Meccaland 2019: Sydney, Australia

On May 18th 2019, my best friend Sandra and I met at Redfern Station and headed on our way to the locomotive warehouse where the second annual Meccaland was being held for 2019. From the moment of lining up, we could hear the music playing inside and see all the energy happening around us. A lovely host came and applied sparkle to our faces to give us a huge highlight glow! It was exciting as we got our FUN PASS tickets ready for receiving our wristbands. It wasn’t too long of a wait before we were walking inside. The entrance was filled with bright neon lights that curved over a tunnel.

As you can see, the neon light bars that formed the entrance tunnel were extremely pretty and bright. There was also cheerleaders dancing with pom poms to welcome the festival goers. It was quite evident already, Mecca had gone to a great level of effort for this event and it was HUGE! There were signs everywhere explaining what direction each booth was in, the centre stage and of course, the food!

Meccaland: The 411
Mecca land is a huge beauty festival held by host Mecca Maxima/Mecca Cosmetica, the major retailer of all things beauty in Australia, as you’ll likely know. In this event, Mecca invites multiple skincare and makeup brands to participate. Brands that included Too Faced, By Terry, MAC, Ciate, Clinique, Lanolips, Foreo, YSL, Drunk Elephant, Living Proof, GHD, Origins, Hourglass, NARS, Stila, Tatcha, Go-To Skincare, Bumble, Million Dollar Beauty, Kate Somerville, Lancome, Pathology, Mecca’s own Mecca MAX and many more! By that, it means setting up a booth and showcasing their latest releases and offerings, whilst also sharing knowledge, tips and tricks, advice and performing makeovers or other beauty services to festival goers who’ve booked in. It gives attendees the chance to purchase limited edition product that hasn’t yet officially released in the country. Pretty amazing, right? Wait till you see the setups and booths!

The Booths
There were so many areas to explore, all split into different ‘worlds’. Named ‘Temple Of You’, ‘The Wildflowers’, ‘Poster Park’, ‘City Of Lights’ and ‘The Queendom’. There was a theme to everything and the entire atmosphere morphed everybody there into a whole new world of all things BEAUTY. I tried to take photos of as many booths as I could, they were all decorated perfectly and had such a high energy vibe! Including the gorgeous ‘House of Drunk’ by Drunk Elephant and the ‘Isle Of Paradise’ swings. It was like one big playground for beauty lovers, including a see-saw near the Foreo booth, the slides at the Too Faced booth, the silk swings at MAC, and the globe swing chair at the NARS booth. The brands got very creative and you can see the amount of effort that went into the whole festival..

The Exclusive Products On Offer
There were many different new and limited edition products on offer from many of the brands. Including exclusive releases just for the special beauty festival. Ciate were releasing a whole new Jessica Rabbit collection and it is so beautiful! Hourglass were also releasing a new blush and lipgloss exclusively for Meccaland. Check out the next few photos for a good look at these special releases..

Stila Cosmetics also had a few new releases on show and they were also stunning. They included a new Heaven’s Hue Highlighter and the Lingerie Soufflé Skin Perfecting Color, they both looked incredible and the highlighter swatched so well! Stila is a company that I really love, I particularly like their eyeshadows and liquid lipsticks. Check out their new releases below..

The Meccaland Decor
As mentioned before, Meccaland had multiple worlds, and a theme for each world. The atmosphere was truly amazing, with lots of bright lights and fun playground featured booths and so many photo opportunities for event goers. There was really something for everyone. Attendees could also purchase exclusive new products before official release and each person who attended the event got to pick up a special edition Mecca Beauty Loop box. I’ll share what I received in mine a bit later below in the post. For now, check out some of the special decor and setups the brands had created for their booths, including fragrance & fashion house brand Maison Margiela and makeup brand Laura Mercier..

As you can see, Mecca went above and beyond! How awesome are those life sized lipstick props? So cool! I really loved all the decorations and sparkly lighting, it added such a high energy vibe to the atmosphere. The day we went there was a A LOT of people also attending so at times it was hard to move around the grounds and get from A to B, but in the end we got there and got to tour around the entire area. I have a few more photos of the decor below including the main stage where the makeup demonstrations happened and guests spoke. There was also so much detail into the entrance of the venue with massive long strands of pink tinsel hanging down. There was also the gorgeous Mecca MAX ferris wheel that went around with event goers able to have a ride on it..

From brands such as Hourglass, Bumble, Lanolips, YSL, Kate Somerville and Ciate, there was a completely unique setup at each and every booth! I kind of went a little mad with the photos I was taking but I couldn’t resist snapping them all of as many booth’s as I could for the perfect photo memories from the event. Every single setup was fun and exciting, showcasing the brands’s NEW products and old classic ones as well. To see what the brands mentioned above had decorated their booths, check the following photos out..

There was also makeup stations fully setup with mirrors, ring lights, makeup wipes and cleansers; where event goers could have new products tried and tested on them, or they could even book services of staff makeup applications or simply swatching new products on their skin. There was a designated area with tables and chairs for people to sit down and have a rest or a bite to eat. And brand GHD had a booth set up for people to get their hair styled using the new GHD products. Westpac were also on-hand to provide the very important task of entertainment, see my photos of their display below, as well as the makeup stations.

Overall you can see that it was a huge event and a lot of people attended. My best friend Sandra and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and loved checking out the new releases on offer and what each brand had done for their booth. It was a terrific event and the 6 hour drive to Sydney from Victoria was well worth it! Next year I have a feeling the event will be held in Queensland, which might be a little too far for me to travel to, however I shall see if I can also make that one. It’s such a great beauty festival that Mecca puts on and all the participating brands. Have you ever been to the event before in either Melbourne or Sydney? What were your thoughts about it? I would to know! Until next time, have a great week ahead and I hope you enjoyed my walkthrough post from MECCALAND 2019.

