Archive for 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!



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What Perfume Should I Get?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on May 3, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

So many perfumes to choose from. Walk into a department store and the fragrance consultants will stampede you with their well-known designer fragrances. Chanel, Guerlain, Yves Saint Laurent, Elie Saab, Tom Ford, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Jo Malone, Tory Burch, Dior, Prada, Narciso Rodriguez, Burberry, Kate Spade, Bvlgari…the list is endless and if you’re not aware of the juice inside that bottle, well, each representative of their line will tell you that their perfume is the best-sellingthe most-popular, the favorite of all the IT girls and your headache begins.

So now you walk into an actual perfume store  in the mall, you know, one of those shops that only carries perfumes, some that you may have heard of and some that you can’t even pronounce. The owner or sales assistants may let you dicker a bit with price, but not much. The prices are outstandingly high, but, as the SA’s tell you, that’s because they only carry the one or two of the very best of the very best out there for you to choose from. And that’s where you think, in whose opinion is the very best? Because if that’s all they really carried, wouldn’t there be armed guards at the door?

Okay, so now where to go? Wait, someone told you that perfumes made by cosmetic companies are always good, right? After all, if you’ve worn those cosmetics for years and liked them, then the perfumes they produce must be quality too. That makes sense…or does it? Not really, perfumes are just another money-maker as an aside for the company. Just because you like how their cosmetics perform on your face does not equal how their perfumes will interact with your bodies chemistry.

Back to Square One. How about Drugstore Perfumes? Dare you walk inside a cheaper store and actually look at what they carry? Would any of those inexpensive bottles be any good? Some of those inexpensive perfumes have been around for decades and there’s a reason why. Because they are good.  Pleasing to the nose, pleasing to the pocketbook and a no-hassle purchase. That’s what Drugstore Perfumes are all about.

You’ve heard about Celebrity Perfumes. So many of your friends wear them, so why not you? There are many testers available at local stores, so give them a spritz. You might like them. Some are inexpensive, some are not. Elizabeth Taylor, Cher, Alexis and Krystle from the tv show Dynasty started this craze years ago. There are quite a few decent ones on the market to sample.

Niche perfumes. What exactly are these? And why are they so expensive? Niche houses don’t necessarily advertise their products. You can’t find them in department stores. They usually have only one perfumer. They don’t market to the masses, so their perfumes will cater to singular scents rather than a broader appeal. For example, instead of the ever-popular “fruity”, a niche house would market perfumes that would address a scent that might smell like “fire” or “thunder” or  “rain”. You can buy them usually on their own website and occasionally through a store that they will allow to market their product. They are very different perfumes than the standard fare, but that doesn’t mean they are of better or lesser quality.

Vintages are always an option. You’ll see these in thrift shops and online on auction shops. Beware, some of them might have turned and buying them are usually for the saavy perfume buyer. Once you’ve become well-acquainted with perfumes, this is an area that all perfume lovers should explore.

The best way to find your perfume is to read about perfumes. There are a number of sites online that talk about perfume. Online readers that belong to the sites offer their own opinions on various scents. That’s where you can begin to get ideas about different perfumes and what might pique your interest.

You can follow different blogs about perfume to read the reviews on different perfumes. Learn what each perfume brings to the table. As you read about each perfume, take a few notes and then go sample that perfume at a local store. See if you agree with the reviewer. You’ll find yourself learning more and more and becoming acquainted with perfumery. Before you realize it, you’ll start to find favorites within the perfume world.

A few Perfume sites online that give valuable information are (in alphabetical order): Basenotes; Fragrantica;  Parfumo. Google for more.



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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.

25 Best Perfumes For A Man

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

Looking for a men’s cologne for Valentine’s Day? One that might pique his interest? Men are so visual, so linear in their thinking, honestly, do they really think about what’s inside the bottle? I know, some do. Some really do sniff and have wonderful noses. But, deep down inside, if their eyes get a read of the labels on these bottles, that’s what’s going to grab them. Either their heartstrings or their heads. (You choose.) Bonus: Some of these fragrances fall into the unisex category so both women and men can wear them.

