Some Tips for Men on Layering Fragrances

It’s one of the trickiest grooming habits to pull of successfully and one that is not made easy by the thousands of colognes, body washes, scented deodorants and aftershaves that are available on the market.  The grooming habit being referred to here is matching the right combination of fragrances together in just the right manner.  This grooming ritual is also referred to by many as “layering.”  Men in particular should be carefully when they layer fragrances so as to not create a heavy scent that is off-putting.  Layering in an incorrect way also has the effect of shortening the duration of the scent one has achieved.  Below are some tips for men on smart layering that will produce the effect of creating a long-lasting, distinct scent that will last all day long and into the night.

  • Simple is best:  Try mixing one or two-note fragrances together.  Vanilla, amber, or coconut-based scents go together well in particular.
  • Consider scent duration:  Different cosmetic products have different levels of intensity and duration.  For example, shower gel generally last for only seconds.  Cologne lasts longer than aftershave and of course under arm deodorant lasts all day.  Try using a neutral aftershave and deodorant and then pair it with more assertive colognes.
  • Go unscented:  If you believe your overall layering may become too overpowering try using unscented deodorant.  They have become increasingly popular and are very easy to find.
  • Don’t spray your clothes:  Mist your pulse points but don’t ruin your clothes.  Doing so risks creates an overbearing scent.
  • Use similar scents:  Don’t blend scents that are too diverse.  For example, if you are using one product with citrusy notes trying pairing it with a product with a similar base.
  • Know the difference between cologne and deodorant:  Deodorant is less assertive than cologne.  Generally, it is designed to keep you from having an unpleasant scent and keeps you from sweating.  Cologne is designed to make you smell better than deodorant would alone.  Don’t confuse the two and never, use one in place of the other.

Finally, following these tips should make layering a less confusing and tedious job.  It should also help make you and your aroma stand out in a positive way.  Men can be as capable and knowledgeable about this area of personal grooming as women and can make their colognes, aftershaves, etc., last the entire day.  The next time you apply these personal products remember it is more about doing so in the right combination as it is about the scent of any particular fragrance.

 

How Perfume Formulations have Changed in Past 20 Years

Back in the 1980s Coca Cola made either a huge marketing mistake or a genius move depending on how you look at it.  It changed its tried and tested formula for Coke for the first time in decades.  Immediately the public was outraged at such a move.  Coca Cola executives had to apologize and instantly return to the formula the public had come to love.  In the perfume industry reformulations are common and happen for a number of reasons such as companies finding cheaper ingredients, the decision to replace natural notes with synthetic substitutes and even trade restrictions involving certain ingredients.  What this means for consumers is that a particular cologne that they purchased back in the 1990s, for example, may have a different formulation altogether.  In fact, as little as two years ago Chanel and Dior were forced to reformulate perfumes under new EU laws.  The reason it gave was that these fragrances contain mosses which could cause allergies.  Another change that has been made in perfume formulas over the past 20 years is that there has been a push towards a classification of perfume known as “gourmand.”  Gourmand fragrance are perfumes that consists primarily of synthetic edible notes such as honey, chocolate, vanilla or candy as opposed to perfumes that contain floral notes.

As recently as 2008 the IFRA (the International Fragrance Association) issued restrictions on certain fragrance materials such as vanilla, jasmine, oakmoss, coumarin, birch tar, citrus oils, heliotropin and styrax.  This caused many manufacturers to change their formulas to come into compliance with these regulations.  The fact is perfume reformulations are being made more rapidly than in the past and this has some consumers concerned.  After all, people who wear perfume and cologne are very particular about the fragrance they have chosen.

All this means that your favorite perfumes may have been subtlety changed and may be continuing to “evolve” right under your nose.  The best way to determine if your favorite perfume has been altered recently is to trust your nose.  There are even several sites that list the formula changes for popular perfume brands.  Finally, perfume formulations are not as static as Coca Cola but the public has by in large learned to accept some of these changes.  Of course, there is nothing like having your old cologne or perfume…

Scents to Wear While Camping

Summer has finally arrived and many of the more intrepid among us are heading out onto the campgrounds to commune with nature and enjoy the company of our friends and family.  Before doing so we carefully pack and plan our trips in order to get the maximum experience from our long awaited vacation in the wild.  We pack the usual supplies such as a tents, sleeping bags, canteens, cooking equipment etc.  However, as we pack our various camping accoutrements we should also take special care in which toiletries and personal items such as soaps, lotions, toothpaste, deodorants, colognes and perfumes, etc.  This is because we are no longer in our homes when we are camping.  We are among wildlife.  Bears in particular have a keen sense of smell and have been known to be attracted by certain scents they interpret may be food.  So, how does one maintain proper hygiene and not offend others with our scent yet at the same time not place a welcome mat out for bears?  Here are some tips:

Scents to Use in Camping Sites with Bears

Neutral scents:  Wear colognes, perfumes and deodorants that have a neutral scent.  A bear’s sense of smell is much stronger than dog’s.  They can even smell toothpaste from miles away.  Be careful not to wear overpowering fragrances in the wild.