Sampling The Scents: January 2019 – Tocca, Tory Burch, Jo Malone, Estee Lauder, BLVGARI & Prada

Hello and welcome to my first blog post for 2019; introducing the January 2019 edition of my ‘Sampling The Scents’ series. If you’re new here, this post will feature six different fragrance samples where I will share my thoughts on each scent and provide my own personal star rating. Without furthermore, lets dive into the fourth instalment of ‘Sampling The Scents‘. Starting it off for January 2019. Allow me to introduce this month’s scents for the series, featuring; Tocca – Cleopatra, Jo Malone – Pomegranate Noir, Tory Burch – Just Like Heaven, Prada – Candy Sugar Pop, Estee Lauder – Modern Muse Nuit and last but not least, BLVGARI – OMNIA Pink Sapphire. These samples have been included in various beauty orders I’ve made throughout the last year, lets go through each one..

The Fragrances and Their Notes

Tocca Cleopatra; starting off with top notes of cassis, grapefruit, green leaves and blackcurrant, with middle notes of peach, tuberose and jasmine, while ending with base notes of vanilla, musk, amber and patchouli. Released globally in May 2007, developed in collaboration by Tocca’s own world reknowned perfumer’s Ellen Molner, Sonia Constant and James Bell, ‘Cleopatra’ is inspired by the iconic Mediterranean seductress and reflects whats thought to be her personal favourite notes in sweet grapefruit, luxury Egyptian jasmine and rich Indian patchouli. The campaign for Cleopatra really began at the end of 2016 when Tocca announced briefly that they’ll be releasing a new in-house fragrance in 2007.. not long after it was announced with the title and debuted in May of 2007. Cleopatra went on to inspire further fragrances depicting from iconic women and other exotic locationsa from around the world.

Tory Burch Just Like Heaven; it starts off with top notes of hyacinth, rhubarb and mandarin orange, with middle notes of heliotrope and ylang ylang, while rounding it up with base notes of spicy tonka bean. ‘Just Like Heaven’ marks Tory’s tenth fragrance launch and was released in April 2018 with a launch event held at Manhattan, New York’s Le Coucou restuarant, guests included actress Mindy Kaling, model Chanel Iman, Sofia Sanchez among others with canadian singer Jessie Reyez performing The Cure’s song ‘Just Like Heaven’. All guests were handed an orange burch gift bag when they left. ‘Just Like Heaven’ is inspired by thoughts of luxury and dreams with a touch of femininity and consists of a citrus mixture in notes.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir; starts out with top notes of watermelon, plum, rhubarb, pomegranate and raspberry, with middle notes of clove, rose, pink pepper, jasmine, lily of the valley, frankincense, spicy woods, opoponax, guaiac wood and olibanum, rounding out with base notes of musk, amber, patchouli and virginia cedar. Released globally in December 2005 and was developed by perfumer Beverley Bayne. ‘Pomegranate Noir’ comes available in 30ml and 100ml size bottles.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit; it starts off with top notes of citrus, mandarin orange and cassis, with middle notes of heliotrope, chamomile and Chinese jasmine, it settles with base notes of Madagascar vanilla, musk, amber, spicy tonka bean, sandalwood and patchouli. ‘Modern Muse Nuit’ was released globally in October 2016 and the face of the campaign is model Kendall Jenner. The bottle is a tall, slim golden tower with a navy blue ombre upper topping. It comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 100ml size.

BLVGARI OMNIA Pink Sapphire; top notes of pink pepper, pink grapefruit, and pink pomelo, with middle notes of peach, frangipani, rose and tiare flower, and is based with sandalwood, orris root, musk, vanilla and woody notes. ‘OMNIA Pink Sapphire’ was inspired by taking chances, spontaneity and sweetness reflecting festive floral hues. Developed by perfumer Alberto Morillas, it was released globally in April 2018 with a launch event held at the Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles, CA. Guests included Amanda Cerny and Gala Gonzalez. The multiple faces of the fragrances campaign were Amanda Steele, Madison Beer and Margaret Zhang. The bottle design is the iconic BLVGARI ‘B’ with hot pink edges and chrome detailing. The fragrance comes available in a 25ml, 40ml and 65ml size.

Prada Candy Sugar Pop; top notes of bergamot leaf, citruses, red apple and bergamot, with middle notes of white peach and florals, and based with caramel and vanilla notes. ‘Candy Sugar Pop’ released globally in February 2018 and was developed by perfumer Daniela Andrier, the launch campaign was lead by model Lexi Bolling. It was inspired by original signature caramel fragrance ‘Candy’ from Prada, however this time with a fun ironic twist into youthfulness. The bottle is inspired by Prada’s own three-layered Saffiano bag with being a tall slim pastel pink with baby blue spin top lid, yellow bottom, white rim around the top and gold detailing in font and the trims. It is available in the 30ml, 50ml and 80ml sizes.

My Thoughts & Ratings
Some of these I have already bought as I loved them, others I have tested out over the last few months and have gathered my thoughts on each one, so lets head right into the ratings and break it down:


Tocca Cleopatra; this has easily became one of my favourite scents to date! It’s soft, light, feminine and floral.. just how I like my fragrances. I first tried this in-store at Mecca Maxima and I have loved it ever since. In Christmas 2017, I purchased a gift set from Tocca that included a rollerball size sample and then just last Christmas of 2019, I again purchased another Tocca gift set that was solely ‘Cleopatra’ and came with a rollerball sample and a mini deluxe size bottle. My mother was visiting for Christmas holidays recently and I introduced it to her, after showing her she loved it just as much so I do, so I gifted her one of the miniature bottles from the gift set. It is such a terrific scent and perfect for any occasion, even on a casual day. Rating: I will definitely give this one a 5/5 ★★★★★.