  1. Sexual Healing for women and men by Mark Buxton, a floral-fruity.
  2. Animale Animale for men, an oriental woody.
  3. Sexual Sugar Daddy by Michel Germain, a leather fragrance.
  4. Believe Forever for women and men, by Ajmal, a woody spicy.
  5. Beverly Hills Polo Club Sexy For Him by Air-Val International, an oriental woody.
  6. Sensual for Men by Johan B., an aromatic aquatic.
  7. FCUK Late Night Him FCUK for Men, a floral-fruity.
  8. Strong Man by Dzintars, an oriental woody.
  9. Man’s Game 10th Avenue by Karl Antony, a woody floral musk.
  10. Manly for women and men by Al-Rehab, a woody spicy.
  11. Desire For a Man by Alfred Dunhill, an oriental woody.
  12. Le Male Gladiator by Jean Paul Gaultier, an oriental fougere.Screen Captures3
  13. Stud Romane for men, a fragrance containing notes of spice, leather, woods, musk and patchouli.
  14. Hunk pour homme by Shirley May, a woody spicy.
  15. Loverdose for men CFFC for men, an oriental fougere.
  16. Urban Lovers for Him Eudora for Men, an oriental spicy.
  17. Army Of Lovers Extrait de Parfum by Laurent Mazzone for women and men, an oriental woody.
  18. Russian Police Hot Heart Apple Parfums for men, a woody aromatic.
  19. The Sexiest Scent On The Planet. Ever. IMHO 4160 Tuesdays for women and men, and oriental woody.
  20. Valentine Demeter Fragrance for women and men, a floral.
  21. Tramp Lush for women and men, a woody.
  22. Every Storm A Serenade Imaginary Authors for women and men, an aromatic green.
  23. Playboy #generation FOR HIM Playboy for men, an aromatic spicy.
  24. The Sinner Police For Men, an oriental woody.Screen Captures4
  25. I could only choose this one for #25. If you’d like to confuse the guy in your life, or if you have a reason to give him this….Fullscreen capture 1292016 32743 PM then choose wisely, for in French slang, the word “terrible” used in the expression “C’est terrible!” could very well mean two things. One could be saying, “It’s great!” but on the other hand, they could also be saying, “It’s awful!” A play on words. Only you will really  know what you mean….                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    As always, have fun with your perfume selections and have an absolutely delightful Valentine’s Day!                                                                                                                                                                                                                              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.


25 Best Valentine’s Day Perfumes.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

Still in a quandry about what perfume to buy for your Valentine? What perfumes are considered irresistible? Here are some ideas for fragrances that are built on sensual ideas, provocative thoughts and in some cases, the name says it all.

  1. Very Irresistible by Givenchy, a floral-fruity.
  2. Fatale Intense by Agent Provocateur, an oriental-floral.
  3. Sensuous Noir by Estee Lauder, an oriental-woody.
  4. Absolute Aphrodisiac by Initio Parfums Prives, an oriental-spicy.
  5. Portrait of a Lady by Frederic Malle, an oriental floral.
  6. Velvet Orchid by Tom Ford, an oriental floral.
  7. Amour I Love You by Kenzo, a floral-woody musk.
  8. Curious Heart by Britney Spears, a floral.
  9. Angel Face A Dozen Roses, a floral-fruity.
  10. Provocative Interlude by Elizabeth Arden, an oriental vanilla.
  11. Sex Goddess 4160 Tuesdays, a chypre-fruity.
  12. FCUK Late Night Her FCUK for Women, a floral-fruity.12PERFUMES
  13. Ultra Sexy Heart by Avon, a floral-fruity gourmand.
  14. Truth Sensual Bedtime Fragrance by Calvin Klein, an oriental woody.
  15. Desire for a Woman by Alfred Dunhill, an oriental floral.
  16. Electric Blue Seduction For Women by Antonio Banderas, a floral-fruity.
  17. Secret Wish Magic Romance by Anna Sui, a floral-fruity.
  18. What Women Want Love Forever Christine Lavoisier Parfums, a floral-fruity gourmand.
  19. #iLoveYou#Parfum Hashtag for Women, an aromatic spicy.
  20. Love Forever Love Agatha Ruiz de la Prada for Women, a floral fruity.
  21. Love Never Dies by Jeanne Arthes, a floral fruity.
  22. Midnight Romance by Ralph Lauren, an oriental floral.
  23. Pink Sugar Sensual Aquolina for Women, an oriental vanilla.
  24. P.S. I Love You by Bath & Body Works, an oriental floral.
  25. And if #’s 1-24 aren’t exactly what you’re looking for because you need something just a little more special, something that says just a little more….Marry Me! by Lanvin.Fullscreen capture 1282016 104140 PM                                                                   Always have fun with perfume!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        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.

Chanel No. 5

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 26, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

Smelling vintage No. 5 is like sniffing a fine wine to me. I’m not a fan of aldehydes and never have been, we don’t get along too well, nor am I particularly fond of a perfume that is too heavy on the florals. But sniffing No. 5 is a whole new ballgame.

I was introduced to it as a child by my mother, and it wasn’t my favorite. As a young adult, I was gifted it, and again, I just put it aside, not really appreciating it. I just have always leaned towards the oriental or gourmand side. I knew this was a hugely popular perfume and there had to be something to it, so why didn’t I enjoy it?

