Bespoke Beauty :: My Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Atelier Renard SLG

Bespoke Beauty, Perfumed Leather Perfection

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                                                                                                                            Credit- AtelierRenard.com

Now normally I don’t talk to much about my luxury items on here except for beauty, skincare and of course fragrance. But I do also collect and have an appreciation for bags and small leather goods (SLGs). Recently my SA at Neiman Marcus let me know about a special trunk show they were having, and about some very incredible little SLGs from Atelier Renard and Francis Kurkdjian.

When my SA told me about these pieces I was instantly excited. I love the history behind fragrances. How is spans and intertwines with different times, cultures and religions. And I was always fascinated with the perfumed gloves of the 17th century. So when I found out one of my favorite houses (and noses) was partnering with a master leather workshop to create special perfumed leather items I knew this was something I had to check out.

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Francis Kurkdjian and Brigitte Montaut looking through leather samples and notes. Credit FrancisKurkdjian.com

 

I think what really fascinates me about this collaboration between these two masters of their craft is that at started with a bag: That Bag then created a spark of admiration, respect which then blossomed and breathed life into a beautifully perfect collaboration.

The pieces range from single card cases to twin sets: in either American Alligator or Calfskin. In an assortment of colors you can really find just about anything you would want looks wise. SMELL wise the fragrance is unreal!

It’s safe to say I LOVE leather fragrances, so the beautiful resinous and rich fragrance paired with the supple leather is something truly special. I wish Francis Kurkdjian would make a fragrance like that with the leather. It reminds me very much of Grand Soir and Cologne Pour le Soir. The fragrance is supposed to last at least 2 years so I am excited to be able to enjoy this for that long!

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Me comparing my choices to my current SLGs in Use (Bottega Veneta Cardcase, LV Key Holder and Prada Saffiano Leather Wallet). That Green Alligator was almost the winner, but I got the calfskin twinset instead. Photo Credit, Me

Overall I am completely enraptured with the quality of my piece and the fragrance. It’s a beautiful union of 2 perfect worlds colliding to create something amazing. I am looking forward to what they have in store for us in the future!

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Alligator and Calfskin Twinsets in a beautiful assortment of colors. Credit Atelierrenard.com

Purchase

I was lucky to be able to experience these firsthand. They are not available online, only in select Bergdorf Goodman Stores and Certain Maison Francis Kurkdjian boutiques. I would contact them directly to see what is available.

Articles and Additional Information

Review of my piece is up on my Youtube Channel.

This is NOT a sponsored post. 

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Frozen in a Bottle | The Fragrance of Norway :: My Interview with Geir Ness

I was asked to review a new fragrance, Frozen in a Bottle, which was a collaboration between Disney, and Norwegian Perfumer- Geir Ness. Overall it was a very positive experience. The fragrance itself was beautiful, transportive, and a genuine pleasure to wear. Starting off sweet and somewhat icy, it enveloped you in luscious floral and herbal notes. I am a fan. So when I also had to opportunity to interview Geir Ness, I jumped on the chance. I have been familiar with him for quite some time, having worn, and enjoyed his first fragrance, Laila, for a good long while. However I didn’t want to do a standard interview. Rather I wanted to talk to him, pick his brain, and find out what made Frozen in a Bottle so special.

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Our conversation wasn’t to long, as we both are busy (him much more then myself). But if I could say one thing about the entire conversation was the pride he took in creating this fragrance, as well as how meticulously he crafted it. He told me he wanted to invoke, not just the movie, but Norway in and of itself. The beauty and splendor if it’s environment. After being approached to craft FiaB, he spent several weeks in Norway gathering herbs, flowers, and somewhat communing with everything, figuring out the best way to tackle his chosen task. Laila, and his masculine fragrance – Geir, are both sold in Disney’s Epcot Norway Pavilion. So when Disney approached him,  they knew what to expect when reaching out to Geir to craft their first real, signature fragrance. Having taken about 2 years to create and tireless effort, Frozen in a Bottle went live in March.