Tory Burch Just Like Heaven; …. Rating: I will give this one a 4/5 ★★★★☆.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir; I instantly notice the raspberry in this one, even over the pomegranate. It doesn’t necessarily open strong but it has a strength within it, there is a real sweet softness to it. Rating: I will give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit; … Rating: I will give this one a 5/5 ★★★★★.

BLVGARI OMNIA Pink Sapphire; … Rating: I will give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Prada Candy Sugar Pop; …. Rating: I will give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Where To Buy & Availability
Liked the sounds of one of the fragrances you saw on this post? Want to purchase it? I’ve got you covered! Please find below all the info you need on availability, pricing, locations, etc.

Tocca Cleopatra – the 50ml for $105 AUD at Mecca and the 50ml is also available for $138.95 AUD at Cosmetics Now Australia.

Tory Burch Just Like Heaven – the 50ml for $185.95 AUD at Cosmetics Now Australia.

Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir – the 30ml is $98 AUD at Myer and the 100ml is $198 AUD at Myer. The 30ml is $98 AUD at Jo Malone Australia and the 100ml is $198 AUD at Jo Malone Australia as well.

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit – the 50ml is $65 AUD at Priceline Australia, the 50ml is also available at Adore Beauty Official.

BLVGARI OMNIA Pink Sapphire – the 65ml is available for $102 AUD at Straberry.Net and the 40ml is also available for $84.50 AUD at Strawberry.Net.

Prada Candy Sugar Pop – the 50ml is available for $142 AUD at Myer and the 80ml is also available for $179 AUD at Myer as well.

Would I Purchase the Full Sizes?
With a couple of them, yes. I’ve already purchased Tocca ‘Cleopatra’ a number of times from <b>Mecca Maxima</b> and once my gift sets have ran out, I’ll purchase the full size bottle because I really LOVE it THAT much! I would also definitely purchase the full size of the Estee Lauder ‘Modern Muse Nuit’, it is a lovely fragrance. I tend to love soft floral hued scents and these two aforementioned are right up there! In terms of the Tory Burch ‘Just Like Heaven’, I feel its nice but not one I love enough to purchase a full bottle of. The same goes with BLVGARI ‘OMNIA Pink Sapphire’, it is a tad too sweet for me to want to fork out money on it, the Jo Malone ‘Pomegranate Noir’ isn’t a typical scent I would wear but I do love this one, so I think I would say yes I would purchase a bottle of that one, perhaps just a small size bottle. And lastly but not least, Prada’s ‘Candy Sugar Pop’ is another one I WOULD purchase a small size bottle of, it is a delectable scent that I cannot go past. Much like the original but a bit softer in a sense, at least for my personal taste it’s a ‘yes’. That concludes the first instalment to my ‘Sampling The Scents’ series for 2019, I hope you have enjoyed learning more about these popular fragrances. xo.

Ace The Base: October 2018 – Rimmel, Benefit and MAC Cosmetics

Welcome to another new series on my blog, this new project of mine is called Ace The Base, in this series I will choose and focus on four products each month from the ‘base makeup’ category; primer, foundation, concealer and setting spray/powder. This will give me an opportunity to feature and review four of the top base makeup products for each current month, during this post for the month of October 2018, I’m going to focus on the following brands: Rimmel London, Benefit Cosmetics and MAC Cosmetics!

Ace The Base: October 2018; featuring MAC Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics and Rimmel London.

We’re all looking for the perfect combination for our base when applying makeup, whether it be from an amazing primer applied under our foundation or a terrific setting spray that makes our makeup last all day long. We all have different skin tones, different pores, different skin conditions and some of us prefer matte over dewy, but at the end of the day our goal is the same, to have a great lasting makeup application throughout the day/night. In this post I will be shining the spotlight down on four key base products; talking about the product’s claims/inspiration behind their creation, the formulas, key points on how to use and a run down on my own experiences using them. Following after that will be a star rating on what I thought about each one, whether they lived up to the claim/hype and of course, pricing and availability info for each product in Australia, UK and the USA.

The Products & Their Formulas
Let’s start with the beginning of the makeup application process, and that is with the priming. Firstly, I cannot express enough how important skincare is… especially to exfoliate your face gently either the night before or a few hours before you are going to apply your makeup. It’s really the start to a great lasting makeup look. The smoother and moisturised the surface is, the better the application will be. I recommend following through with your daily/nightly skincare routine beforehand, it makes a world of difference.

– Benefit: The POREfessional Pearl Primer; designed to target dullness, brighten the skin, minimise pores, lock in makeup, provide a matte silky finish and a soft radiance. The packaging states its oil-free, matte, a soft pink colour in appearance and is silky. With 90% of women who tested it, saying their complexion looked bright after using it, 91% said it minimised the look of pores, and 96% said it created a soft matte radiance. The Pearl primer comes available in a full size 22.0ml 0.75 Fl Oz. and a mini size 7.5ml 0.25 Fl Oz., it is a soft light pink creamy consistency which you apply using your fingertips, spreading it out and smoothing it over your face. For extra brightness, you can create a second layer of it over your skin.

My Thoughts & Ratings; I picked this up in an online order from Sephora Australia, I got the mini version as a trial tester and figured that if I liked it enough then I could purchase the full size later down the track. I love the texture of this soft primer, it is so light weighted and feels like it literally melts into my skin when I apply it. It instantly blurs my pores and does provide a radiant glow to my face. It sits pretty well under my foundation, it remains smooth and I love the way it looks and feels under my make up. I sadly can’t actually compare this one to the original Benefit POREfessional primer because I simply have not tried the original one, haha yeah I know I must be the only person in the world who hasn’t, haha. All in all, I really like this primer and I love the formula a lot, I can see myself purchasing a back up full size next time, for sure! Rating: I give the primer 4/5 ★★★★☆

– Rimmel London: Lasting Finish 25HR Breathable SPF 20 Medium Coverage Foundation in ‘Light Porcelain‘; designed to provide a medium to full coverage, be long-wearing and blendable, feel light-weighted and remain kind to the skin with it’s light serum formula and breathable skin technology. It comes with a wand doe-foot applicator that has a fluffy 3D cushion tip. It comes in a 30ml 1 Fl Oz. glass bottle with silver lid and red font blazoned across the front. It is a creamy, light consistency liquid formula that can be applied starting with dots in targeted areas with the doe-foot wand, then blended out with your preferred brush or blending sponge.

