweater or a tuxedo jacket. It just fits quality, whatever you’re wearing, whatever you’re doing. It ripens into a mature scent that fully explores its many faceted notes as the hours go by.

For its price, it absolutely cannot be beat. It fools many when they attempt to guess what perfume it is that you’re wearing, and there is a reason why. The tonka bean, the opoponax, the vanilla, the patchouli and the amber are all similar ingredients to a few heavyweights in the classic perfume market and Timeless incorporates them excellently.
Vintage Timeless takes longer to develop on your skin, works longer to develop through its notes and stages and is more full-bodied. With today’s version of Timeless, its end is its beginning. It packs a punch, yes, but you miss the soapy aldehydes in the beginning. The older bottle is amber glass, silverish-gold cap, cognac-colored liquid splash and 2 oz.

The new is in a clear spray bottle with a rose hued cap, a light golden liquid and 1.7 oz. Longevity is about four hours for the new and much longer for the vintage.
Both versions are wonderful. The choice to make is whether you want to explore a more vintage feel for aldehydes and a soapy feel, a journey through a perfumes character when you choose the older version or if you’d rather go for the gusto with the newest version which gives you the immediate sense of scent. There is no wait, you arrive at your final destination immediately. Either way, Timeless should be a perfume every woman should try.

Frankly, for under $10, it’s a chypre floral that keeps on giving that lasts an incredible amount of time. It’s sweet, warm, smoky, spicy, powdery, balsamic and can be a bit thick if sprayed on too heavily. Avon has been producing perfumes for decades, some have been hits, some have been misses. Timeless is one that is a hit. Give it a shot.

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Gardenia, Peach, Bergamot, Lemon.

Middle Notes: Iris, Patchouli, Jasmine, Cedar, Rose.

Base Notes: Tonka Bean, Amber, Opoponax, Musk, Vanilla.

Timeless is available online, directly through the Avon catalog or through an Avon representative.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Boyfriend by Kate Walsh. What’s In A Name?

Posted in amber, Boyfriend, floral woody musk, jasmine, Kate Walsh, lily-of-the-valley, musk, myrhh, plum, woodsy notes with tags , , , , , , on June 24, 2014 by sorceressofthedark
Boyfriend by Kate Walsh.

Boyfriend by Kate Walsh.

No hesitation here, this starts out smelling like a masculine fragrance. Give it to its dry down and you have the yin-yang of the female and male existence of perfumery. Cosmic life explained in a bottle. (How thoughtful of Kate Walsh.) The coming together of two opposites in one bottle that you can now apply onto yourself without the benefit of “him” being there.

Never really needing “him” takes on a whole new meaning. Or, you can think of pining for “him” through the purchase of a perfume that reminds you of “him” but it’s not “his”, its’ “yours”, because it’s marketed for women, it’s just another ad campaign for suckers, rather, I mean consumers.

I get this sad image of lonely people crying, sniffing their generic smelling wrist because it reminds them of “him”. Really?

There’s a world of perfumes out there for you ladies, just for you, designed to make you feel good, designed to work with your body chemistry and evoke positive thoughts. Not evoke images of “Michael, John, Rob, Steven, Kevin, Joe, Josh, Sebastian, Brian, Robert, Pablo…” which are the names emblazoned on the bottle. Of her former boyfriends.

Yes, the concept is amusing. But it falls short of bringing in the sexual aura needed that might have hit this one out of the ballpark. Had it been reminiscent of a vis-à-vis romp with any of the notes in its composition, then the sensuality and rawness would have made Boyfriend complete. Otherwise, it falls flat as simply spraying a small amount of your significant others’ favorite fragrance on to remind you of them. Save your money and do that instead.

The plum seems to be the highlight with a slight musk while the woods surround the entire composition. Florals, none. The myrhh lies low and intermingles with the woods as one would expect with a man’s fragrance. There is a rich deepness bringing to mind vanilla, more like gingerbread that appears for awhile and wraps the fragrance together. Not long-lasting, not short either, just middle of the road. Stays close to the skin. There is a reminiscent feel to Prada Amber.

If you really feel you must wear this, it’s a choice to wear in the evening at home or at leisure while relaxing. Definitely sample before you buy to see how you enjoy a fragrance that starts out with a male top and ends with a female bottom. Oh yeah, wouldn’t that be called submissive? And that’s what buying a bottle called “Boyfriend” reminds me of….but all in all it’s a decent frag that I do like.

Definitely different in today’s world of sweet, fruity compositions. Boyfriend is musky, mature, spicy and seasonless. Not for a LBD, but it does have its sensual overtones.

The starting price is ridiculous that I saw at Sephora. Within a few weeks it went to a fraction of its original cost on the clearance rack, where I snagged a bottle. For the clearance price, it was well worth it. That made me much happier to wear it. I still don’t like the name, but I do like the fume when I’m in the mood for feeling like a lumberjack.

Fragrance Notes: Musk, Amber, Myrhh, Plum, Woodsy Notes, Jasmine, Lily-Of-The-Valley.

Boyfriend, a floral woody musk, is available through the secondary market on auction sites.

There are eight installments for Boyfriend on YouTube. Here is #1. Enjoy.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

Poetica by Kat Von D., Romanticism In A Bottle.

