Fragrance evolution

For as long as I can remember I have been a scent bandit. At the early age of four I would sneak into my grandmother’s vanity and raid her beauty and perfume collection. I could never get enough of all her Avon products. I’m sure some of you remember your first go to scent.

Mine was Primo body spray and I just couldn’t get enough of it. The smell of Primo brings me back to the age of 10 when I had my first trip to New York City. When I smell a wiff of it flashes of New York in the 80’s come to mind. It is like I just time traveled back to New York in 86′, I can smell of chestnuts roasting on the streets.


As I got older my scent tastes evolved onto something as I thought was luxurious. My best friend used to wear Elizabeth Arden Red Door daily. A gift from her grandma she was nice enough to share with me. We felt sexy and older, I’m sure we smelled it too.

It is funny how a scent can remind you of the past.

A day at the beach with the ladies.

Your first prom.

That time when you had that awesome job in the city.


That kiss with the man of your dreams.


By the time I had a part time job in high school and could afford to buy my own scents the fragrances that I normally were inclined to buy were more of a clean and crisp nature. I probably wore Ralph Cool until my mid twenties, and I actually still like the scent, but as time moved on it was time to switch it up, evolve a bit more with a scent that works well for me.

For my wedding my bestie gave me a fragrance she thought would work well with me. Who knows you better than your best friend. If they are a true friend they will tell you when your favorite outfit is “tacky” and when your new perfume should be tossed out and never worn again.

She chose for me, Hermes Un Jardin En Mediterranee. While it wasn’t a fragrance I would normally purchase, it’s a bit more earthier with a slight musk, I’ve fallen in love with it and it works well with my fragrance chemistry.

It is light enough for work or daily wear, yet different and enchanting. It makes my old clean Ralph Lauren scent seem boring, and yet it isn’t completely floral or musky. It has light citrus tones and it a bit woodsy and spicy, without being masculine or over bearing.

My husband surprised me with another new fragrance I like that I normally wouldn’t buy. I asked him if he chose it for the name (he’s French) but he told me he actually tried and smelled a variety before picking out my scent (too cute!) J’adore from Dior is more of a muskier scent, but it doesn’t remind me of an old lady or floral garden. It is a very sensual aroma blended with exotic orchids, Jasmine, and ylang ylang. While I would tend to wear it more in the fall or winter it still is a versatile fragrance.


If you are looking for a new scent on the market here are a few great fragrances that were launched in 2014 and a few sneak peaks at the up and coming 2015 launches!

  1. Knot by Bottega Venata, Think sweet and musty with clementine and orange blossom undertones. It is a very subtle and clean scent without smelling like soap. It has natural woodsy undertones. Great for spring and summer, think crisp pressed linen dresses and open toed sandals.
  2. Eros Pour Femme, by Vercace, Eros is the God of love, and this feminine fragrance will leave most women lusting for more and the men lusting for the woman wearing it. Blended with peony, sandalwood, pomegranate and ambrox this fragrance is a strong musky scent. This is something for an evening cocktail party.
  3. Wild Glo by J Lo, This perfume is for women who love all things sweet, and that’s what it is composed of. I’m a fan of J Lo fragrances. This one is one the sweet and flirty side, great for weekend nights out on the town or warm weather trips. It is made up of Vanilla, tropical fruits, mandarin, jasmine, and black currant.
  4. La Collection des Essences by Ellie Sab, Gardenia is a woody floral tone. It has the best of both worlds and is great for every day wear.

2015 is right around the corner so keep a look out for these up and coming new scents!

  1. Escada Torquoise Summer
  2. Zac Posen
  3. Shanghai Tang
  4. Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey City Blossom
  5. UK-based niche line Shay & Blue will launch Watermelons, a new fresh green fragrance, in March. The notes include watermelon, green mandarin, honeysuckle, crushed leaves, green tea and vetiver. Sounds divine!

Watermelons by Shay & Blue

What is your favorite scent?

Skin Scrubs for winter

As the seasons change so does our skin. A little bit of maintenance goes a long way in preserving skin tissue. Exfoliation is an excellent way to not only prevent dryness and flakiness but promote cell renewal and elasticity in the skin.

Here is a winter inspired DIY skin scrub recipe I use for my natural skincare line, Moroccan Life Products. I’ll add links to where to purchase the raw materials. If you are not into making your own products here scroll below for few links of great skin scrubs that work wonders.

You will need a metal bowl, wooden spoon, and measuring utensils.