Use a Bear Bag:  If you do pack scented items pack them in a bear bag and hang this in a tree to dissuade bears from coming into your tent.

Stay Clean:  Wash your body with a soap that has a neutral scent.

Scents to Use in Camping Sites without Bears

Peppermint Oil:  Ants hate the smell of peppermint and this essential oil deters them from ruining your meals.  Apply around your tent and container that hold your food.

Lavender Oil:  This essential oil is not only a great insect repellant but it also – in combination with Aloe Vera – can soothe rough skin.

Lemon, Eucalyptus, Citronella, Lemongrass oils:  The scent from these oils has been known to repel insects and is pleasant smelling to humans.  They can also be purchased as a mixture of the oils or separately.

Remember that as you go camping this year that Lily Direct has a variety of fragrances that are appropriate for all occasions.  Our fragrances are meant to be worn in settings as varied as intimate indoor situations or out in the wild with family and friends.

 

 

Great Perfume Houses Part 23-Molinard

Second only to the Parfumerie Galimard, established in 1747, Maison Molinard is one of the oldest and most venerated perfume houses in the world.  Molinard was founded a century later than Galimard in 1849 and began in the Grasse, Provence, in the south of France.  Although Molinard did start later, it still was able to firmly establish a name for itself and to this day and is distinguished from Galimard by being a family run business.  This fact adds gravitas to the company that many other perfume makers – many of whom come and go – do not possess.  They make a line of products, sell a few items and then fold or continue without distinction among the herd of perfume makers.  In contrast, Molinard literally created and thrived in the perfume industry of 19th century France.

Like every great company that thrives Molinard saw the need to expand and introduce new product lines.  It began modestly by first producing floral waters and Eaux de Cologne, which it sold in its “little shop” in the town centre and by 1860, began creating new fragrances such as “Jasmin”, “Rose” “Mimosa” and “Violette.”  Versions of these fragrances are still made today.  In 1900 Molinard further expanded when it purchased an old perfume factory whose designer had worked on the Eiffel Tower.  This allowed Molinard to create a showroom to display his works and to make fragrances that would become popular among the elite of the day.

The other thing that distinguishes this innovative perfume house is the design and intricacy of its elegantly made bottles which were originally made of Baccarat crystal.  Famous bottle designer Viad, created beautiful scent bottles for Molinard starting in the 1920s.  In the 1930s René Lalique, a famous glass maker would help to grow the aesthetic appeal of Molinard’s fragrances by creating bottles made from crystal.  This tradition continues to this day with the Habanita bottle.  Today the company continues to endure and makes products such as perfumes, soaps, body care products, candles and aromatherapy products.  At Lilydirect we carry Eau Fraiche Perfume for Women by Molinard – 3.4 oz Eau De Toilette Spray and other fragrances by other well known designers who have a rich history of quality and variety.

Perfume-Solids vs Spray

Every woman wants to get the maximum utility from her fragrances.  This is regardless of how many she may own.  This is in part why a small controversy has brewed since solid perfumes first came on the market.  Countless sites contain testimony from women who swear their allegiance to one or the other and even women who use both together.  For those who have not solidly (no pun intended) come down in one camp or another, here are some pluses and minuses of wearing solid perfumes vs. sprays. 

The first thing to know about the solid vs. spray colognes is that they can of course have the exact same scent and be from the same designer but here is often where the similarities end.  Solid perfumes are oil based as opposed to sprays which are alcohol based for the most part.  Other differences are:

Pros of Solid (Oil based perfumes)

  • No spillage or risk of leaking
  • Has a longer shelf life
  • Less likely to cause skin reactions
  • Non-flammable
  • Easy to apply and to desired areas

Cons of Solid Perfumes

  • Can be sticky and leave residue
  • Lasts 2-3 hours
  • Strongly scented

Pros of Spray Perfumes

  • Stronger but light scent
  • Last longer than solids

Cons of Spray Perfumes

  • More is wasted when applying since it is a mist
  • Prone to spilling or leaking

Solid Colognes Brands

We all know the usual suspects when it comes to spray colognes.  They have been around for ages.  However, if you decide that the pluses of wearing a solid perfume outweighs the minuses or if you just want to experiment then some of the more popular brands include:  34 Boulevard Saint Germain solid perfume (Diptyque), Limited Editions Precious Jewels Perfume Compact (Estee Lauder), Quelques Fleurs ‘L’Original’ Solid Perfume Compact (Houbigant Paris), Epic woman solid perfume compact (Amouage) and Lucky bay solid perfume stick (Le Soft Perfume)

In the end, the choice comes down to measuring the personal against the practical.  No one intends to buy any product without thinking of how they can best utilize it.  Perfume is no different.  That is the reason this controversy continues between women who swear that they get the best use from one or the other.  Whichever choice you make, Lily Direct can accommodate you with our wide selection of the most popular fragrances for men and women.

