Cèdre Atlas

Lemon and black current jump around wildly, wafting about you joyfully at the start (Atelier Cologne 2015). Perhaps it’s the cedar that tethers them down and eventually mixes them with a dash of sublime apricot, earthy papyrus and beautiful vetiver and amber. Cèdre Atlas is expansive, a little romantic, and very clean and contemporary. It feels cheerful to wear. Of course, as with many Atelier Cologne fragrances the longevity is a problem but I believe for some of them it’s definitely worth it to just wear and reapply when needed.

Top notes: lemon, black currant and bergamot. Middle notes: apricot, jasmine and cedar. Base notes: vetiver, papyrus and amber.

Nose: Jerome Epinette

Vétiver Fatal

When I first smelled Vétiver Fatal (Atelier Cologne 2012) I was instantly reminded of Chanel No. 18 and then later of Guerlain Vetiver. But anyway, throughout the entire progression until the very end, the notes both stand out individually and yet blend well together to create a fragrance that feels fresh, clean, contemporary a little comforting and cheerful. I’m not usually one to buy an oud fragrance but this is so luminous as aided by the delightful cedar, citrus and vetiver. Also, ironically, the fact that Atelier Colognes can sometimes fade within couple of hours works well for me in that regard. I don’t feel overwhelmed wearing this one, but I do feel uplifted by the lovely citrus notes and the crisp vetiver. I love it!

Santal Carmin


Santal Carmin (Atelier Cologne 2014) is very clean and modern but with a sweet saffron, fruity musk and warm, vanillic woody notes.  There’s a fresh, juicy, ripe citrus tinge lingering in the background.  And into the drydown it’s a bit spicy, like a mixture of old books and pomanders…  It reminds me of a contemporary version of very vintage Coty colognes…  Quite nice.

Top notes: lime, bergamot and saffron.  Middle notes: sandalwood, guaiac wood and white musk.   Base notes: papyrus, texas cedar and madagascar vanilla.

Nose: Jerome Epinette *

*I’ve decided it’s been really foolish not to include the artist of each fragrance.  This is my first post with the nose behind the creation listed.  I’ll be retroactively editing each post soon…




Sud Magnolia

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It opens with a bright, slightly sweet, citrus fruitiness (Atelier Cologne 2015) that is refreshing, and uplifting, but in a way that is almost otherworldly.  It reminds me of the way the air smells in the winter, on a truly cold morning – frozen and fresh but with an added glamour and dazzle.  Then, into the drydown, Magnolia Sud warms and softens.  It reminds me a great deal of a few scents from Tocca actually.  It has that floral, watery, elegance the speaks of youtfulness and joy.  Magnolia Sud is irrepressible.

Top notes: bitter orange, pomelo, and black currant.  Middle notes: saffron, rose, and magnolia.  Base notes:  Atlas cedar, musk and sandalwood.  

Lil’ and Lex:  Part IV of IV

I woke up Saturday morning after having the oddest dream.  I dreamed I was on a large boat with my Grandma Dorothy and we were looking out over the ocean together.  Only she was young again…  And yet she seemed old at the same time.  It was nearly indescribable actually…  She all at once seemed to have the maturity of someone her age or more so, and yet this certain vitality and beauty that comes more easily with youth.

We talked about something…  It was a wonderful, warm conversation.  But I couldn’t remember it when I woke up.  The details were lost.  All I had was a general impression and a deep, close feeling that was impossible to ignore.

My last glance at her face gave me the idea that she was incredibly happy. I couldn’t believe how happy she seemed actually.

Then, I was awake, in my dark room, sitting in silence.  I looked around and I thought about those stories you hear about people having dreams about their loved ones when they die.  It seemed unlikely to me, because I’m naturally given to thinking most things of that sort are unlikely, but I still wondered.  Who wouldn’t at least a little?

Anyway, later that day, my mom called me as I was sitting down to eat lunch.  And, the moment she started, I knew…

“Your Grandma Dorothy has gone home to be with the Lord.”


“Yes, she died last night of a heart attack while she was asleep.  She’s gone now…”

My mom sounded in shock.

“You know, I had a dream about her last night…”

“Yeah, I did too…”  My mom’s voice broke into tears.  “I’m sorry…”  she apologized for crying.

“No, mom.  Please cry if you need to.”

She awoke in a quiet place.  It was quieter than anywhere she had ever been, aside from maybe her nursery as a young child.  She felt a lightness, and yet firmness she had never felt before, even in her youth, and as her eyes took in the brightness around her, pouring it seemed from windows that were more open, more clear than she could ever remember,  she finally saw her mother’s face on a beautiful woman in the corner siting on a dark blue velvet chaise.  


“So, what do you think?  You know where you are don’t you love?”  

She didn’t need to respond.  Words weren’t necessary here.  This place, often called heaven seemed better than that word could begin to indicate, mostly because there was no doubt for one second that it was real.

“I can’t go back can I?”  