1 cup of dead sea salt (fine)

1/2 cup of dendritic salt

1/2 cup of dead sea salt (ultrafine)

1/3 cup of crushed apricot shells

1/3 cup of luffa

mix all these ingredients together. Add carrier oils. I love fractionated coconut oil for its diversity. It is light, non greasy, and has an excellent shelf life. I use this in all of my products. Add 1/3 cup of fractionated coconut oil and 1/4th cup of grapeseed oil as a preservative. If you want to add another carrier oil such as Argan oil, or Jojoba it can be added as well. If the solution is too runny you can add more dendritic salt until you get the texture you want. If you want a very liquidy solution add some water normally 4-6  tablespoons will do the job. Coffee grinds are also a great exfoliating element if you want to add them to your solution. After your scrub is fully mixed you can add some natural essential oils. These oils are more potent and strong, so you only need a few drops, if you add too many it can irritate the skin. Below is some great combos that are refreshing for the winter season.

Cedarwood Atlas, Laurel Leaf, and Davana, for a very herby yet fresh outdoor mountain scent. This will wake up your senses.

Lemongrass, sweet basil, and grapefruit, is a relaxing and citrus coed smell.

Rosemary, spearmint, and eucalyptus is a zesty clean smell.

Sandlewood, ylang ylang, and jasmine are soft florals a bit of musk, and very feminine.

If you don’t mind some synthetic scents you can blend them with essentials as well. I love these scents from New Directions Aromatics and they only cost around $2-3 for a 1 ounce sample. You only need 10 – 12 drops so one ounce goes the distance when it comes to making natural products.

Bamboo and Teak: Think of a warm sauna, sexy and cozy. A rich and luxurious aroma with hints of sandalwood, cedar wood, musk, floral and sweet fruit.

Hawaiian Lei: This reminds me of the W Hotel Bliss spa, its devine. A delicate blend of gardenia and plumeria with top citrus notes of orange and lime ending with base notes of light vanilla.

Maple Sugar: Is simple yet sweet.  Enjoy the aroma of sweet, warm maple sugar and butter. This scent is extremely rich, complex, and long lasting.

Woodland Themes: Similar to my first essential oil combo, yet a fraction of the price, it is earthy yet refreshing. A fresh, warm woody fragrance. Ozone floral top notes with citrus and balsam. Heart notes of spice, cedarwood and eucalyptus. Musk and moss at the base.

These skin scrubs go the distance:

For a feminine and soft skin scrub try Ramburi Yang Ylang and Jasmine Salt Scrub. $15.25

*New* Ramburi (Thailand) Ylang Ylang & Jasmine Salt Scrub 250ml (8.45oz)

Double Love Scrub uses pink Himalayan salts. $24

Tree Hut firming sugar scrub is just that, it is sweet and promotes elasticity with its Macadamia oil, Evening prime rose oil and caffeine.

Moroccan Life Products, Sahara Sea Salt is a product from my personal product line. It is  with based with sea salt, Mediterranean luffa, walnut shell, and African honey. The lavish botanicals of Morocco, Argan, Wild Verbana, Thyme, Spearmint, Myrtle, and Eucalyptus will nourish skin while promoting cell renewal. $19.00


There are basic skin fundamentals to keeping your skin supple and healthy in harsh weather conditions.

First and foremost is water. You can never really get enough as water and skin care go hand and hand. It should be a staple element in your daily regimen. Not only does water prevent dehydration which causes lack of tone and wrinkles in the skin, but it flushes out toxins both consumed and airborne. Water also assists in carrying nutrients to our vital organs.

Second is sunscreen. Sunscreen is both effective and necessary all seasons of the year. In winter the suns rays are just as harsh as in the summer and they reflect off of the snow. The same goes for cloudy days, so applying sunscreen on a regular basis will help prevent future breakdown of cellular tissue.

Exfoliation is an effective habit that not only washes away dry skin and flakiness, but promotes healthy skin and cell renewal. Citric acid is a powerful antioxidant that stimulates collagen production. Exfoliation enhances the skin’s elasticity which results in firmer radiant skin and also prevents stretch marks.

Proper moisturizer is essential during the winter season. Our skin is exposed to harsher conditions even if we barely go outside. Inside the air is dryer, while outside the wind, rain, and snow all can have negative affects on our skin. A thicker moisturizer can add extra protection which will preserve the skin long term.

Natural oils are amazing on your face and body. I am a huge fan of Tamanu, Sea buckthorn oil, and Argan. I never breakout, my skin looks healthy and the compliments I receive prove that the results are visible. Using natural oils on a regular basis literally melts my wrinkles away. The great aspect about using oils is that the results are rather quick. Normally I see changes in under ten days, and they carry no harmful chemicals. Check out my post on natural oils.

Natural makeup


This is a throw back photo, but an example of using natural tones for a clean every day look. I blot a small amount of a light tinted moisturizer across my fast and dust with Clinique Super double powder in Matte Honey. This light / medium tone has a touch of red undertones which works well for my skin tone.