My Thoughts & Rating; as soon as I opened the lid I loved the doe-foot wand applicator, it’s large, fluffy, so soft and it made plotting down my targeted dots for application a lot easier! I enjoyed the mild scent to the formula, it’s not overly powering like some foundations can be with SPF in them, this is a pleasant scent and gives me serious skincare vibes. While this foundation is a medium-to-full coverage, I found it to apply to an almost instant full coverage on my face and I was very impressed with how it sat on my skin afterwards, and how it blended out with my blending sponge. In terms of shade match; I am using ‘Light Porcelain’ and it has been a pretty perfect match for me! I usually struggle to find matching shades in drug-store foundations but with Rimmel London, I have always matched their ‘Light Porcelain’ offerings. Usually the drug-store foundations in the light shades are really often too pink, or even too orange still.. but this shade in all of Rimmel London’s foundation ranges has been a godsend for my skin! PS. thank you so much Rimmel London, you’re invited to my bbq’s anytime, because that shade in itself needs to be celebrated! Haha. Overall, I really LOVE this foundation, I actually believe it gives higher end brands a run for their money. Let me tell you why.. I slept in it. Yup. I did that. I slept in this foundation by accident, it’s a no no but I fell asleep wearing it.. it was late at night and I was exhausted so basically it didn’t come off until the morning after, but the real eye opener was.. it was still on my face as if I had only worn it for 1hr, honestly… I have never been so impressed by a drug-store foundation, ever! The 25hr claim is true. So, a big kudos to Rimmel London! This one is a HIT! Rating: I definitely give this amazing foundation a 5/5 ★★★★★

– MAC: Pro Longwear Concealer; designed to be a medium-to-full liquid concealer, lightweight, 15hr lasting that is transfer and water proof. To give a comfortable matte finish whilst leaving the skin looking flawless and smooth. Aimed at concealing dark spots, blemishes, dark under eye circles and any flaws. It is fragrance free, dermatologically tested, ophthalmologist tested, non acnegenic and for all skin types. It comes in a size of 9ml 0.30 Fl Oz., in a small glass tube with a pump action dispenser, black font on the front and a black plastic clip-on lid.

My Thoughts & Rating; I am instantly impressed with the packaging.. it comes in a perfectly sized tube with a easy to use pump action dispensary, I think it’s so easy to apply to the skin using a blending sponge. The formula is a thin liquid consistency, a very pigmented matte colour and it seems to blend out quite well. It dries and sets quite at a perfect rate, enabling you to get it everywhere you need before it fully sets. I really love the coverage it provides to my skin in an instant of being on there, it really covers up my under eye area well and it has longevity. It never creases on me, it always feels moisturising on my skin and I can rely on it to work with just about any foundation that I use. I’m quite impressed by this concealer. Rating: I give it 4/5 ★★★★☆

– MAC: Prep + Prime Fix Setting Spray; designed to be sprayed on before your makeup application to prepare your skin for the makeup application, or afterwards to help set everything in place. It’s hydrating, refreshing, smells pleasant with a very slight fragrance to it (the original), it’s best used after being shaken up and then sprayed directly over the face making sure to close your eyes beforehand. It can also soothe tired skin, extend makeup length of wear, it is available in three different scents as well; rose, lavender and coconut. It comes in a tall round frosted plastic clear bottle, with a black lid with clip open/shut and pressure pad on the top of the lid to spray it out. The mist is a fine mist and is filled with minerals and vitamins. It’s enriching to skim and is able to be used without makeup at all to simply refreshen skin. Dermatologist tested. It comes available in sizes 100ml or 30ml trial/mini sizes.

My Thoughts & Rating; I enjoy this spray a lot! Not only do I use it over my face before foundation application but I also use it after to help set my makeup. I love how refreshing it feels upon each use, I love how it soothes my skin and hydrates it well. I have normal to dry skin, so during Winter or Autumn when it’s cooler, it’s perfect to rehydrate the skin. I sometimes use it even when I’m not going to be wearing any makeup, just to refresh and rehydrate my skin. I love the slight fragrance it has, and I even picked up the rose version as well, I love rose! I think it’s quite affective with setting makeup and prolonging the wear of it, it seems to hold everything in place really well. Rating: I give it 5/5 ★★★★★

Ace The Base: October 2018; featuring MAC Cosmetics, Benefit Cosmetics and Rimmel London.

Where To Buy & Worldwide Pricing
– the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer is available: 22ml for $55 AUD | 7.5ml for $23 AUD at Sephora Australia, at Myer, at Adore Beauty, at Princess Polly and at Benefit Cosmetics Australia.

– the Rimmel London Breathable 24HR Foundation is available: 30ml for $22.95 AUD at Priceline.

– the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer is available: 22ml for $32 USD | 7.5ml for $13 USD at Sephora USA, at Ulta Beauty, at Benefit Cosmetics USA, and at Macys.

– the Benefit Cosmetics POREfessional Pearl Primer

Would I Repurchase These Products?
It’s a definite YES to all of them. Here’s why: with the MAC Cosmetics Prep + Prime Fix Setting Spray; I loved how much contents you get for the price firstly, its 100ml of product that is a fine mist so it lasts a fairly long time. It’s extremely effective and does what its supposed to.

