A 2012 launch I was extremely excited for was Chanel’s new fragrance Coco Noir. The scent is the third in the Coco franchise, joining 1984’s Coco and 2001’s Coco Mademoiselle. As a loyal servant to Coco Mademoiselle, I had to test it’s counterpart.
Created by Jacques Polge, master perfumer at Chanel, Coco Noir marks a return to Oriental fragrances for the House. Recalling his journey to unveil the mystery of black through fragrance, Monsieur Polge explains, “The night vision of the ‘Orient that starts and ends in Venice’ imposed itself upon me, and that is where I wanted to go.”
Striking top notes of Grapefruit and Calabrian Bergamot accentuate the floral accord with Rose and Jasmine, while Indonesian Patchouli, Sandalwood and Bourbon Vanilla notes add warmth to the seductive scent.
The Coco fragrances by Chanel are very personal to me. My mother has worn Chanel Coco ever since I can remember which is why I believe I am so drawn to it’s younger sibling Coco Mademoiselle. As for the newest family member, Coco Noir is an exquisite fragrance that reeks of sophistication and luxury. Saved for a very special occasion, this is no versatile, everyday perfume. One day I will graduate to Coco Noir’s level of sophistication, but as of yet I feel I am still too young.
There is often a misconception about the use of oil on the face. I believe that the term “oil-free” has brainwashed us to reject these magnificent moisturizers. Face oils can be more effective at hydrating the skin than a cream or gel-based moisturizer. Oil is able to sink to the surface of the skin and penetrate two of the five layers of the epidermal, producing quicker results. They nourish the skin, adding powerful vitamins and antioxidants, and help balance the skin’s natural oil production.
The best face oils are all-natural products made from pure oils and other plant-based ingredients. If a product combines oil with synthetic fillers, it looses it’s effectiveness. Here are my four favorites:
Rodin Olio Lusso Luxury Face Oil: Formulated with an aromatic blend of 11 essential oils, this opulent oil relies on flowers and botanicals for their calming and illuminating properties. A staple of many top pros and makeup artists, this oil can be used to take makeup off, to moisturize and as a massage oil (expensive massage oil?). Add a couple drops to foundation to create a dewy finish or pat on the cheekbones and undereyes for a beautiful, fresh glow. Just a few drops will make your skin look radiant. Use as an alternate or supplement to your moisturizer and apply whenever your face needs a pick-me-up.
Creator, Linda Rodin spent over a year mixing oils in her bathroom (in a coffee cup) to make the elixir to satisfy all her beauty needs. She does not promise miracles–she is neither a chemist nor a scientist. She is interested in simple, natural products that work. In her own words, “the product makes skin look more alive”.
SUTI Nourish Organic Face Oil for Night: A potent blend of 15 plant and flower extracts that strengthen the skin and promotes the regrowth of skin cells while you sleep. Formulated with Avocado, Sesame, Patchouli and Bergamot to heal, replenish and plump-up dehydrated skin; Macadamia and Geranium to balance the production of sebum (the skin’s natural oil production) for healthy moisture retention; Argan Oil to calm irritated, inflamed and blemished skin and Apricot Kernel to help promote dermal elasticity. This combination is intensively “nourish”-ing, luxurious, and smells of fragrant jasmine. Skin looks glowing, bright and plump in the morning, like you’ve just had a wonderful night’s sleep.
SUTI is created by two sister-in-laws Suzannah and Tina (the “Su” and “Ti”). SUTI is a small, impeccably crafted line from the UK that uses only sustainably sourced, organically grown ingredients, hand-blended into the finest and gentlest of facial oils, balms and tonics.
Alpha-H Age Delay Facial Oil: A preventative and corrective solution formulated with nine of nature’s finest oils: Apricot Oil for it’s protection and softening properties; Rose Hip Oil to repair and strengthen: Wheat Germ to nourish; Calendula to regenerate; Carrot Oil to improve skin texture and miximize moisture levels; Frankincense for it’s firming and toning benefits; German Chamomile to soothe; Lavender to heal; Patchouli to aid in repairing cells and balance the skin. This facial oil is a synergistic mix that works to slow the aging process by protecting the skin against free radical damage, repair cell damage and sun damage. Deeply hydrates and firms the skin for instant, noticeable results. Your skin will drink this oil up and immediately feel soothed and nourished.
Australia’s leading professional salon treatment brand, Alpha-H pioneered the use of fruit acids in skin care nearly 20 years ago. Their cult cosmeceutical formulas are endorsed by a global following of clinicians, make-up artists and beauty writers and are relied upon by thousands of therapists worldwide for their fast and visible results on signs of ageing, sun damage, sensitivity and acne.
Nothing gets me more excited for summer than Bobbi Brown’s beach Fragrance. Layered with notes of jasmine, sea spray and mandarin, it is truly summer in a bottle.
An intoxicating combination of suntan lotion, salty sea and sand, the scent is comforting and nostalgic. The full line of Bobbi Brown’s beach Fragrance include: Body Lotion, Body Oil, Body Scrub, Shower Gel and Fragrance. The products are designed to keep skin glowing and hydrated all summer long. When layered, these products will also keep the fragrance locked-in for hours.
Use these products on a particularly gloomy day when you need a little pick-me-up. The refreshing scent will instantly recall memories of warm sunny days and a calm sea breeze.
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Mask is hands down the best smelling hair product I have ever used.
After the long summer, a deep nourishing hair treatment is needed to rescue damaged dull hair. Sun, salt and wind can take a toll on both hair and scalp.
Carol’s Daughter Monoi Repairing Mask is a decadent hair treatment. It contains Monoi Oil that deeply nourishes, Bamboo Water to strengthen and Hydrolyzed Silk to fortify hair against future damage.
I use this mask out of the shower on clean hair and sleep in it. It smells of jasmine and monoi that is incredibly invigorating. The next morning my hair is not greasy or weighed down. Hair becomes extremely soft, shiny, fragrant and manageable.
As a bath fanatic, I am always on the hunt for luxurious bath products that nourish the skin and indulge the senses. Kai Bathing Bubbles satisfy all of my bath criteria with it’s intoxicating scent and moisturizing properties.
Kai is a fragrance created by Gaye Straza Rappaport who wanted to capture the aroma of her vacations in Hawaii. The scent is a blend of gardenia, jasmine, tuberose and lilly with gardenia being the prominent note.
When added to a hot bath, this product creates foaming bubbles that perfume the entire room. The bathing bubbles formula blend moisturizing argan oil with coconut and sugar to leave the skin hydrated, supple and glowing.
When drawing a bath, I tend to add a lot of product to produce a sufficient amount of bubbles. However, Kai Bathing Bubbles is very concentrated and a small squirt will engulf the entire tub.