2014-12-30 18.11.49 (2)Fascinator by Hové Parfumeur of New Orleans, Louisiana (Hové Parfumeur) is a largely green, strong, oak moss fragrance but I would guess there’s some jasmine and ylang-ylang,  bergamot and lemon as well.  It’s a bit indolic, earthy and a little sweet with what I believe to be orange blossom and what is certainly musk.   In the drydown it’s still a sharp, slightly bitter scent but there’s a hint of warmth and gentleness to balance the feisty notes,.  Perhaps those are at notes of sandalwood and patchouli.

Fascinator is a part of Hové’s luxury line of women’s fragrances.  It has excellent longevity and discreet but noticeable sillage.

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Yves Saint Laurent Fusion Ink Foundation is easily one of the best foundations I’ve ever tried.   I wasn’t expecting to like it  since I’m not a big fan of the Touche Eclat, but, Fusion Ink Foundation is lovely.  It sits on the skin but not in a bad way…   It’s more like a soft veil that covers the skin ever so gently with a dewy, natural quality.  It doesn’t seem to irritate the skin or accentuate fine lines either.  When I’m in the market for a new foundation this may well be what I pick…

And there.  I did it.  I finally posted a Monday post…   It’s been weeks since I’ve done any product reviews.  I know this week I only review one product, but I’ll get back into the swing of things…

How was your weekend?


2014-12-30 18.10.58 (2)Mantrap (Hové Parfumeur 1930’s) is a very flowery, musky, intensely vintage fragrance.  According to Hové, Mantrap is a, “…heavy oriental..” with, “heavy resinous notes…”  but I think it’s a bit more crisp and almost green than that description allows.  I also experience it as  more of a floral chypre than an oriental, but they, of course, are the experts and have the full list of notes…  I just feel like Mantrap has more of an aromatic, spicy floral complexity that is more Aromatics Elixir than Shalimar, especially at first.  However, that could just be a trick of my chemistry and relative inexperience.

In any case, it’s a very unique, beautiful perfume.  It has great sillage, and decent longevity.  I will never tire of recommending Hové Parfumeur…  Never.

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Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation has received numerous raving reviews and is quite popular.  It supposedly is a special sort of foundation that works small miracles.  I was fortunate enough to receive the above pictured sample from Sephora a while back…  And, to be blunt, I’m not impressed.  Based on my experience it doesn’t seem any better than almost any other high end foundation I’ve ever used.  Matter of fact, I can think of three companies that make foundations I like more (Clinique, Chanel and Lancôme).  So, needless to say, I will not be purchasing Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation.  Maybe it has something to do with my skin though?  Who knows…  If you’re curious, of course I recommend trying it for yourself.

2015-04-16 12.00.01Dior Diorshow Mascara is pretty fantastic.  This mascara lives up to the hype.  It thickens my lashes considerably, lengthens them and adds definition.  Essentially, this mascara is basically perfect, except it does flake the tiniest bit and that’s sort of annoying, but it’s so darn good otherwise that I almost don’t care.  It smells good too…  I might not say that it’s the best mascara ever, but it has to be one the best.  Definitely.  I may very well buy it again.  And again.

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Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat was a total disappointment.  It caused breakouts and didn’t do a thing to “highlight” my skin the way it is supposed to.  I also tried using it as concealer and that wasn’t terrible, but again, it caused my skin to erupt in tiny pimples – not pretty.  I know a lot of people love this product, but I would never recommend it, especially if you have skin that still has the occasional pimple.  I think that the attached brush is part of the problem because unless you remember to clean it with your other brushes it just keeps getting more grimy every time you use it (of course).  Ugh.


This week I’m looking forward to a visit from my in-laws.  I’ll be making a linguini with white clam sauce, my husband will make fresh bread and we’ll have blueberry pie for dessert.  And, on Sunday I’ll be attending a family wedding.  I’m already planning what to wear…  I’m thinking a vintage lavender dress with sandals, and a matching Schiaparelli rainbow tourmaline crystal bracelet and necklace would be best.  We’ll see.

