REVIEW: Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Bleue perfume

Tory Burch Jolie Fleur Bleue

The promise:

“Captures the intoxicating aroma of tuberose in Tory Burch’s garden in an elegant and understated mix.”

The reality:

I like this one. It reminds of Fracas by Robert Piguet. I’ve always considered Fracas iconic. I learned about it from a girl who was the girlfriend of a senior editor when I worked at Premiere magazine in L.A.. She worked at InStyle’s west coast bureau and had tons of personal style. She was funny, never wore pants — always dresses and skirts — and talked to me in a conspiratorial, just-us-girls kind of way. One time, she attended a small early screening of There’s Something About Mary with us (Cameron Diaz was also in the theater) at a movie-plex in an outdoor mall in Century City that also had a Bloomingdales. She plopped down in the seat next to me just as the movie was about to begin and said she’d just popped into “Bloomies” for a spritz of Fracas. She was the first person I knew who had an engagement party (at their cool little place in Malibu), and their wedding was covered in The New York Times. Fracas is fresh and floral and sweet, and I’ve always associated it with L.A. and this stylish girl I knew.

Anyway, last I heard, this gal now works in PR at Tory Burch in New York. Coincidence that Tory’s new fragrance smells like Fracas? Or maybe just the circle of life, am I right comrades?


REVIEW: Atelier perfume


The promise:
“An electrical current runs through the subtle sweetness of vanilla, jasmine and fresh lime to bond with rich oak moss, woods and spicy coriander.”

The reality:
I started with Atelier because, duh, that description! I imagined a romantic midnight stroll through the lush gardens of Savannah in balmy June (something I’ve done countless times… okay, zero times). But it was SO cloyingly sweet. Imagine if you discovered an old cotton candy machine in your grandmother’s hot, stuffy farmhouse attic. Like old sugar. Next!

Sephora’s perfume sampler

I love these Perfume Samplers from Sephora. They’re $25, you get 7 samples of seasonal scents, and then you take a “Scent Certificate” back to the store to get a full-size rollerball of your favorite. Barrak got me this for an upcoming trip.

I’ll review each scent for you, and pick a winner at the end. I already one of these, but I’m always hoping to find a new favorite for warm weather. Stay tuned!


The soap I’m loving now

I haven’t blogged in almost a year. So you’d think the first “I’m back” post would be something more dramatic than soap. Sometimes you just gotta get back on that horse any way you can. So… soap.

I got a sample of Beautycounter’s Charcoal Cleansing Bar at my kids’ school carnival of all places. It was the size of a tiny Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bar. I took it with me on a business trip to New York — perfect size — and really loved it. I schlepped that sliver back with me to Columbus and used it until it broke into tiny shards. Then I sprung for the full size. It’s $24 but seems like it will last a while. It seems to keep breakouts at bay without being overly harsh. Beautycounter’s value prop is they don’t use chemicals and unnatural ingredients that may be carcinogenic. Even better.

I’m just dipping my toes into this beauty line. I’ll keep you posted.

Beauty buy of the week


I’ve been wanting to try a natural deodorant and since I’m taking time off from the office this week, it seemed like a good, low-stress week to give it a try. I was pretty sure it wouldn’t work on me. I was using Mitchum at age 12, which was then the strongest thing you could get in drugstores. So up to now, it was clinical strength or bust. And even then, my deodorant usually throws in the towel around 6 p.m.

Tom’s of Maine is more clear than white, and it’s wetter than your average solid. I got the unscented. And by george, it works! I love that it doesn’t have aluminum–not sure why, it just sounds bad–and it isn’t as drying as regular deodorant. I also feel like clinical strength ups the ante so your body works even harder to win the battle of the stink. This stuff doesn’t give me rebound stink. Still smellin’ pretty good the next morning! I’m impressed. The real test? When I go back to work on Monday.

Beauty buys of the week

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As I’ve written on this blog before, I am a longtime fan of the Paula’s Choice skin care line, founded by Paula Begoun of “Don’t Go the Cosmetics Counter Without Me” fame. Her toners, exfoliating BHA liquid and really gentle benzoyl peroxide lotions are some of my perennial faves. And I just got a couple new products that I’m pretty happy with.

Anti-Aging Eye Cream
For many years, Paula has maintained that if you’re using the right facial moisturizer that doesn’t contain irritants, you should be able to use it around your eyes — no separate eye cream needed. So it’s a big deal that she has finally come out with an anti-aging eye cream. And it’s worth the wait. It has the consistency of really thick shea butter (remember Elmer’s paste with the stick in the middle?) so it stays put and doesn’t creep into your eyes and cause tears. It smooths and blends really easily and plumps my tired eyes. I can literally see fine lines sort of blur away. I put it on in the morning and at night.

Resist Intensive Wrinkle-Refine Retinol Serum
After recently reading yet another article where a dermatologist says retinol is one of the 3 must-haves in any woman’s beauty arsenal (the other two? antioxidants and ceramides), I went in search of a retinol product. Prescription-strength has always been too much for me. Lots of derms recommend RoC as an OTC option but it has caused me breakouts in the past. Avon supposedly has a good one but where the heck do you buy Avon?

So I did what I always do when I need beauty product advice: I asked my sister. Branda is a gifted makeup artist, certified aesthetician and fellow Paula fan. She uses this retinol serum from Paula’s Resist line (for anti-aging). I love how light the clear serum goes on, the dewy glow it provides and the hint of retinol that makes it OK for nightly use. The official marketing claims say it repairs wrinkles and sun damage, builds collagen and diminishes dark spots. Maybe it’s my imagination but I feel like the out-out-brown spot on my cheek has already faded a little bit.


Tonight, after work, I got a facial from a fabulous young girl I know.

Here’s me letting the Pond’s Cold Cream beauty mask work its magic…
(by the way, I have boxers on; I was halfway to getting my PJs on when the appointment became available)


And here’s the facialist to the stars (and mommies):

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Check out those rad pants (thanks Grandma!) Those are my booties.

Here’s the beauty regimen she recommends:


  1. Lipstick
  2. Hair
  3. Eye
  4. Blush
  5. An LBD
  6. Red heels

And here are the products she swears by:


Floss is an important part of any beauty regimen.

Here, my facialist applies Clinique’s All About Eyes eye roller.


“This will make you match the rest of the family,” she said, liberally dusting bronzer all over my face.


Some Barbie body spray…


A vigorous brushing…


A coat of Revlon’s Gentlemen Prefer Pink.


My facialist doubles as my personal stylist…


Magnus told me I looked “20 percent better.”