Sampling The Scents: May 2018 – Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain

Welcome to the May 2018 edition of my ‘Sampling The Scents’ series. If you’re new here, this post will feature six different perfumed fragrances, where I will share my thoughts on each scent and provide my own personal star rating on. Without furthermore, lets dive into the third instalment of ‘Sampling The Scents‘, for May 2018. To start it all off, let me introduce this month’s scents..

Sampling The Scents: May 2018; featuring Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain.

As you will see, my May 2018 ‘Sampling The Scents’ series features; Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos and last but not least, Guerlain. These particular samples are from shopping orders that I’ve made and I love the fact that you can sample fragrances this way to see what you really like before buying a full size bottle! Let’s get ready to go through them all..

The Fragrances and Their Notes

Marc Jacobs Decadence; starting off with top notes of Iris, Saffron and Plum, with middle notes of Bulgarian Rose, Jasmin Sambac and Orris, while ending with base notes of Amber, Papyrus and Vetiver. Released globally in June 2015, developed by perfumer’s Annie Buzantian and Anne Gottlieb, ‘Decadence’ is considered to be the first mature fragrance from the designer house and exudes sexy and sophistication. The campaign for Decadence was shot by Steven Meisel and starred model Adriana Lima as the face of the campaign. The bottle packaging is inspired an Emerald Green handbag with python pattern and is depicting a personal talisman of the designer by representing glamour and opulence. The bottle is a replica of the emerald green handbag with python pattern and gold chain detailing by the sides and gold font title. Decadence comes available in the sizes of 30ml, 50ml and 100ml.

Tom Ford Black Orchid; it starts off with top notes of Ylang Ylang, Lemon, Gardenia, Patchouli, Truffle, Bergamot, Black Currant, Jasmine, Mandarin & Tuber, with middle notes of Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Orchid, Lotus, Gardenia, Fruit & Spices, while rounding it up with base notes of Vanilla, Amber, Sandalwood, Dark Chocolate Cocoa, Vetiver, White Musk & Incense. ‘Black Orchid’ was released in November 2006 at Saks Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York as the first fragrance under Tom Ford Beauty and was developed by perfumers David Arpel and Pierre Negrin from Givaudan. ‘Black Orchid’ is a woody, oriental scent that was designed to be classically dark. Full of spices, inspiring dark chocolate, remaining modern, timeless & opulent. The darkest Black Orchid was in mind with the creation of this popular scent. The bottle is a black sleek elongated design with rigid line grooves throughout in a pattern and a gold flat plaque title in the centre front. It typically comes available in a 50ml and 100ml size bottle but also offers a limited edition size 15ml.

YSL Black Opium; starts out with top notes of Pear, Pink Pepper, Orange Blossom, Vanilla & Coffee Bean, with middle notes of Jasmine, Almond, Coffee Bean & Licoruce. The base notes consist of Vanilla, Patchouli, Cashmere Wood & Cedar. Released globally in September of 2014, Yves Saint Laurent went for a glam rocked up interpretation of the classic which highlights the mysterious and darker side to YSL. Developed by perfumers Marie Salamagne & Nathalie Lorson, alongside perfumers Olivier Cresp & Honorine Blanc, whom designer the compositions. British model Edie Campbell served as the face of the campaign, which was shot by Daniel Wolfe. The bottle is a dark black, elegantly detailed with shiny black sequins giving it a glam, luxe look with the title emblazoned in capital black font with a round rose gold background. ‘Black Opium’ comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 100mk size.

Prada Candy; it starts off with top notes of Musk, Caramel & Benzoin, with middle notes of Powdered Orris & Musk, then it settles with base notes of Vanilla, Musk & Benzoin. ‘Candy’ was released globally in August 2011 under the fashion house and was designed by perfumer Daniela Andrier to inspire a fun, bright, sensual and bold fragrance that is very feminine. The campaign starred French model/actress Lea Seydoux and was shot by Jean Paul Goude. The bottle is a tall, slim golden tower with a black push top lid. Hot pink foreground details the top of the glass bottle while the title emblazoned in gold lettering shines bright. It comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 80ml size.

John Varvatos John Varvatos Classic; top notes of Coriander, Leather, Lime, Plum & Sandalwood, with middle notes of Pepper, Sage, Cinnamon, Cedar & Indian Fig, and rounding off with base notes of Fig Leaf, Tamarind & Amber. ‘John Varvatos Classic’ was released globally in March 2004 as the first ever fragrance under the fashion house, titled ‘John Varvatos’ and created as a men’s cologne. It was developed in cooperation with perfumer Rodrigo Flores Roux. John Varvatos would later expand the fragrance line to women as well. ‘John Varvatos’ bottle design is a sleek black glass oval shape with a leather banding going around it with silver font emblazoned across the front saying ‘John Varvatos’, the tip spray is a silver metal push down. It exudes sleekness! It comes available in a 75ml and 125ml bottle, with also a 75ml deodorant stick, a 125ml aftershave and a 250ml bath & shampoo gel as part of a extra collection.