I brush a small amount of bronzer on my upper cheekbones.

I fill in my eyebrows with Cover Girl espresso click up liner. I’ve been using this liner religiously for over 15 years since I accidentally shaved off my brows by mistake. (My best friend was borrowing my tweezers)

I base my eye lid and brow with a neutral cream base, then accentuate my brow bone with a medium shade of brown, for some extra kick you can add a layer of a shimmer brown. I carefully line an extra thin liquid line across the top of my eye lids, and finish off with Loreal Voluminous Mascara. I tend to stay away from bright lips and use a neutral shade then top it with a gloss.






Battle of the exotic oils

The latest trend in beauty has been slathering on exotic oils all over our bodies. Some oils seem to melt wrinkles away, others fade stretch marks, and all of them promote a fresh glow, but which one do you choose when there are so many. I took the test and tried out a variety to see which oils worked the best for my skin.

There are many great benefits to using a light layer of oil  instead of a daily moisturizer. 
  • Since these oils are derived from natural substances, you know they’re healthy.
  • They’re gentle, soothing, and great for even the most sensitive skin types.
  • They’re more potent than moisturizers, which means that your skin gets a stronger dose of beneficial ingredients.  Moisturizers that “contain vitamin C” for example also contain a lot of fillers that dilute the ingredient. Creams can only carry 1% of what your skin really needs, the rest is just fillers you are over paying for.
  • They offer benefits to all skin types.
  • Save time and money.  These 2-in-1 products are treatment + moisturizers.
  • Believe it or not, they often feel less greasy (they absorb faster) than traditional moisturizers.  And they smell very nice.
  • You can use them anywhere on your body – try them as a hair treatment, makeup remover, or cuticle moisturizer too.

Tamanu oil, is a dark green oil found in a warm tropical setting in the deep pacific. The oil is a bit on thicker side, and if you hold it up to natural light you will see beautiful natural sparkles in the oil, almost like a magical shimmer, but does this oil do wonders on the skin? I used it for a month straight on all different parts of my body. It had the ability to heal cuts and scrapes quickly without leaving a scar. It was a bit thicker so harder to spread across large regions of my body. I used it on my face at night, it almost immediately absorbed into my thirsty face. After a week and a half of using it I noticed my fine lines starting to fade away, and my skin felt smooth and supple. It healed some pimples too without causing new ones.
The oil of tamanu contains three basic classes of lipids, neutral lipids, glycolipids, and phospholipids. The oil also contains a unique fatty acid called calophyllic acid, and a novel antibiotic lactone and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent called calophyllolide. These and other components of tamanu oil, including anti-inflammatory coumarins, account for some of the oil’s beneficial activity.It also works as an anti anflammitory. This oil can be used as simply as an over night moisturizer, or a healing component for cuts, burns, bruises, and acne.

Seabuckthorn oil, comes from a tiny berry found in the north parts of China and Russia. It thrives on dry cold weather, and is packed full of fatty acids, caretenoids, sterols and vitamin C. It has natural uv protecters in it. Seabuckthorn oil is a bright orange color, and on the lighter greasy side. It has the ability to heal scars, while promoting new collogen growth. It works well on dry skin, and the face, leaving a healthy glow, and when added a few drops to shampoo and conditioner it is an excellent hair repair oil.

Argan oil, the secret of the Morcoccans. Known as liquid gold, this oil is light, quickly absorbed into skin and works wonders on stretch marks, brittle hair, and skin. You can slather it all over your body for baby smooth skin as it spreads easily and it is light in color. It can be applied in the morning as it isn’t as greasy as other oils. This oil also comes in an edible version, which is packed full of essential fatty acids, sterols, polyphenols, caretenoids, vitamin e, and squalene a natural immune booster.

Goji seed oil, comes from the goji berry, is a light yellow color. It is a bit on the greasy side, but works well with skin regeneration and cell renewal. I recommend adding it to various creams you are already using, so it doesn’t leave a greasy shine on your face. A few drops into your daily moisturizing is all you need for that extra boost in skin therapy.

Rosehip oil, is a great light daily moisturizer. It absorbs fast allowing skin to dry quickly in the morning for makeup application. I dab a few drops on my forehead and under my eyes every morning for that extra glow.
All in all these oils do work wonders when used on a regular basis. I can’t just pick one, but my two top oils would be the Argan oil and the Tamanu oil. You can find these oils online in the $12-17 price range, and at local health food stores.

Photo: Fall is here! Time to pamper my skin with exotic oils. Argan is great for the face and body. Tamanu works well as a night moisturizer and skin irritation healer, and Rosehip is my daily go to facial oil.