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If you have experienced Laila, you can definitely feel that same heart in Frozen in a bottle. Lighter, and a bit less sweet then Laila, it’s easy to see why it had such a positive response when it was launched. Not only drawing on Frozen’s already, cult like following. You had a lot of people also genuinely excited to experience something transportive, unique, yet very wearable. Geir said some people picked this out to wear on their wedding day, and it is easy to see why. Sweet, light, and refreshing, Frozen in a Bottle hits all the marks. Fragrances like this need to have mass appeal, and in a lot of ways compromises have to be met. Either in the formula, packaging, marketing and quality. Even if a lot of concessions had to be made, you couldn’t tell that in the final product. From the beautiful icy blue bottle and packaging, to the lovely wildflower and herbal notes to the juice, Everything was carefully picked out. Lavender was added to represent the end of the movie. And the together of two sisters, calming, pretty, clean and beautiful. The packaging’s beautiful blue hue was chosen to invoke light (it is also his favorite color) . Everything was very deliberate, yet when it all came together it was an effortless final product. You can almost feel the crisp breeze when you wear this, and smell the herbs and wild flowers, and most importantly, you can really identity Norway in this fragrance.

This fragrance isn’t the only thing in this lineup either. A shimmering hand and body cream, as well as a giftset are other things you can get your hands on if you enjoy this fragrance. On top of Laila, FiaB, and Geir he also has his own skincare line, The Skin of Norway. With moisturizers, Mist and serums, you have a plethora of amazing products to try as well.

Overall I greatly enjoyed speaking with him, and was very honored he took time out of his very busy schedule to talk with me. I learned a lot about the creative process in creating fragrances. And most importantly I got to experience his passion and expertise first hand! He told me he was most excited to really represent Norway and all its beauty with this fragrance, and I think he did it marvelously!

Here is some fun little tidbits

  • Geir’s Top 3 Favorite Disney Movies- Frozen, Lilo and Stitch, Zootopia
  • Describe FiaB in 7 words or less- Fresh, Clean, Light, Happy, All Ages

My Frozen in a Bottle YouTube Review-

You can purchase any of the fragrances right off of Geir’s Site, Laila.com

Beautiful Fragrance Dupes Perfect for Mother’s Day!

Hello hello!

I was really honored to have had MaxAroma.com contact me and ask me to review dupe/clone fragrance house La Rive. Now I had heard of La Rive before, and I have heard a lot of good things. The fragrance itself is manufactured in France, and everything is put together and sent out from Poland.

I am very skeptical of dupes/clones myself. Usually they smell very synthetic, and don’t do a good job of really capturing the fragrance they are supposed to be emulating, but I was very surprised with these. I found the juice to be very close to what they were duplicating, and in some cases they were twins! The other thing I loved about them was the price point. At Max Aroma, they were all $20 or less.

Overall I enjoyed them, and have been happily wearing them and enjoying them. If you want to see my full review of each I will linkmy Youtube video below! I think these would make amazing gifts for anyone who loves fragrances! And its a great way to save a few bucks too!

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Fragrances

  • Chatte– Dupe for Chanel No 5
  • Cute- Dupe for Chloe EDT (newer version)
  • Cash– Dupe for Paco Rabanne Lady Million
  • Fleur de Femme– Dupe for Dior Hypnotic Poison, Poison Girl
  • Madame in Love– Dupe for Gucci Flora by Gucci
  • Tender– Dupe for Calvin Klein’s Euphoria?
  • Beauty- Dupe for Giorgio Armani Si, Givenchy Dahlia Divin
  • Pearl– Dupe for Hugo Boss Jour Pour Femme ?
  • Lady Diamond– Dupe for Lady Million too (Cash is better/closer IMHO)

You can get them from Max Aromas Website, and to save a few more bucks use my code “Kristin” at checkout. You can save 10% on all La Rive Purchases!

 

Again I really enjoyed all of these fragrances, and think they would make perfect gifts, especially if you are on a budget!

 

The links are all affiliate links, but this is not a sponsored post

My FAVORITE Grab & Go Fragrances

Salutations friends!

I have been super busy and active on my YOUTUBE CHANNEL! But I haven’t forgotten about this blog either. I have bigger plans for BeautyMeow.com, so get excited! In any case I thought it would be fun to share with you my favorite Grab and Go Fragrances! These are easy and effortless fragrances I don’t have to think about or worry about. I can grab any one of these,  spritz on me, and know I will smell amazing!!