At any rate, I don’t have much to say today that’s of a personal nature, but again, and as always, thank you for reading…  🙂


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Hové Parfumeur of New Orleans, Azalea is a greenish, jumpy, crisp and then milky scent.  It’s a literal fragrance with a predominant note of azalea, but it’s a well done Azalea in my estimation.  I find it to be a very becoming floral.

If you want to smell like a sweet, elegant flower then this is the perfume for you.  Longevity and sillage are good.

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The Clarisonic Mia 1 has been very very popular now for years, of course.   There’s been many pieces written about it. I’m certainly “late to the game.”   And, not surprisingly, I echo the sentiments of many reviewers who have claimed that the Mia irritated their skin and caused more breakouts.  I know people might say (like salesperson at Sephora when I returned it) that the skin goes through a “purging” process and will clear up within a few weeks, but I disagree. My skin didn’t look or feel better in any way (blackheads dead skin etc.) and I don’t entirely buy into that whole “purging” idea to begin with.  I’m glad I returned it.  My skin has cleared up since I stopped using it and my pores look about the same if not smaller.  Anyway, now I know it’s not for me.

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I found Derma e, Hydrating Serum after doing a bit of  searching to find a decently priced, safe, anti-aging moisturizer with hyaluronic acid.  I used it both morning and night for a while (with my regular German Nivea) and noticed that I broke out (too irritating I think) but then I tried just using it at night and I’ve been happy with the results.  My skin does seem brighter, tighter and my fine lines are at least somewhat dimished.  While I’m not sure if I will repurchase this product I can at least say that it wasn’t a waste of money and it has produced acceptable results…  I just think there might be something even better.

Yesterday I had a lovely Mother’s Day.  In the morning my husband made me a nice brunch of scones, fruit, potatoes and salmon eggs benedict with a grapefruit mimosa and tea.  And then we spent the remainder of the day just relaxing.

As a side note, I didn’t know what to do with the left-over champagne from the mimosas so my husband looked up ideas online and discovered that it could be used as a hair rinse to add body.  Ha!   So, since it was a cheap champagne (we were just using it for mimosas) I did in fact douse my hair in champagne yesterday…    I highly recommend the experience.  Even if it’s not Mother’s Day.

Until Wednesday.

Bayou d’Amour

2014-12-30 18.11.24According to the description for Bayou d’Amour on Hové’s website this fragrance is, “An exotic blend of floral notes dominated by notes of the luscious fruit, mango.”  I did smell mango, but I also think I detected banana and it was very unique and really beautiful.  I’ve never smelled a banana perfume before…

In the drydown, which is warm and lovely, I believe I smelled musk, possibly civet (possibly) and tonka bean.  Although, I can’t find a list of fragrance notes so I’m not sure, of course.

Bayou d’Amour is an elegant, Deep South, sweet, fruity floral that is romantic, tropical and slightly evasive.  Hové Parfumeur never ceases to amaze and delight me with the originality and allure of their fragrances (sillage and longevity are decent too).  Everything I’ve tried is so New Orleans, and in the nicest way.  I truly hope I am able to visit Hové someday.

Now for some reviews…
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Caudalie, Make-Up Remover, Cleansing Water is just one of many new cleansing waters that I’ve wondered about recently since I feel like I see them everywhere – Instagram, other blogs, Pinterest, etc.  A lot of people seem to really like cleansing waters and a good portion of people really like Caudalie, however, this blogger was not so excited about her experience with Caudalie Cleansing Water.  No, indeed.  I actually think it might have caused pimples…  And, I don’t believe it cleansed my skin any better than just plain water.  So, sorry, Caudalie, I really wanted to like this product, but I did not…

2015-02-19 19.02.49 (2)And, I didn’t like Ilike, Grape Stem Cell Solutions Polishing Scrub either.  It may have made my skin slightly softer but the exfoliating bits were quite coarse and I worry that they were cutting my skin (I’ve read that that can happen with certain facial scrubs).  I didn’t notice much genuine exfoliation either, and actually I needed to exfoliate again.  It also had a slightly unpleasant odor that reminded me of the smell of a bottle of conditioner that has been sitting in the shower for too long (I assume I’m not the only one who’s semi-forgotten about a bottle of conditioner for months and months).  So, anyway, sorry folks.