Guerlain Mon; starting out with top notes of Vanilla, Bergamot, Courmarin & Lavender, with middle notes of Iris, Rose & Jasmine, and ending with base notes of Vanilla, Sandalwood, Patchouli, Benzoin, Licorice & Courmarin. ‘Guerlain Mon’ was released globally in March 2017 with well known Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie as the face of the campaign. Jacques Guerlain states that his company Guerlain, liked to create perfume for the women that it admires. Created and developed by perfumers Thierry Wasser and Delphine Jelk, Thierry was inspired to create a scent filled with notes of a woman and the choices, dreams and emotions that embody modern day feminity. The fragrance bottle is a classic glass squared dome shape with gold detailing for the rim and a clear crystal-like, rounded mushroom lid. It comes available in 30ml, 50ml and 100ml sizes.
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My Thoughts & Ratings
After a couple of months of trialling these out for different occasions, I have gathered my thoughts on each one, lets break it down:

Marc Jacob Decadence; this is something completely different than to any of the previous releases from Marc Jacobs, and yet this still oozes luxury and taste. Much like all the other MJ fragrances have done. Upon first experience of this one, I notice the a bolder, spicier, sweet plum hue and amber straight away.. then comes in the sharp rose aroma and vetiver. It’s quite a woody scent in a way & a lot darker, deeper but yet remains very feminine all the while. I like it, it’s different than any of my other fragrances, it’s actually a very unique scent that grows on you in time! Rating: I will give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Tom Ford Black Orchid; instantly with this I can smell the white musk, then the jasmine and vetiver set in with the dark chocolate cocoa lingering at the end.. this is a strong scent, I must admit I don’t like the dark chocolate at the end, it throws it off for me. I feel as though the white musk and vanilla saves this, it’s a bit too spicy for me. I think this would be perfect for a bold statement but it’s personally not for me.Rating: I will give this one a 2/5 ★★☆☆☆.

YSL Black Opium; I instantly notice the jasmine, then the vanilla.. it opens strong and sweet. Coming in next is the coffee bean, then it sets with orange blossom lingering. I like how this one starts off strong but mellows out to the orange blossom and its very pleasant and bright, fun! I really enjoy the bubbly nature of this one, its a lot of fun but it also exudes class, luxury and femininity all rolled into one. I quite like this one, it’s nice. Perfect for a night out of a few drinks with friends or even a lunch with the girls. I definitely give this one a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Prada Candy; this opens with a sweet essence of vanilla, musk and caramel all rolled into one. At first you think it’s going to be strong throughout but it blends out nicely and mellows to a sweet vanilla-ry musk with a settlement of caramel lingering at the base. It stays put too, I really love this one for a fun night out! It’s exudes femininity and style.. I picture wearing a summery dress with this on! I’m a big fan. I must admit, at first I was thinking it would stay too sweet but it surprisingly mellows out and softens down. I love fragrances that can achieve this! I give this beautiful release a big 4/5 ★★★★☆.

John Varvatos John Varvatos Classic; this opens with coriander and lime, I notice the leather and cedar coming through next, and it settles with pepper and plum. It is a unique scent and for a bold one, I quite like it. I feel like this one is a unisex fragrance, it starts off strong but blends out to a nice base. I give this a 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Guerlain Mon; opening with musk, vanilla, rose and bergamot. I am instantly a fan! Its softer than most musks, it’s subdued and a beautiful blend of aroma’s. I can see myself wearing this for any occasion; brunch, lunch, dinner, at the cinema, a festival, a fair, any event & anywhere! I love it! It’s feminine, sexy, fun and softly sweet! I definitely give this one 5/5 ★★★★★.

Sampling The Scents: May 2018; featuring Marc Jacobs, Tom Ford, YSL, Prada, John Varvatos & Guerlain.

Where To Buy & Availability
Liked the sounds of one of the fragrances you saw on this post? Want to purchase it? I’ve got you covered! Please find below all the info you need on availability, pricing, locations, etc.

Marc Jacobs Decadence – the 30ml for $90 AUD, 50ml for $135 AUD & the 100ml for $171 AUD at Myer, the 50ml for $150 AUD at Priceline, the 50ml for $89.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 100ml for $129.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse and the 30ml for $80 AUD, the 50ml for $99 AUD & the 100ml for $157 AUD currently at Strawberrynet.

Tom Ford Black Orchid – the 50ml for $139 AUD at Priceline and the 30ml for $108 AUD, the 50ml for $167.50 AUD & the 100ml for $231.50 AUD at Strawberrynet.

YSL Black Opium – the 90ml for $119.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 50ml for $149 AUD at Priceline, the 90ml for $199 AUD at Priceline and the 30ml for $99 AUD, the 50ml for $165 AUD & the 90ml for $218 AUD at Myer.

Prada Candy – the 50ml is $99.99 AUD at Priceline, the 30ml for $85 AUD, the 50ml for $116 AUD & the 80ml for $154 AUD at Strawberrynet and currently the 50ml for $127.80 AUD & the 80ml for $161.10 AUD at Myer.

John Varvatos – the 75ml is $66 AUD & the 125ml is $84 AUD at Strawberrynet and the 75ml is currently $76.50 AUD & the 125ml is $103.50 AUD at Myer.

Guerlain Mon – the 30ml is $79.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 50ml is $99.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, the 30ml is $92 AUD, the 50ml is $129.50 AUD & the 100ml is $172.50 AUD at Strawberrynet and currently the 30ml is $91.80 AUD, the 50ml is $126 AUD & the 100ml is $184.50 AUD (normally $205 AUD) at Myer.

Would I Purchase the Full Sizes?
Referring to the big question, would I purchase the full size of any of the fragrances listed in this post? Let’s get through each one.. starting with Marc Jacobs Decadence; I like this as it grew on me, I will admit that at first I wasn’t that into it, but after a while I recognise its uniqueness and how mellowing out it becomes. I definitely like it, but it’s not my favourite so I think I would just use up the rest of the sample I have and that would be it. With Tom Ford Black Orchid; I was a bit disappointed. It’s true to it’s description in terms of notes, and it’s definitely different, for my personal taste though I think I will pass. I just didn’t like the dark chocolate cocoa, it threw it off for me. Anyone the same? Onto YSL Black Opium; I found this one to be bright, fun, bubbly and a nice fragrance to wear on any occasion, it is a tad strong at first but it softens down nicely and is a good perfume, so yes, I would buy a bottle of this. Going onto Prada Candy; I love it! Again like Black Opium, this one starts out a little strong but mellows out and subdues down to a nice, pretty feminine scent. I love the white musk and caramel in this a lot! I would definitely buy a bottle of this one. With John Varvatos John Varvatos Classic; I feel like this one is a unisex fragrance and although I don’t typically like woody, bold scents that much.. this one grows well on me and has become a favourite. It starts off with a lime and coriander and turns into plum and pepper. I love the vetiver in it, I think I would use the rest of this sample and I’m still on the fence whether I’d buy a bottle or not, but I did like it, so maybe? Last but not least, definitely not least.. is Guerlain Mon; the answer is a big YES!, I thoroughly love this! It’s luxury, sexy, sensual, feminine and fun! I immediately love the vanilla and musk, and the rose that rounds it out. Absolutely in love with it! I could wear this one everywhere! I’ve already added it to my ‘buy’ list. That concludes this month’s ‘Sampling The Scents’, I hope you have enjoyed reading more about these particular fragrances and I hope you look forward to next month’s instalment. Have a great week ahead! xo