I am sharing the video below but you can just read my list below if you want! I will list them all along with notes! ❤

Fragrances Mentioned

Creed Acqua Fiorentina

Notes- Apple, Bergamot, Prune, pear, Carnation, Lemon

Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb La Vie En Rose

Notes- Tangerine, Rose, Bergamot, Patchouli

by Kilian Bamboo Harmony

Notes- Neroli, Bergamot, Mate, Fig, White Tea, Oakmoss

Jo Malone Wild Bluebell

Notes- Bluebell, Musk, Rosehip, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley

Gucci Bamboo

Notes- Ylang Ylang, Amberm Orangle Blossom, Sandalwood

Lolita Lempicka

Notes- Tonka Bean, Violet, Anise Seed, Vanilla and Musk

Bvlgari Rose Essentielle

Notes- Rose, Patchouli, Blackberry

Micallef Mon Parfum

Notes- Passionfruit, Vetiver, Mandarin, Musk, Patchouli

Library of Flowers Wildflower and Fern

Notes- Cucumber, Davana, Honeysuckle

Armani Prive Rose Alexanderie

Notes- Rose, Neroli, Bergamot, Benzoin, Mandarin

 

These are just a few but the ones I love the most!!!! Id love to know what your faves are!

XOXO-Kristin

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Etsy Indie Brand Spotlight :: Cinis Labs, Fragrances, Beard Oils and more!

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I was really excited to be able to review this Etsy Indie brand, Cinis Labs.

Cinis Labs, operated and owned by Donnie Bovi specializes in Beard Oils, Unisex Fragrances, and Fragrance Supplies. They also sell pomades and other items as well. I  was interested in reviewing his fragrances and when I contacted Donnie about what products he would recommend I purchase to review he recommended a lot of amazing things. He also gave me pretty much most of his line to review. Fragrances, beard oils, and his new hair pomade. Since I don’t have a beard I gave some of it to some bearded buddies to try out, as well as some of the pomade, and some fragrances. I am going to have a youtube video on the fragrances, but I wanted to give his amazing products the review they deserve!

About Donnie and Cinis Labs

 

Story Behind Cinis Labs

I was never a big fan of perfumes, to me it was always like: Oh you smell nice, what is it? -It’s that brand.And I hated when I would smell a fragrance that I knew or owned on someone and I would recognize it. To me it just made it a bit less personal, it was more who you are wearing rather than what you smell like.
I was at a party one day about 6 years ago, and someone there smelled so good, that I kept getting closer, I couldnt help myself, I just wanted to smell more and more. So I asked him what he was wearing and he said: Molecule01.
I did my research and I discovered the ingredient (iso-e-super) and how it amplifies someones natural scent, I go my hands on it and I kept getting compliments. Then I thought maybe I should mix it up with something like cedarwood and see what happends.
Long story short, I got my hands on a few oils and I started mixing them up to try new scents. The more people would compliment the way I smelled the more oils I would get and experiment. After that I started doing more research on how to make a perfume last longer, stronger etc. A few thoussand dollars later, I realised that maybe I should try to make some money out of it, so I can keep going. So whenever someone would compliment the way I smelled I would explain that I make it myself and see if they wanted to buy some. thats how it started I guess. Its really more of a hobby still, I have never done any marketing or advertising and never tried to promote my products in any way. Whenever I come up with something I think is good i just list it and people just find my products and buy them.

When did you start Cinis Lab?

I started it in April.

What was the inspiration for your store and products?

I was mainly interested in making perfumes. I had ideas that I thought were weird, unusual, and wanted top make fragrances that I would wear. I have never tried to think what would be popular, everything I’ve tried mixing is because it made sense to me.
When I am mixing my oils I usually take old school fragrances and give them a twist. I also mix scents based on memories, from places or times in my life.My fragrance unholy water for example, has notes that i remember from my childhood, flowers, trees church. I added the twist, and holy water (from the church memories) became unholy.
Now the beard oils and the rest of the products are products that I wanted to make for myself once again. Made them, tried them, I thought they worked, I gave some to friends, I got great feedback, so I thought I’d start selling some of that too.

Where would you like to see this shop/brand go… in the next year, 5 years, beyond?

I want to make more products, like lotions, hair products, with cool scents. I do not have a business plan, it’s just something I do in my free time, a hobby. Having said that, sales keep rising in these first four months and that makes me think maybe I should see it more seriously.