Well, I hope your Monday is starting nicely, or finishing well, or what have you.  🙂  Until Wednesday…

Spring Fiesta

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Hové Parfumeur, Spring Fiesta is a sweet, spicy vintage floral that speaks of the Deep South in bloom.  If you mixed fresh cut roses, vanilla beans, sugar cubes and soft, delicious, 100% real butter together into a scent, I believe it would be Spring Fiesta.  Spring Fiesta reminds me a bit of L’Heure Bleue in its pastry-like sweetness, but with vibrant, clearly discernible rose petals (and they are gorgeous).

Sadly, however, Spring Fiesta was recently discontinued by Hové, so if you want to find a bit of his sugary, gorgeous spring scent you may have to do some searching.  To find other similar gems search Hové Parfumeur, of New Orleans, here.

And now for a few product reviews…

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I found a sample for Olay Regenerist Luminous, Tone Perfecting Cream in a copy of Elle magazine and decided to try it. While it wasn’t totally terrible, it was chalky (my skin seriously looked like it had chalk on it) greasy and wasn’t easily absorbed – I could see dried clumps of it on my skin (ick).  It was also heavily fragranced with a very soapy/chemically smelling scent and I’m afraid it would make my skin break out with continued use (and it burned at first too).  However, on the positive side it was actually creamy and smooth to apply and it did leave my skin looking a little better (minus the dried bits, chalkiness and potential acne).  Of course, overall, it wasn’t exactly a winner.
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I also tried RMS Beauty, Eye Polish.  It comes in seven shades and I sampled Imagine, and purchased Lunar.

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Imagine is…  “interesting” (read awful) given my coloring, although I think if you have any dark shadows under your eyes, regardless of your coloring, you might look ill wearing it too.  Imagine might be flattering on certain people though, and I would encourage them to use it (as long as they didn’t breakout from coconut oil) because it does apply fairly well and has a nice sort of subtlety (a metallic, silvery brown/wine color – close to Pantone’s color of the year – Marsala).

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Lunar is slightly better on my skin than Imagine.  It’s not great – it washes me out somehow (I have warm/neutral coloring) but it can be used as a highlighter around my eyes and I’ll use it as that.  It’s a very light, shimmery golden white/off-white.

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Lunar on the left and Imagine on the right.

So, while appreciate the quality of RMS Beauty Eye Polish the colors didn’t work well on me and I wasn’t so impressed with the consistency of the polishes that I care to experiment with the other colors.  If you’re curious about RMS Beauty Eye Polish I recommend trying to get a sample (if possible) first.

Until Wednesday.  🙂


I’ve discussed Hové Parfumeur of New Orleans before, but not Heliotrope in particular.  It’s like a soft, sweet southern breeze from the past with a strong but delicious vanilla note intermingled with charming floral notes.  In the drydown the vanilla becomes even more of a powerhouse, but it’s so ridicously gracious (and vintage) that I can’t say I mind at all.  The sillage is nice too.  Even my husband who rarely smells most perfume I wear from a distance could detect this one and he seemed to really like it…

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Heliotrope was actually a birthday present from my husband last year as part of a group of samplers from Hové.   And, even though I technically don’t do samples on Fridays I’ll make an exception for this fragrance because wearing it today is exactly what I need to both calm my mind and brighten my mood and it’s a rather large sample…

Anyway, sorry for the short discussion about the fragrance of the day.  This has been one awful week.  Usually, it’s just busy, but this week…  was miserable.  One of our parents will be having heart surgery in a month, and I’ve been beyond exhausted and stressed out about many things. 

