Cheap Fragrances Review – Amazon Edition

Now that I’ve graduated school and have a job, you would think I would be less broke but that assumption is incorrect. Being a hedonist in a city is quite the balancing act, though I think I’ve been balancing it well, and my business school education definitely comes in handy when it comes to budgeting and restraint.

Because of my limited spending money, I think it’s worth taking the time to troll grey market sites and second-hand stores for gems. This time around, I stumbled around on Amazon and ended up picking out three that I thought would be diamonds in the rough.

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Parfums de Marly: Oajan, Lippizan, Kuhuyan reviews!

Parfums de Marly is another one of those fun contemporary fragrance houses that liken to old traditions; as far back as Louis XV’s prestigious horse races, and as front-facing as the MySpace-esque format and music on their web page. But that’s not a knock; the page has a clean, intuitive look, and I appreciate it over the many companies who believe it should be as difficult and stylistic as possible to learn any information on their pages. I do wish the waltz they’re playing didn’t stop so abruptly before starting over.

Anyway, I have heard good things about this brand, and hope to one day also try Herod and Habdan, as well as see their take on women’s fragrances!

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Sniffapalooza Fall Ball 2015!

Finally getting to this post!

Sniffa Saturday Haul!

I’ve been indulging my fragrance hobby for more than a year now, but only fairly quietly in the safety of my own home and in the awkward embrace of the internet. However. This changed last Friday when I attended my first Sniffapalooza event; the free kick-off at Twisted Lily, my own local niche fragrance Mecca that I’ve purchased from before, but ever only online. The website’s treated me well though, some of my old posts like 6 Scents 6 Selves, my UNUM review, my Twisted Lily favorites review, and my Ineke A-H reviews were sourced from Twisted Lily (click on each word for a different Ineke review!)

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H&M features hijab-wearing model in new campaign

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/30/fashion/trends/hm-features-hijab-wearing-model-mariah-idrissi-in-new-campaign.html?_r=0

This new campaign of H&M’s is pretty insane if we’re looking at where the fashion industry, where the people featured in these series are either considered “fringe” or not considered at all. Beyond Mariah Idrissi’s hijab, the video features a young man wearing a simple pencil skirt, full-blown cross-dressers, Japanese lolita dress, traditional Japanese dress, Sikh turbans, mouth guards, a sheikh, and an amputee boxer.

Personally, having attended one of the most diverse universities in the world, where I’ve fostered friendships all across the board, and where the Muslim Girl blog got its beginnings, I actually think there are other characters way more interesting to me. I’d like the US to stop being so surprised that people who look and dress differently exist within their worlds, and I honestly thought we were getting somewhere with Muslim and Sikh dress, but I guess that’s just within the bubble of my university life and my friend group. Figures.

One thing that surprised me a little is that Elnaz Barari maintains that H&M does not take political or religious stands; unfortunately for Ms. Barari, the H&M’s board, and Ms. Idrissi, this, and everything else they’ve been doing to create a sustainable business model, is a political stand. Showcasing fringe and saying that everyone is welcome is taking a stand. At least according to conservatives it would be. And so here we are, where “It might be because hijab fashion has boomed in the last few years and to finally see a hijabi in mainstream fashion is a big achievement.”

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Why Americans dress so casually and my #WCW

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/09/08/why-americans-dress-so-casually/

Introducing Deirdre Clemente, a historian of 20th century American culture at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas! Her research focuses on fashion and clothing and the patterns and trends she’s followed are really interesting. She did an interview with Robert A. Ferdman of the Washington Post and it’s really educational. For example, individuality is obviously a big part of today’s culture, what with the lower barrier of entry for startups and freelancers and the acceptance of some more counter-culture type groups. In terms of clothing choice is more important than ever, and something that is no longer class-restricted.

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Field notes in New York and puppy positivity

The return of my mother and my brother from their time in Hong Kong, my productive breakfast at Lole Atelier, and a 5 minute conversation with a really nice dog owner with a 4-month-old black shiba puppy has been rejuvenating in a way I never really seem to expect, which is good, since it wouldn’t be so effective if I expected it to happen.