Sampling The Scents: March 2018 – Chanel, Gucci, Chloé, Burberry & Juicy Couture

I’m an avid lover of all things beauty, and this month I’m kick-starting a brand new monthly series on my blog called ‘Sampling The Scents‘. I’m not sure about you, but I somehow accumulate a fair few fragrance samples throughout my shopping adventures. Whether it be from orders I’ve purchased online or ones I’ve received in a sample bag, I’ve got a lot. So, I decided to point a blog post focus each month toward what new fragrances I’ve been testing out recently. Each month will see a new post featuring a lineup of six different products, from varying brands, that I have chosen to focus on. Let me introduce you to this month’s sampled scents..

Sampling The Scents: March 2018; featuring Chloé, Gucci, Chanel, Juicy Couture and Burberry.

As you see above, my March 2018 ‘Sampling The Scents’ series features; Gucci Bloom, Chanel Gabrielle, Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy, Chloé Fleur De Parfum, Gucci Gucci Premiere and last but not least, Burberry’s ‘My Burberry’. I’ve gotten these particular ones from beauty purchases that I’ve made. I’m not sure I could pick one favourite from this lineup but I love Gabrielle Chanel and the Gucci Bloom, they would definitely be up at the very top. Now, lets break down the details on each one, shall we?

The Fragrances and Their Notes
Fragrances give us all sorts of feelings, aromas provide many vibes, our moods can change just simply by a certain scent. Known as an aroma compound we signify a ‘smell’ via the olfactory system in the upper part of our nose. Aroma compounds can be found in food, flora, wine, oils, and of course perfumes. In synthetic and natural aroma compounds of perfume, you will find what is known as the ‘fragrance wheel‘, made up of four chambers; fresh, floral, woody and oriental. Usually perfumes will be a mixture of notes under these categories. I’m going to give a run through of each six fragrances I’ve featured here, to talk about each one’s ingredient of notes, their pricing & availability, and of course what I like or dislike about them.

Gucci Bloom; top notes of citrus oranges & fresh leafy stems, middle notes of tuberose, honeysuckle & jasmine sambac, with base notes of vanilla, sandalwood, orris root and a red native Indian flower called Rangoon, which is exclusive to this fragrance. Released globally in August 2017, it is the first fragrance released under Gucci’s new creative director, Alessandro Michele. The perfume comes available in a light dusty pink, frosted bottle with white labelling, in the sizes of 30ml, 50ml and 100ml. The exterior boxing it comes in is decorated with the red Rangoon flower and other flowers over a beige background. Pricing: 30ml – $105 AUD at Myer & 50ml – $140 AUD at David Jones.

Chanel Gabrielle; top notes of grapefruit, black currant & mandarin, middle notes of ylang ylang, pear, jasmine, orange blossom & tuberose, with base notes of sandalwood, musk and orris. Gabrielle launched in 2017 with actress Kristin Stewart as the face of the campaign, the fragrance is based around four white flowers and the glass bottle (available in either 50ml or 100ml) is covered in a light golden tint that transmits light. The label is a shiny light gold with black capital font. Pricing: 35ml – $134 AUD at Myer, 50ml – $174 AUD & 100ml – $248 AUD at Myer, and the same prices at David Jones, however slightly higher at 50ml – $200.50 AUD & 100ml – $267.50 AUD at Strawberrynet.

Chloé Fleur De Parfum; top notes of bergamot, verbena & grapefruit, top notes of cherry blossom, black currant, rose & peach, with base notes of white musk, powdery rice and cedar. Released in July 2016 with Dree Hemingway as the face of the campaign, Chloé Fleur De Parfum was described as a naturally elegant and sensual veil that covers the skin. The gorgeous bottle is draped in a beige ribbon tied around it, it has no labelling, and it comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 75ml size. Pricing: 30ml – $99, 50ml – $140 and 75ml – $180 AUD all at Myer, 50ml – $140 AUD at Mecca, 50ml – $140 & 75ml – $180 AUD at David Jones, however I found it the cheapest at 50ml – $113 & 75ml – $141.50 AUD at Strawberrynet.

