Review: Diptyque Volutes

While I was in Paris, I wanted to get a fragrance that I normally cannot find here. I read about the Diptyque Paris store in 34 Boulevard St Germain and made it a point to visit the store.

It’s a really quaint store with all their fragrances, candles, room sprays, etc. I couldn’t decide which fragrance to get. I knew I wanted something medium sized (< 100 ml because I’m not very good at finishing fragrances) with a spicy, not-so-girly scent, that would have a nice dry down. It’s always fun to pick up a sweater after you’ve worn it and catch a hint of the fragrance you used. It’s the little things in life, right? 🙂

Diptyque Volutes

Diptyque Volutes

So, I zeroed in on Diptyque Volutes – which was a tough decision as everything in that store smelled like heaven.

This is what Diptyque says about their fragrance:

Un voyage rĂȘvĂ©, Ă  bord d’un paquebot reliant Marseille Ă  SaĂŻgon. Une traversĂ©e au long cours, semĂ©e d’escales aux noms enchanteurs qui sentent l’aventure et les Ă©pices. Le charme de la vie Ă  bord, hors du temps. Le labyrinthe des coursives encaustiquĂ©es et des salons lambrissĂ©s de bois, les mystĂ©rieuses Ă©lĂ©gantes accoudĂ©es au bastingage du pont supĂ©rieur s’adonnant avec dĂ©lice au plaisir des cigarettes du KhĂ©dive. Un souvenir olfactif Ă  jamais gravĂ© dans la mĂ©moire : Volutes

OK, for those of us who don’t read French, I got this with Google Translate:

A dream trip on board a cruise between Saigon to Marseille. Through a long-term, dotted with enchanting names of stops that feel the adventure and spices. The charm of life on board, out of time. The labyrinth of passageways and rooms encaustiquées paneled wood, elegant mysterious leaning on the railing of the upper deck engaged with delight at the pleasure of the Khedive cigarettes. An olfactory memory forever etched in memory: Swirls

Diptyque Volutes

Diptyque Volutes

According to Fragrantica, the notes are:

Iris, honey, tobacco, dried fruit, pink and black pepper, saffron, hay, immortelle, opoponax, myrrh, storax, and benzoin.

It doesn’t smell like any cigarette to me, but it smells like Vetiver, to me at least (with an untrained nose), and I really like Vetiver. But then again, maybe it’s the Myrrh that I’m smelling. I can smell the saffron – but it’s not like an Indian curry, I guarantee you 🙂 There is a hint of smokey-ness, especially when you first spray it, but what I like most about this fragrance is how it dries down to a pleasant, woody, fruity but not citrusy scent. In Winter, it’s always nice to use a fragrance that is not cloying or floral, but blends into the surrounding. A woody scent, is definitely suitable. I seem to be gravitating towards less-feminine, or maybe just less-floral perfumes these days. If that’s what you’re looking for, yourself, you should definitely give Diptyque Volutes a try.

The bottle has a nice weight to it and the cover closes with a slight click – perfect for travel.

Further reading


Review: A-England Dragon Nail Polish

A few months ago I picked up two nail polishes from A-England as I had read wonderful reviews. It helped that the company offers free shipping worldwide. I had bought Camelot and King Arthur and was very impressed with the formula as well as how easy it was to work with them.

Recently I stumbled across FashionPolish’s swatches of some of the new colors that A-England has launched and ordered four bottles. The one I’m featuring is Dragon. I don’t know how to describe this shade. It’s a grass green hologram nail polish that gold-ish glitter in it, perhaps?

Here are some photos for you to decide:

A-England ~ Dragon

A-England ~ Dragon

Technically, you can get away with just one coat of nail polish but out of habit I applied two coats followed by Deborah Lippmann’s Addicted to Speed topcoat.

It’s been really cold lately (-21 C on Friday morning, -16 C yesterday and -8 C today *phew*) and bright nail polishes like this are definitely cheering me up!

Review: Jo Malone Vanilla & Anise, Pomegranate Noir

In case it wasn’t obvious from this post and this post, I love perfumes and colognes.