Any new products, fragrances you plan on coming out with?

I want to launch a hair/beard putty, I am already working on it. I want to make it in all the scents the beard oils come in. Hopefully I will build some stock and launch it this month.
This week I am launching a new fragrance that I am very proud of. It is very niche and I am addicted to it and wearing it every day, I get comments everywhere I go. It smells like gasoline, motor oil, steel and spices. yes, gasoline. Its sharp, icy, musky
I call it “Fueled up

Beard Oil and Pomade Review

Firstly before I get into what my friends thought, I used the oils and pomade in my hair. I loved the way they made my hair smell, added a nice fragrance, and also I really loved how the pomade worked, how long it lasted, and how easy it was to use. Generally all of Cinis Labs products are unisex, so you can really use them however you want, I just wanted to add my initial thoughts on these items!

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The beard oils I got were

The Pomade was Rosewood/Oud/Amber (which isn’t available just yet)

Overall everyone really liked the oils. The feedback I got was that the oils really helped condition their facial hair, and the fragrances were unique and also not overpowering in a way that would make them not be worn. Distinguished manliness was mentioned, as well as “Where can I buy this for when I run out!?” The pomade was also liked as well. helped mainain the beard, their hairstyles (and mine) and was also very pleasantly fragranced (I LOVE the smell of it, OMFG). Friends and skeptics turned into believes (and future sales I am sure) and came with glowing recommendations.

The other thing they seemed to really get behind was the price. Cinis Labs products are extremely reasonable for the quality! ($9.50 for a 30 ml and $16.50 for 60 ml) so if you wanted to try a few things it won;t break the bank or hurt your wallet.

Also something else I’d like to add is the Customer Service and communication Donnie provided. Fast, courteous, and knowledgable about his products and brand!

 

Fragrances

I also picked up a few fragrances, but I will be doing a youtube video on them so I can get more into longevity of the perfume, how it smells, and things like that!

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Fragrances I got

Overall Impressions

Overall I really liked and enjoyed all the products I received. My friends loved them and really are psyched to use them more, and also become customers of Donnie’s. Cinis Labs is a no brainer. If you are looking for very unique fragrances that are deep, woody, and substantial, and want to support a small business and get an amazing product at an amazing price then Cinis Labs is definitely the place! Need a unique gift for a father, boyfriend and beard aficionado, definitely check them out!

Brand Grade and Product Grade- A+

Cinis Lab Store on Etsy

 

 

 

Unboxing :: 2 Fragrances from Anthropologie

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I went into Anthropologie this week and whenever I go there I always make a beeline to their little Fragrance area. I fell in love with a bunch of fragrances but I behaved and only bought 2.

I got English Rose from Royal Apothic, and She Found Quiet in His Wild from Fictions

I will probably do a review on these soon so I won’t go to much into them. But they are both very lovely floral fragrances with a touch of much. English rose is, well more rose fragranced, and The one from fictions is a little brighter, and fruitier.

The packaging for these both was really lovely. English rose came in a velvet lined wooden box, and the fictions fragrance came in a packaging that resembled a book!

the pics….

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I adore the bottle.

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What I found really clever was the information on the perfumer and graphic artist of the packaging was presented as a removable bookmark within the package

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I think these both will make great summer scents, and I can’t wait to wear them!

REVIEW :: Pink Cherry Blossom Perfume from ETUDE House

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So from my recent ETUDE House haul I got the Pink Cherry Blossom Set. Came with their Play 101 pencils in very pretty colors, hand cream, all over spray and this Eau De Toilette. I really love sweet feminine perfumes and I thought this would be a nice one to try out. The set was inexpensive, and it came with so much that if I didn’t end up liking this I wouldn’t feel bad.

It has notes of Violet, Cherry, Cherry Blossom, Musk and is very very sweet.

First Impressions

When first sprayed out of the bottle this is VERY sweet. Almost sickeningly sweet. And a little goes a long way. One spritz was enough for me to get on my wrists and dab on my neck. Immediately the sweetness mellows out and you get a hint of musk. This exchange of notes right away is really very nice. It is a very candy sweet scent, but the way the notes are playing together it doesn’t feel juvenile (we all know this super sweet perfumes we had when we were 7) I wouldn’t say this is mature, but it  is very playful. The notes go really well together, it is very fresh, sweet and pleasant. And the little hint of musk makes it come together very nicely.