Burberry My Burberry; top notes of mandarin, sweet pea, lemon, bergamot & grapefruit, middle notes of freesia, geranium, gardenia, passionfruit, fresh green notes, peach and quince, with base notes of violet, rose, patchouli and musk. My Burberry was inspired by the smell of a London garden after the rain and the iconic Burberry trench coat, Kate Moss and Cara Delevigne serve as the faces of the campaign and it was released in September 2014. The perfumer of this creation is Francis Kurkdjian, the bottle is a glass design with a honey beige tint throughout, it’s draped with a beige golden ribbon made out of the same fabric as the Burberry trench coat and with a stopper replicated of the button from the same coat. The title ‘My Burberry’ is printed across the front in a yellow gold font. It comes available in a 30ml, 50ml, 90ml and 100ml size, it is also accompanied by a range of body care products in the way of a shower oil, three soaps, a body mist and a deodorant. Pricing: 50ml – $79 AUD at Priceline (reduced down from $150), 30ml – $79.99 AUD or 50ml plus body lotion – $79.99 AUD at Chemist warehouse or 90ml plus Moisturising Body Mist – $119,99 AUD also at Chemist Warehouse, or its 30ml – $110 AUD, 50ml – $150 AUD & 90ml – $220 AUD at Myer and 30ml – $110 AUD at David Jones. Very interesting pricing situation there on this one, its cheaper at Chemist Warehouse & Priceline in this case.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy; top notes of wild berries, oranges & mandarin, middle notes of gardenia, jasmine & honeysuckle, with base notes of amber, vanilla, praline, sandalwood and caramel. Launched in 2008; the bottle design is draped with a fuchsia ribbon tied around the neck and features a typical Juicy Couture glass design with logo embossed in the glass and no labelling, the perfume is a light golden honey tint. It comes available in a 50ml and 100ml size, with also a 7.5ml roll-on, perfect for your handbag! The release also saw a range of body care products launched in the same scent, including a 200ml body cream, a 250ml bath and body lotion. Pricing: 30ml – $34.99 AUD & 100ml – $49.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse and 50ml – $85 AUD & 100ml – $110 AUD at Myer.

Gucci Gucci Premiere; top notes of blackberry & bergamot, middle notes of orange blossom, musk & white flower, with base notes of sandalwood, patchouli and woody leather. Launched in 2012 with actress Blake Lively as the face of the campaign; in inspiration of the couture gowns worn at the Gucci Couture collection showcase at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Gucci Premiere is dedicated to celebrating the star in every woman. The bottle design has a shiny brown exterior with gold trim, and it comes available in a 30ml, 50ml and 75ml size with a range of body care products included, such as; a 200ml shower gel, a 200ml body lotion and a 100ml body spray. Pricing: 30ml – $59.99 AUD & 75ml – $99.99 AUD at Chemist Warehouse, 50ml – $79 AUD (reduced from $125) at Priceline or the 75ml – $144 AUD at Priceline and lastly 75ml – $159 AUD at David Jones. As you can see, prices vary if you shop around. I recommend scouring online & in-store for the latest specials before ever purchasing an expensive fragrance. With that, I do hope that pricing info & the direct links have helped you be more informed.

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My Thoughts & Ratings
I have gathered my thoughts on all of the sampled fragrances featured here, some I liked more than others, some I didn’t like much at all, etc. Let me break it down for each one:

Gucci Bloom; I love how refreshed it makes me feel when I smell it, it’s floral and perfect for a night or day outing. It is beautifully feminine to me. Rating: I’m going to give it 5/5 ★★★★★.

Chanel Gabrielle; hands down my favourite of them all, it screams sexy and sensual to me, I always instantly notice the musk and orange citrus in it which I think is a lovely mixture, and musk is an all-time fave of mine. Rating: I definitely give this 5/5 ★★★★★.

Chloé Fleur De Parfum; this one gives me summer vibes and after a while it is a pretty scent, however its quite strong at first & really needs to mellow out a bit before I like it. But I eventually like the scent once it has settled. Rating: I give it 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Burberry’s ‘My Burberry’; this one reminds me of ‘Cool Water’ by Davidoff, its fairly strong at first but mellows down to a unisex scent.. I notice the mandarin in it straight away, but its not my cup of tea. Rating: I’ll give this one 1/5 ★☆☆☆☆.

Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy; instantly I notice the mandarin and vanilla, it’s pretty strong at first but mellows quickly to hints of gardenia and amber. I like it, especially when its mellowed down that’s when it’s quite beautiful, its great for a lunch date or dinner night. Rating: I’ll give it 3/5 ★★★☆☆.

Gucci Gucci Premiere; at first it sort of reminds me of ‘Old Spice’ by Procter and Gamble, but it’s not quite as nice, it’s a bit bitter and I notice the woody leather scent straight away. However, it gets a bit better when the musk and white flower make their appearance. Again, it’s still not really my cup of tea but has some nice aspects to it. Rating: I give it a 2/5 ★★☆☆☆.

Sampling The Scents: March 2018; featuring Chloé, Gucci, Chanel, Juicy Couture and Burberry.

Where To Buy & Availability
The fragrances shown here are available at either of your local Myer, David Jones, Chemist Warehouse or Priceline store. Let me break down which store each bottle is available at with direct links; Gucci Bloom can be found at Myer and David Jones. Chanel Gabrielle can be found at Strawberrynet, Myer and David Jones. Chloé Fleur De Parfum can be found at Myer, Mecca, Strawberrynet and David Jones. Burberry My Burberry can be found at Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Myer and David Jones. Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy can be found at Chemist Warehouse and Myer. Gucci Gucci Premiere can be found at Chemist Warehouse, Priceline, Myer and David Jones.

Would I Purchase the Full Sizes?
The big question is, which of these fragrances would I purchase a full size bottle of? I can definitely tell you right now that I would 110% purchase a full size bottle of both the Chanel Gabrielle and the Gucci Bloom… especially the Chanel Gabrielle!! I just simply love it! I already own the Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy in a 100ml size and I like it, I probably would repurchase it but I’d only get a smaller size next time, I just don’t reach for it as much as I thought I would. It’s just not that scent I get addicted to, like I do for Chanel Gabrielle. Chloé Fleur De Parfum is a lovely scent once it has mellowed down & settled, I do like it. I probably would buy it but only a small size. Would I purchase the other two? No. Maybe if my partner liked them, I would, but they’re just not for me. That wraps up this month’s focus on the fragrances, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these six featured samples and I hope you can join me again for next month’s Sampling The Scents series in April. Have a great week ahead! xo