You might recall my previous posts about my new favorite perfume house: the all-natural and stunningly exquisite Strange Invisible Perfumes. Perfumery is a rarefied and delicate art and the nose behind Strange Invisible, Alexandra Balahoutis, is a true artist, passionate about her craft and committed to preserving the traditions of fine perfumery, while bringing them into the 21st Century. I had the privilege of interviewing Alexandra for ANFGB and I am thrilled to give you a peek into her mind and world.
Perfume junkies are a funny breed. They can spend hours on fragrance forums, debating silage, base notes and the advantages of oud over guaiac. They yearn for the rarified and the exclusive and wouldn’t think twice about spending a few hundred dollars on a bottle of perfume. I am nowhere near that obsessed, but I am certainly an “at risk” demographic: I cannot remember the last time I have bought a “designer” perfume, I turn up my nose at the mass-market and the generic, I fangirl over perfumers (Olivia Giacobetti! Swoon!) and my favorite scents are, to my chagrin, wincingly expensive. My perfume snobbery also means that, despite a few notable exceptions, I remained fairly unimpressed with the natural perfume offerings available to the green beauty consumer. Some of the scents, though lovely, were too simplistic, others skewed too sweet and vanilla-y and I even found Honoré des Prés, the green perfume line created by my beloved Olivia Giacobetti, to be dispiritingly insipid and banal.
My posts tend to be rather long (I do ramble on, don’t I?), so in this series of short posts I am going to highlight some of my favorite products that pack a strong punch despite their smaller size.
If you have read my previous Small Miracles posts, you might have noticed that the products I highlight in them tend to be ones that I consider to have universal appeal: so far I have featured a multi-use healing balm and a calming face oil in a portable vial. The selection in this post, however, is pretty much the exact opposite. In fact, perfume is so personal and individual that I am always aghast at the idea of giving scent as a present to anyone, but a person you know exceptionally well (and even then it might be better to ask them what they prefer or have a snoop around their vanity).
This is the time of the year when gift guides pop up all over the place. This week, HH is jumping on the bandwagon with present ideas for all the colorful characters in your life. Up first: the best gifts for a Bombshell.
Ahh, the Bombshell! The tides of fashion may change from grunge to minimalism to punk, but the Bombshell is eternal: her heels ever precarious, her lipstick bold, her curves dangerous. The Bombshell kind of femininity may seem like a throwback, but what could be more modern than loving one’s curves and being unafraid of one’s power and sexuality? As far as I am concerned, all of us can use a little Bombshell flair in our lives every once in a while and these gifts can bring out the inner Marilyn in even the shyest of tomboys.
Of all the senses, smell is perhaps the most personal. Affected by personal preferences and prejudices, influenced by memories and experiences, modified by personal chemistry: one person’s heavenly scent is another’s stink bomb. This is why it always troubled me that practically every green beauty review out there speaks of the smell of the products being reviewed in the most superlative of terms. Sure, smell is one of the big advantages of green beauty: instead of a chemical fragrance, natural products smell like the very precious ingredients that make them so effective. Still, this very naturalness can be a problem.