Posted in amber, blonde woods, crushed berries, dewey rose petals, floral fruity gourmand, Kat Von D., passionfruit, Poetica, praline, Sambac Jasmine, Sensual musk, tahitian cherry, tuberose, white orchid with tags , , , , , , , , on June 13, 2014 by sorceressofthedark
Poetica, by Kat Von D.

Poetica, by Kat Von D.

I adore Poetica. It’s perfect for rainy days, rainy nights. It’s a warm, gooey, plummy mix that radiates distinctly and lifts my spirits. The berries and fruit are thick without a doubt, wrapped in a musky haze that scintillates and mesmerizes.

This is not a sweet concoction, rather, it’s a misty fog of a perfume that will bring you back in time to shrouded capes and cobblestone streets. Woods and praline further entice your senses in a delicious blend quite unlike many of today’s offerings.

This is a perfume that’s wearable year-round. I find Poetica to be my rainy-day perfume, it always fits the weather perfectly. It’s thick with rich fruits and florals, as the air is when it rains, as if you are walking through a rain-drenched thicket.

It lasts well for  several hours and radiates quite decently. The bottle is chunky and quite pretty, too. It is available on her site, along with many of her other perfumes.

There seems to be an animal-like quality, a darkness to Poetica. Perhaps it’s the thickness of it, the darkness of the scent. It makes one feel empowered, sensual, and just delicious. The more I wear it, the more I delight in it.

On her site, Wonderland LA, perfume creator Kat Von D, talks about Poetica, “Writing, just like tattooing, has been an outlet for me for as long as I can remember. Whether it’s love letters or self-expression, I created my Poetica fragrance to represent the power of poetry. My fragrances are sexy, daring, and each one lets you devote your attention to the moment. To me, Poetica is an enticing extension of these fragrances and every love letter ever written.” How true. You do seem to revel in the moment that you are in wearing this delectable mixture.

Notes: Dewy Rose Petals, Passion Fruit, Crushed Berries, White Orchid, Tuberose, Tahitian Cherry, Sambac Jasmine, Sensual Musk, Praline, Blonde Woods, Amber.

Poetica, a floral fruity gourmand,  is available on Kat Von D.’s site here:, online auction sites and at occasional discount department stores such as Ross. Kat Von D. has many more fragrances available on her site to explore that are fascinating and off the beaten-path of today’s fragrances presented.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.


Nicole Miller…Why Do People Buy and Wear Those Things?

Posted in aldehydes, amber, benzoin, bergamot, carnation, cedar, coriander, Damascus Rose, green notes, heliotrope, Honey, iris, jasmine, mandarin orange, musk, Nicole Miller, orchid, oriental floral, peach, Perfume Types, plum, sandalwood, tonka bean, tuberose, vanilla, vetiver, ylang-ylang with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2014 by sorceressofthedark
Nicole Miller.

Nicole Miller.

A supporting cast comprises this perfume to make it a complete success in its long enjoyable  run. Its opening act of tuberose and aldehydes are strong and deflect from the actual outcome of this Nicole Miller. The ending act will surprise and delight you.

Polar opposites and a change in mid-air make this fragrance one that’s a delight to bask in over and over again. You’ll find yourself reaching for it on a regular basis. You can inhale the literal change in this perfume as it morphs from a tuberose heavy-hitter to a warm honeyed-amber.  It’s as if you’ve changed perfumes in mid-air suddenly with two distinctly different flairs.

The initial top notes are straight full-blown tuberose, warm and inviting, surrounded by spices. The more you wear Nicole Miller, the more notes you seem to discern and discover. This is not a perfume that plays by the rules. This tuberose is beautiful-it’s flower-show worthy and lasts for a good hour at minimum through the dry down where it quietly slips into the background surrounded by other delicious notes.

Mid-way, sweet jasmine, benzoin, woods and musk work their magic. The tuberose lets the sweet honeyed amber steal the show in full glory and dance the light fantastic for hours to come. This is where the true beauty of Nicole Miller wraps around you with more spices, vetiver, tonka bean and a faint hint of vanilla. A wonderful winter scent designed for snowy blustery days in front of the fireplace. I’ve reached for this over and over again this winter simply because it’s comforting, pleasing and so delicious. I so enjoy the way it changes and reveals so many different flavors.

This perfume lasts until you take it off and others will notice and appreciate this frag on you-in other words-sillage is strong-so be gentle in application. Also a great layering perfume so use your imagination with your other vintage fumes.

Change is wonderful. Change is unexpected. Some perfumes trip and stumble in their presentation, some remain linear, some twist and turn to reveal new sides you realize are suddenly appearing. Nicole Miller is one of those perfumes that will surprise you with its changing course. Take a trip with Nicole and experience the change in this perfume. It’s delightfully cozy.

Top Notes: Aldehydes, Plum, Coriander, Green Notes, Mandarin Orange, Peach, Bergamot.

Middle Notes: Honey, Carnation, Tuberose, Iris, Orchid, Damask Rose, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Heliotrope.

Base Notes: Sandalwood, Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Amber, Musk, Benzoin, Vanilla, Cedar.

Nicole Miller, an oriental floral,  is available on her website here: or in department stores or online.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.

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