Jo Malone's Colognes: Vanilla & Anise and Pomegranate Noir

When I was in London, the bf and I were sampling colognes and he thought Vanilla & Anise smelled really good. Since I didn’t have a cologne with that type of fragrance I got it.

Here’s the official description of Vanilla & Anise:

“This fresh and modern cologne blends the delicate scent of the vanilla orchid with vanilla bourbon and envelops the skin with an aromatic richness that truly blooms with the warmth of the body. Sensual and unique.”

I’ve had that bottle for awhile now but I haven’t used it much as I had read that Jo Malone’s fragrances are nicer when combined with another fragrance.  I’m no expert but the idea of layering fragrances sounds like fun so when I was in New York, I checked out the Jo Malone store on Bleecker Street. I asked the retail assistant to recommend a scent that will layer well with Vanilla & Anise and she recommended Grapefruit and Pomegranate Noir. After smelling both of them, I chose Pomegranate Noir instead as I liked the slightly darker, woody fragrance than the fresher one that Grapefruit gave.

Jo Malone's Colognes: Vanilla & Anise and Pomegranate Noir

This is the official description for Pomegranate Noir:

“This iconic cologne is uniquely composed around an intensely fruity pomegranate accord that warms on the skin to reveal an incredible sensuality through the combination of patchouli, frankincense and spicy woods. Seductive and utterly compelling.”

Now I wish I could describe what this combination smells like, but the best I can do is a cross between fruity and flowery but also slightly dark (probably due to Pomegranate Noir). I know, I know, that description is not going to make you run out the door to get these fragrances, but I tried 🙂

I really like the combination as it doesn’t smell very feminine. I really don’t like smelling like a flower. It’s so not me. But a combination of something not quite floral, fruity, and woody is much better.

Further reading

Review: Boyfriend

You know Kate Walsh, the actress? I’m a fan of her. I’m normally not crazy about celebrities but Kate Walsh – I like – because she acts in Private Practice as Dr. Addison Montgomery. Truth be told, I only watch Private Practice because of her. I really like the way her character dresses. (Now there is something you never knew about me!)

Anyway, Kate Walsh launched her own perfume – Boyfriend – sometime early this year (February I think). I’ve been reading about this perfume for awhile and I asked the bf to sniff it for me when he was in the US. Of course, knowing the bf, he’ll definitely bring a bottle back. I secretly hoped he wouldn’t because I feel really bad for having way too many perfume bottles that I cannot possibly finish. That’s why I only ever travel with one perfume bottle – because I hope to finish it.

Boyfriend Perfume - 15ml

Now Sephora says:

Dark Plum, Myrrh, Night Blooming Jasmine, Benzoin Tears, Skin Musk, Golden Amber, Vanilla Woods.
Sensual. Vanilla. Amber.

Boyfriend Perfume - 15ml

So what do I think about this perfume? It definitely does not smell girly but it is pleasant. If you are looking for a perfume that is not overpowering and will not bother people around you, this is one of those. On drydown, it smells even better, a little bit of jasmine and vanilla lingers.

Book Review: One Day

One Day by David Nicholls (Image borrowed from

It’s not often that I find a book I really, really want to read. So much so that I rush home after work, grab take out on the way, sit on the couch with my dinner in one hand and the book in the other. So eager to finish the book that I completely tune out from the screens (I’m a geek, some screen – laptop/iPad/iPhone – is always on) and read. Just read.

I dream of such days as I know reading is great exercise for the mind, especially when you’re not reading software design specifications 😉

But I digress.

“One Day” is written by David Nicholls. I have to say that until I saw this book on Amazon, about a year ago, I had no idea who he was. I was keen to read the book as it had gotten some good reviews and you know when there’s a hyped book, it’s always nice to find out what it is about. I randomly mentioned it to Matthew, my friend, who was asking what book I wanted as a birthday gift. So I said “ah, this book would be fine too” and true enough, he sent it to me a month later as a belated birthday gift. Matthew and I have that deal, where we ask for what we want as a gift and we will receive it. I have tried asking for a Marc Jacobs Hillier Q Hobo, and he went to the store looking for it and walked out when he saw the price. Hehe, in my defense, I didn’t think he would even consider buying it as I did tell him the price. I don’t really believe in best friends, but I think Matthew is as close to a best friend as I will ever have.