What You Need to Know About Men’s Cologne

Let’s face it.  When it comes to picking out fragrances men tend to be less savvy than women.  For many men knowing which brand to buy, how to apply it and when too much is being used is pretty much guesswork.  On these points let’s give women their due.  However, even though men generally aren’t as adept at choosing and applying colognes are women are at applying perfume, doesn’t mean that we can’t strive to learn.  Here is some information about men’s colognes along with tips on choosing the right one for your body chemistry and applying fragrances so that they do not overwhelm the people around you.

The first thing to note about men’s cologne is that it is not simply perfume for men.  It is in general not as strong as women’s perfume.  In fact, the concentration of fragrance oil in most men’s colognes is typically 8% and 12%.  For perfume it is 15% or more.  Also, men’s fragrances tend to stress darker, warmer wood, spice, or amber “notes,” or the aromatic ingredients that comprise a fragrance.  Finally, men sweat more than women do on the whole.  These facts alone mean that men have to choose and apply their fragrances by a different set of rules than do women.

Choosing the Right Fragrance

Each man’s body chemistry is different as is the case with women.  A man’s fragrance is an unseen part of man’s style.  The best way to choose cologne is to use the tried and true method of spraying the scent on each wrist or on the inner elbow and to then walk around a bit in order to refresh the palate before smelling the fragrance again.  (The recommended areas to apply cologne are the lower jaw, neck, shoulders, chest, the inner elbow, the forearm and the wrist.)

How to Apply Cologne the Right Way

As a rule, when wearing cologne less is more.  You want to wear cologne not marinate in it.  Other tips are: 1) Apply to skin not clothing, 2) Apply after you dry from a shower, 3) Start light, 4) Apply your cologne to “heat” areas of the body.  Those “red zones” include the shoulders and the neck.  Next, men with dry skin should apply cologne more often; men with oily skin should apply cologne less often as oil holds scents longer.  Also, don’t clash with the scents you are already wearing (aftershave, soap, lotion, etc).  Finally, designers of men’s colognes know all the tips and tricks of wearing their fragrances.  Now you can be one step ahead of the next guy by following these tips when choosing and applying your cologne.  Remember, if someone can clearly identify the cologne you are wearing chances are you are wearing too much.

Early Summer Fragrances for 2016, Part II

Most things in life come in cycles.  Fashion comes in cycles.  The waves come in cycles.  The economy is cyclical as well as many other areas of life.  In this, fragrances are no different.  This being the case, it is time once again to shed the old and renew ourselves as only changing our old fragrance can do.  This is what fragrance manufacturers offer us every year.  They know the urge to change, to grow and experience the beauty and splendor that summer provides is too strong to resist.  To that end, here is another list of fragrances designed to re-invigorate us as we cycle into summer.

Fragrances for Men and Women

Hermes ’24 Faubourg’ Perfume for Women – Containing notes of warm vanilla and ambergris, this entry is recommended for use on casual occasions.

Flowerbomb by Viktor & Rolf – This entry, which is designed for romantic settings, features hints of freesia, Centifolia rose, osmanthus and Sambac jasmine supported by a background of patchouli.

Atelier Cologne Bergamote Soleil Cologne Absolue – This unisex fragrance features notes of lavender and oak moss.  It is at once bright and fresh.

Miss Dior Cherie – Sweet, fruity and assertive without being overbearing, this entry contains notes of strawberry leaf and patchouli.

Fragrances for Men

Everyone woman knows how difficult it can be to get men to abandon cologne they feel comfortable with even if it is a standard like Drakkar Noir or Old Spice.  Here are some early summer fragrances for men you may wish to get for your boyfriend or husband to hint at a change.

Bleu De Chanel – Assertive without being overpowering, this entry contains woody scents mixed with citrus notes that are fresh, clean, and sensual.

John Varvatos ‘Artisian Blu’ – Containing notes of bergamot, Egyptian geranium, orange blossom, cedarwood, patchouli, this cologne has an instantly refreshing aroma.

Dior ‘Sauvage’ Eau de Toilette – This entry has actually won many awards in men’s magazines and is growing in popularity as a trending new fragrance.  Its top notes are that of Reggio di Calabria bergamot and its middle notes are of Sichuan pepper and ambroxan.