Her mother laughed with a smirk, as if it was almost funny but in a beautiful sort of way.  The sort of way that would scare anyone still “alive.”

“Where is…”

And at once she was on a boat…  sailing…  Sunny skies.   Then his lips…  He was there.  And she smiled.  

“Are you ready to go meet Him?”  

Can I? ”  

“Yes.  But…”

Their eyes locked and she could see into him as he saw into her.   Then his eyes looked towards someone behind them and there stood her granddaughter sleepy and confused in her pajamas.  

“Oh, darling girl.”  She rushed up to her and grabbed her hands…  “Have I got news to tell you!”  Then without words, she spoke, “You won’t remember a word of this when you wake up, but…  I just have to tell you… ”  

Her granddaughter smiled and nodded in understanding.  

Mandarine Glaciale

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Mandarine Glaciale by Atelier Cologne (Atelier Cologne 2015) smells exactly as the name describes – like a watery, super clean, cool mandarine orange.  It’s a unisex, super linear scent with decent sillage and moderate longevity.  I made the mistake of wearing it on a cool day and would recommend that it be worn when the weather is warm – it really is that cool.  I can’t say I would purchase it, but it’s a chic smelling choice – this is a sophisticated citrus.

Top notes: mandarin, lemon and bergamot.  Middle notes: petitgrain, jasmine, and ginger.  Base notes: white amber, oakmoss and vetiver.

2015-04-16 12.02.27Caudalie Instant Detox Mask works differently than your average clay mask.  It doesn’t seem to clean out the pores the same way a good clay mask would (Aztec Secret) but it does exactly as it says – it detoxifies the skin.  And over a period of use it does seem to alter pores for the better.  It’s also very fast (5-10 minutes) as opposed to the much longer periods of time an average mask takes to work.   I probably won’t be purchasing it but for people who don’t have much time and want decent results this is not a bad option…

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Clarins Super Restorative Total Eye Concentrate is a lovely product.  I was surprised by how quickly it improved the skin around my eyes.  I’ve been stressed lately, and even though the weather has improved and my fine lines are less noticeable naturally, this still did something worthwhile.  My skin just looked better.  Perhaps it was tighter?  Darkness decreased?  I don’t know, but I’m considering purchasing this product.


Mad Men spoiler alert:

And I apologize for the lateness of this post.  I think it was a combination of many factors, but one of them definitely was last night’s episode of “Mad Men.”   I was stunned by the ending.  It was so normal. Don had a total meltdown and started to finally find himself (that’s how I see it), Joan was left alone but with a lot of ambition, Peggy and Stan found each other’s arms, and Pete grew up.

And nobody fell out of any buildings.

Until Wednesday. 🙂

Mandarine Glaciale

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Mandarine Glaciale by Atelier Cologne (Atelier Cologne 2015) is a unisex citrusy fragrance.   It’s very clean, linear and yet rich.  The name says it all –  watery, clean, cool mandarine.  It’s a nice scent.  I can’t say that I would purchase it because it was a bit too linear for my tastes, but it has decent sillage, good longevity and is a becoming fragrance.

Top notes: mandarin, lemon and bergamot.  Middle notes: jasmine, petitgrain and ginger.  Base notes: vetiver, oakmoss and white amber. 

2015-04-16 11.53.48 (2)I love this stuff.  Smith’s Rosebud Salve is fantastic.  First of all, it smells like roses but in this light, cheerful, Victorian sort of way that is utterly charming and very soothing.  It’s a delight every time you get a hint of fragrance.  Secondly, it works very well as many things.  It’s an emollient, moisturizing smooth salve that works well on cuticles, on your skin and I prefer to use it on my lips.  It leaves a lovely, faintly pink gloss and my lips seem moisturized better than almost any other product I’ve tried (with the exception of Carmax, but that’s another review of another day).  If you can, buy your own tin of this classic formula, perfect rose scented gem.  🙂

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As I mentioned, I’ve been wearing Caudalie Instant Detox Mask with some frequency.  It’s an intriguing product…  It doesn’t necessarily get rid of blackheads or thoroughly suck the bad stuff out of your pores like, say, Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, but it is uniquely detoxing and the results are noticeable.  It seems that it works differently than a traditional clay mask.  It’s faster for one thing, and the results actually last longer even if they aren’t as noticeable immediately.  To be honest, I’m totally sold on this product simply because I really do like a good deep cleaning mask, but it’s not a bad product at all, and if your skin can’t handle a stronger clay mask or you just don’t have time for one (they can take a while to dry) then this is decent choice I think…


I was shocked by last night’s Mad Men.   It was the most normal, predictable ending I could have imagined…  Peggy and Stan.  Don having a breakdown…  Joan finding herself single again.

Ummm…  And no one died.  I mean, Betty will die, but she’s not dead yet.


But I liked it a lot.  🙂  Seeing Peggy and Stan get together and Don finally “get it” (and I do believe he actually did) was very nice.