Now, I’ll let you in on a secret – okay, maybe not so secret – reading hyped books/watching hyped movies is a great way to make lunch conversation. I’m always itching to talk to more people at work but a lot of people I know are very sporty, into hiking, biking, racing, glacier walking, snowboarding, etc. Me? I’m more of your indoor person who is lucky to have been born tanned so I don’t have to fake a tan to look as if I did not stay indoors the whole weekend. So even though I look like I have been doing some extreme sport, I have not. So I need some nice topics to talk to people about, over lunch, hence reading hyped books/watching hyped movies…even if there is a high chance I might not like them.

Going out of your comfort zone is always a good thing, right? (Now don’t use that reason against me to convince me to try out skiing or snowboarding :))

Anyway, back to the book. Gosh, since when was I such a long-winded, digresser (I’m sure it is a word)?

“One Day” is about two people who are complete opposites – Dexter and Emma. Dexter is born in a rich family, has no care for the world, does not like discussing politics and has not much ambition. He does like how he looks, though. Emma, on the other hand, is always angry about something, usually politics. She is always boycotting something, wears big, NHS issued, glasses and wants to change the world.

Emma knows of Dexter’s existence but until the last day of university, they never spoke. And then they do. They become friends and the rest of the book shows us what happens every year on 15th of July. The book starts at 1988 and ends 20 years later. The characters are so real that at times I wish I could have called up Dexter and Emma and tell them to stop wasting their time and get together already. You know? Those two friends you know, who are always picking on each other, and definitely have a soft spot for each other – but they insist they are just friends? And all you want to do is knock their heads together so they will realize that they have been wrong all along.

This is one of those books. But it’s not like the characters are pining after each other. They are not. They are living their lives and dating other people and making things happen (or not happen). The story gives you a glimpse of their lives each year, on 15th July. So you don’t actually know the whole story. You have to guess things from time to time and read between the lines a little bit. This is something new for me because mostly when you read a book, you know the whole story of all the characters. Most stories don’t leave little gaps for you to fill in yourself, based on something the characters say a year or two later. Another thing is that the story does not skim over the uncomfortable parts – you get to read about it too – and experience what the character is experiencing.

If you’re looking for something interesting to read, please get this book. Of course it has it’s own set of cliches and annoying bits, but which book doesn’t? 🙂

Review: Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencil

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Shadow Pencils

Urban Decay’s edgy makeup really appeals to me. I have a few of their palettes and definitely cannot live without their eyeshadow primer potions. Hence, I was very tempted to try out some of their eyeshadow pencils that were launched January this year.

I love the texture of these pencils, they glide on wonderfully well. I plan to use Barracuda and Wasteland as crease or outer corner colours and Clinic as an eyeliner. Let’s see how my plans pan out. For now here are some not-so-perfect, overly flash-lit swatches:

Swatches of Clinic, Wasteland and Barracuda on NW43 Skin Tone

These colours look richer in real. For your reference, I’m a very stubborn NW43 brown girl who believes that with the right base, brown girls can rock just about any colour 🙂

My only question for Urban Decay is: When are you coming to Norway? 🙂

Review: Chanel Black Pearl

When it comes to painting my nails, I’m very picky. Often I paint and remove a few times until I get it to look perfect. Sometimes, by the time I am done painting all 10 fingers, I realize I don’t really like the colour anymore.

But, picky me has fallen in love with this particular nail polish.

Chanel Black Pearl in Daylight

Isn’t she beautiful? I think it’s a beautiful colour and I see myself wearing it quite often. Hence, I actually picked up a backup recently. I thought there won’t be much stock for this colour as rumours were that it was limited edition. However, I keep seeing it at duty free all the time so I thought I should take advantage of the opportunity and get a spare 😉