The thing is, when you’re a child life feels like it will last forever.  Hours take so long.  You feel so alive and your parents seem like they’ll be around as long as you.  If you stop to really think otherwise it doesn’t even work because the present feels so real, so solid and invincible at that age that anything contrary just rings false.  But, you can hardly wait to grow-up so you can really enjoy everything with what feels like never-ending youth. Time is on your side… or so it seems.

Then you do grow up and you’re stuck, for better or for worse, and time goes by way too fast.  Every second disolves before it begins (sorry if this is sounding very cliché at this point). You look back at your childhood and it still seems so recent but it’s not – so totally vivid and real but of course, in truth, it’s gone. Then you see what’s coming next…

It’s wonderfully sobering and we all go through it.  All of us.  And in that regard, we are never unique, or just one person alone in a situation.  We all must pass through the same doors at the start and in the end.  🙂

I just hope that my parent will stick around a bit longer so we can enjoy them for years to come (as fast as those years might go.)  And I’m thankful for the ones I’ve had…

We’re also considering moving again…  There’s a good position at a company where my husband would have more room to grow in his career and it would also bring us a step closer to our dream of moving to the UK.  It’s a good thing, but also just another stressor to add to the mix…


Anyway, until Sunday…

Hové Parfumeur

I’ve never been to New Orleans, Louisiana, but someday I want to visit and stop by Hové Parfumeur in the French Quarter at 434 Chartres St..  Hové Parfumeur was originally located at 529 Royal Street when it was started in 1931 by Mrs. Alvin Hovey-King, the wife of a retired Navy Commander.  She had spent her life traveling around the world, cultivating her talent, passed down from her Creole French mother, of making beautiful perfume when she decided to open Hové.

529 Royal St., previously home to the Spanish Governor, and the eventual location for Hové Parfumeur.

529 Royal St., previously home to the Spanish Governor, and the eventual location for Hové Parfumeur.

In 1938 Hové Parfumeur was relocated to 723 Toulouse St. where it would be for 44 years.  It was during this time that my sample bottles of perfume were made.  When I open the box I smell what can only be described as lush, Southern, Tropical and gorgeous.  The stunning scent is a combination of Carnaval, Magnolia, Rue Royal, Tea olive, Creole Days and Gardenia – all part of their “standard line.”

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Carnaval, Rue Royal, Creole Days, Magnolia, Tea Olive and Gardenia

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Hové Parfumeur, 723 Toulouse Street, New Orleans

723 Toulouse St.:

NOLA 1959

NOLA 1959

I love the Hové website’s poetic descriptions.  Magnolia is, “The true Southern Magnolia, a fragrance of subdued warmth cooled by fresh notes, redolent of the deep south.”  And while Tea Olive is described as having a, “…languid and exotic sweetness heightened by a teasing piquantness…  Rue Royal is my favorite:  “A hint of musk pervades this basically dry and light fragrance, selected most often by fair brunettes who wish a quiet elegance.

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Rue Royal, for a, "...quiet elegance."

Rue Royal, for, “…fair brunettes who wish a quiet elegance.”

The only catch is that my bottles are mostly evaporated – probably where that lovely scent came from…  But, I’m excited, because after doing a bit of sleuthing I discovered that it is possible to reconstitute an old bottle of perfume.  One needs to be careful, and use only the right sort of alcohol, but it is potentially possible.

I have a bottle of vintage Dior, Miss Dior to reconstitute too.  So, in the near future I’m going to buy either perfumer’s alcohol from Etsy (probably the safest and best choice) or Everclear from a state bordering ours that sells it.  The alcohol needs to be at least 190 proof to work, so Everclear or perfumer’s alcohol are two of the best options…

In the meantime, we’ve been pretty busy this week.   At some point though, my plan is to make Apple Pan Dowdy.  Apples are in season and after hearing the song, Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy once years ago I’ve always wanted to try it.  If it’s at all decent I’m going to have to post a photo on Friday…

From, 1946 – June Christy, Shoo Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy

Until Friday. 🙂

Read more about Hové Parfumeur at:

I Smell Therefore I am, By Hové: Three From New Orleans

Yesterday’s Perfume, Vetiver by Hové Parfumeur (1931)