Long Wear Impressions

After wearing this for about 3 hours you have to reapply. This may because I live in a very humid environment, but it is something to consider. It doesn’t immediately dissipate but it is something you would want to reapply if you wanted to smell like this all day. The notes the longer you wear it get lighter and sweeter. You lose a lot of the musk, and get more violet the longer you wear. But it is still very playful, pleasant and nice.

Overall Impression

If you LOVE sweet perfumes this is definitely one to try! Its not an overpowering sweetness, but a very bright and playful sweetness, and the floral and musk in it make it very nice. It does go on very heavy at first, and it doesn’t stay on the body to long. But overall I think it is something very sweet, and special and would work well for most ages, especially if you like very sweet and floral perfumes. Plus the bottle is cute to boot!

Grade- B + (would have been an A if it had lasted longer)

Review – Stella McCartney POP Perfume

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One thing that can make me almost instantly buy any perfume is to use the words Tuberose. I LOVE Tuberose, it’s one of my favorite scents,and its hard to find any perfume that really carries it it. So when I heard about Stella McCartney’s Perfume POP, I had to go out and buy it.

This scent is very unique. With notes of Tuberose, Violet, Musk and Sandalwood you would think it would have a nice deep complex floral fragrance, however it initially has a very cheap smell.

First Impressions

When I first put it on and for about 45 minutes afterwards it smelled similar to so many other cheap perfumes. To much musk, not enough delicate notes, and it almost needed a touch of brightness. I didn’t get any notes of tuberose, and that left me feeling a little dejected.

Longer Wear Impressions

After awhile of wearing it, I started to pick up the middle notes of Tuberose, and even a faint smell of violet. It got a lot more delicate smelling, and sweeter the longer it wore. The musk smell was finally playing nice with the other scents, which was exciting but….

At this point the perfume was wearing away. The length it lasted on me was about 3 hours before I had to reapply. I can usually get 5-6 hours from certain perfumes. So I had to deal with the cheap smell of the perfume all over again.

Final Thoughts

I know each and every perfume smells and reacts differently for each person. So this review is purely based on how it smelled on me, my initial expectations, and opinions.

Overall it’s ok. I was hoping for more tuberose, and after I finally got to it, I had to reapply because the scent was so faint it was like I was barely wearing anything at all. PLUS the perfume didn’t last long on me at all!

I will be using this, because once you get through the overtly musk cheap perfume smell its really quite divine, so maybe, mayyybbbeee I can find that sweet spot to be able to get the smell I was promised (and I know it can achieve) without having to reapply 3 times a day

Grade – C

 

 

Some of My Favorite Fragrances

I am a SUCKER for perfume. REALLY, it’s bad. I can’t even walk within 10 feet of any perfume counter without buying something!

So I have about 50 bottles and about 150 samples of different perfumes, I try to rotate everyday between different scents, but there are a few that are definitely my most favorite, the ones I usually go for first, or wear any time of the year (a TRAVESTY I know).

Here are some of my favorites, and in no order.

Bvlgari – Rose Essentielle

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This is my FAVORITE rose scent. Its lovely, and deep and has beautiful notes of Rose, Sandalwood, and a touch of musk! I wear this at least 3 times a week.

 

Maison Francis Kurkdjian – Aqua Universalis Forte

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This is a lovely, vibrant and bright scent. I usually wear it in the spring and summer. Beautiful notes of Citrus and delicate flowers. Also he has developed some of my most favorite scents from other houses as well. The man is a genius!

Bvlgari – Au The Vert

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Springy and citrusy green tea fragrance! I care a travel size of this in my purse everywhere I go. Its so clean smelling, and luscious!

Other Top contenders where

Le Labo – Baie Rose 26 – slightly sweet with allspice, cloves, rose and musk. I am all out, and since they make these perfumes in small batches I have to wait until I can get another bottle

Lolita Lempicka – Sour Cherries, Lily of the valley and a touch of licorice

Maison Francis Kurkdjian -Oud Cashmere Mood – Sweet Oud smell, thats nice and rick smelling with a touch of vanilla.