A few years ago, a neighbor’s mother passed away. She was in her 80’s. One day, he handed me a carton of her perfumes, telling me he didn’t know what to do with them. I took them, thanking him, not knowing what I would find in the box. After all, his mom was an older woman, so I knew there would be some interesting choices in there.

Lo and behold, there it was. Chanel No. 5, staring me in the face. Again. Daring me to pick it up and smell it. But this time, when I uncapped the Edt, something miraculous happened. The vintage inside that I swirled around was captivating. It had matured like a fine wine. It had such a heady aroma, I couldn’t stop sniffing. This stuff smelled good.

The aldehydes have muted somewhat, allowing the civet to come to the forefront along with the vetiver. There’s more earthiness to it that wraps around the florals too, but those florals will always be strong. There’s also a muskiness that seems to overwrap the whole perfume. The woods come into play in the last phases along with a mild vanilla that surprises. It’s strong with the real civet. And, you have to be a civet lover to understand the beauty of it.

It’s not a perfume to be taken lightly, it’s one to be revered and worn at the pulse points. It’s not a body spray or a fragrance mist. Chanel No. 5 is a mature perfume that warrants a mature nose that appreciates it.

How does it compare to today’s? If anyone has sampled the formulations of today, they know it is a far cry from the vintage. More like an empty room missing pieces of its furniture.

It bears repeating that Marilyn Monroe was reported to have worn Chanel No. 5 when she went to sleep. Naked. Of course, this information came out much, much later after her death, altho there is a recording of her telling the press that she does wear the perfume.

The video of Marilyn speaking of wearing Chanel No. 5 can be found here:

If you’re not an aldehydes or floral fan, this one’s not for you. Pass go, keep your $200 and buy something else. There are plenty of perfumes in our world to sample and enjoy. But most definitely, if you do want to try it, stick to the vintage.

Top Notes: Neroli, Ylang-Ylang, Bergamot, Amalfi Lemon, Aldehydes.

Middle Notes: Iris, Jasmine, Orris Root, Rose, Lily-Of-The-Valley.

Base Notes: Vetiver, Musk, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Amber, Oakmoss, Vanilla, Civet.



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Opium Perfume, Yves Saint Laurent’s Finest.

Posted in oriental perfumes, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on January 25, 2016 by sorceressofthedark

opium Back in the day when I was working the fragrance counter at Macy’s and hawking it, Opium was flying off the shelves. Everyone was wearing it. People talk of Giorgio and how it created a sensory overload but Opium was right up there in its distinct aroma and how women over-sprayed it. Now, the prices for a vintage bottle are ridiculous. Is it worth it?

Looking at its notes, yes, Opium is everything its cracked up to be. It embodies all its notes. It’s an outrageous perfume. This can be a grand old dame, wrapped in soft velour, adorned with Mikimoto pearls, carrying a Judith Leiber clutch or a bar-fly with a hiked-up faux-leather Guess skirt, Sam Edelman booties and a crop top. Anyone and everyone has worn it and altho it is a classic that stands alone, it is so well-known it is no longer special. It’s lost it’s uniqueness.

It had its place back then in the late ’70’s and ’80’s when the powerhouse perfumes were all the rage. Rock ‘n’ roll was loud, clothes were big and so were the hairstyles and attitudes. It just fit the time period. You’d wear it and strut because you could. Wearing it today outside takes a certain attitude, a certain way of dressing, it’s a completely different way to be.

I’m not saying Opium can’t be appreciated today, it just can’t be appreciated in the same way because this isn’t the same time period. Some perfumes stay beautiful and always will be, but they just don’t make it into the mainstream of the future decades.

Opium is a perfume that needs to sampled by all vintage lovers because it belongs in the perfume Hall of Fame. It’s rich in feeling, opulent in spices and incense, animalistic in nature and makes you want to let go. It will strangle the weak and enslave the willing. If you are a fan of patchouli, spices, incense, myrhh, cloves and too many others to list, go for it. You won’t be sorry. But be forewarned, you’re signing up for the den of inequity to other perfumes. You may never be the same.

This review is written specifically about vintage Opium. There have been more flankers produced since 1977 when the original oriental-spicy perfume by Yves-Saint Laurent was first introduced.  If you are interested in purchasing a vintage bottle of Opium, here is a link  to help you identify the bottle.

Top Notes: Coriander, Plum, Citruses, Mandarin Orange, Pepper, Jasmine, Cloves, West Indian Bay, Bergamot.

Middle Notes: Carnation, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Cinnamon, Orris Root, Peach, Lily-Of-The-Valley, Rose.

Base Notes: Labdanum, Tolu Balsum, Sandalwood, Opoponax, Musk, Coconut, Vanilla, Benzoin, Myrhh, Vetiver, Incense, Cedar, Castoreum, Amber.



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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