Highlights from:

Speaking about social media and branding

Matt Archambault: Social media and branding

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Happy Birthday Olivia Giacobetti!

Ms. Giacobetti is 49 years old today. She is my newest woman crush that I should have high-lighted a long, long time ago.

Olivia Giacobetti is an amazing French perfumer who has created fragrances such as Frederic Malle’s En Passant (my favorite Frederic Malle), Diptyque’s Philosykos and Ofresia, a whole host of L’Artisan fragrances including the infamously difficult to get Tea for Two (my favorite L’Artisan!), and fragrances for Hermès, Guerlain, and Penhaligon’s. I love her for her delicate simplicity and the subtle way she crafts her fragrances. I have loved everything she has touched that I have smelled so far, and can’t wait to smell more.

The L’Artisan website claim that she was inspired by the depictions of perfumery in the film le Sauvage which means I need to seek this film out with English subtitles in a hurry (or learn French. I feel I have more of an incentive to learn it than even mandarin.) She trained from the age of 17 at Robertet, a huge French distillery known for developing new ways of obtaining natural raw material from its distillation sources before opening her own firm Iskia, which I unfortunately couldn’t find any information about. And she does all this while staying oh so effervescently lovely.

She is currently working as creative director at one of the oldest perfume houses, Parfum Lubin.

Breyers Announces Switch to Hormone-Free Milk and Cream

http://www.thedailymeal.com/news/eat/breyers-announces-switch-hormone-free-milk-and-cream-other-unilever-ice-cream-brands-follow/20415

I’m feeling pretty good about this change. Breyers was my number one back when I was younger, and I was so disappointed when a lot of their ice cream became “frozen dairy dessert” after Unilever changed the recipes in 2006. The news doesn’t say anything about changing some of the frozen dairy dessert back to ice cream, but it’s good that the company is paying attention to consumers and aiding them on the quest to a less problematic diet, I guess. And who knows? Maybe one day Breyers will change everything back and my inner fat kid will rejoice in the nostalgia of it all. I still eat that natural vanilla when my throat is sore though (before you think this is odd, I know it’s counter-intuitive and likely completely counterproductive, but the main character in The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman does it and I’ve always been heavily affected by books.)

Until then though, I think I’ll stick with some local product, like ice cream from the Denville Dairy and Milk Sugar Love. And if I need a quick pint, there’s always the ever faithful Haagen Dazs, which has a more complicated ownership: while the brand is owned by General Mills, they acquired it when they acquired Pillsbury who bought Haagen Dazs in 1983, and it’s licensed to Dreyer’s/Nestle, so technically they make the product. Crazy corporate stuff!

Bee and Puppycat Sweater from WeLoveFine

I guess we’re going to call this a review because I’m going to be talking about one product that I purchased that I have opinions on.

So I bought this sweater:

a few months ago as a sort of final exam treat/Christmas present to myself. It’s adorable. The design is from the web cartoon Bee and Puppycat which I supported in a Kickstarter and wrote about back in September. It fits decently, a little baggy, but that’s what happens when your shoulders are randomly thick for your body. I paid like, $52.50 for that purchase, which I guess is within my willingness to pay, but I kind of wish I didn’t now. The sweater itself is pretty crap quality. It stretches with wear, and I’m sure if I snagged it on something, it would tear immediately. It’s not very warm either. I’ll still wear it, because the design is still adorable, but I’m feeling a little price gouged. I’ve only worn it three to four times since I’ve gotten it, and I’m always wary of sharp corners. I’ve purchased other thing from nerd-gear suppliers and I’ve always found that the stuff is always so hit-or-miss, and the quality inconsistent.

I’m still relatively happy with my purchase, but now that I’m about to graduate, I’m feeling a little more serious about my personal finance. I can’t partake in the support of some of my favorite nerd things if this continues to be an issue.