Hermès Terre d’Hermés Cologne – Another popular entry, Hermès has a masculine aroma with notes of grapefruit, bay rose, geranium, patchouli, benzoin and vetiver.

Yes, life is cyclical and there are time when nature demands of us that we get rid of the old and embrace the new.  Summer exemplifies this mandate as does the fact that styles and fragrances change.  Make the most of these bold, wonderful fragrances and retire your old scent.  First, start off by browsing Lily Direct for your new aroma.

 

The History of Elizabeth Taylor Perfumes

These days everyone and her sister has a cologne or perfume.  The list includes a virtual who’s who of minor celebrities.  So it’s easy to forget a time when this was not a common occurrence. The legendary actress, businesswoman and humanitarian, Elizabeth Taylor, pioneered this trend by being the first.  She was the first celebrity to pioneer her own brand of perfume – along with Eve Arden – with Passion in 1987, the men’s version of Passion in 1989 and White Diamonds in 1991.  And although Taylor had been a talented actress since the early forties and had starred in films such as ‘National Velvet,’ ‘A Place in the Sun’, ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?’ (co-starring then husband Richard Burton) and ‘Cleopatra’ she did not suffer fools gladly.  According to most sources, it was her venture into developing and endorsing colognes that gained her new fortune and introduced her to a new generation.

White Diamonds instantly began and continues to be a best seller.  The success of White Diamonds would go on to inspire other gem-inspired fragrances from the screen legend such as Diamonds and Emeralds, Diamonds and Rubies, Diamonds and Sapphires all of which came out in 1993.  Finally, Violet Eyes – the last fragrance to come out before her death in 2011 of congestive heart failure – was based on the distinct and captivating color of her eyes.  Fragrances released after her death include White Diamonds Lustre (for women) 2014 and White Diamonds Night (2016) bringing the total number of fragrances to 15.  Today, her fragrances are staples with all perfume retailers.  In fact, no retailer’s inventory would be complete unless it contained a least some of her perfumes.  In 2005, Taylor also founded a jewelry company, House of Taylor, in collaboration with Kathy Ireland and Jack and Monty Abramov.

In a time when every sports, rap, music or reality star of any distinction has a fragrance, it is important to remember that these were not firsts.  These were and are not true trail blazers and the memory of most of these “celebrities” will likely fade with time.  A women who had a long distinguished career and actually excelled to the top of her profession, pioneered the area of celebrities developing and lending their name to fragrances.  Her legacy through her films, philanthropic work continues to this day.  (She was heavily involved in AIDs activism and fund raising.)  No perfume collection is complete without products from this iconic film legend and you can find all lines of Taylor’s fragrances at Lily Direct.

Early Summer Fragrances 2016

There is a certain sterility that comes in winter as we lock ourselves indoors and hide from the cold.  This sterility retreats in spring and summer as new flowers bloom and their familiar fragrances are carried by the warm winds of the seasons.  Every year perfume designers try to capture these early summer fragrances that we all eagerly anticipate after having been deprived for those winter months.  These scents mean the promise of new love.  They mean the return of beauty and color.  They mean the zesty, fresh smell of citrus, and of blooming flowers.  Some of the fragrance brands that are trying to essentially capture summer in a bottle include:

  • Bronze Goddess Estee Lauder – This entry from Estee Lauder contains hints of bergamot, warm amber, tiare flower, and vanilla combined with delicious creamy coconut
  • Marc Jacobs Rain – This perennial favorite is back containing notes of wet cut grass, sparkling wild strawberry, teakwood and dewy cypress.
  • Bond No. 9 New York ‘Hamptons’ – A fragrance for men and women, Hamptons is a subdued scent containing crisp citrus notes added with sandalwood, amber and musk.
  • Jo Malone Peony & Blush Suede Perfume – The essence of this cologne is apple, jasmine, rose and gillyflower all co-mingled into a voluptuous fragrance that is bold and seductive.
  • Yves Saint Laurent ‘Black Opium’ Perfume – This reasonably priced entry has notes of coffee, vanilla, and cedarwood.  It is a lovely selection that is suitable all year round.
  • Tom Ford Café Rose – Described as containing notes of incense resin, sandalwood and patchouli, this entry is also distinguished by its attractive black and purple bottle.
  • Aerin ‘Lilac Path’ – As the name implies, this entry is described as having the soft and springy scent of lilacs mixed with jasmine and other floral aromas.
  • Valentino Valentina Eau de Parfume – This entry contains notes of bergamot, jasmine, strawberry, orange flower, tuberose, cedar, amber and white truffle.

Yes, this year fragrance designers have sought to capture the aromas of summer while at the same time re-introducing us to some of our favorite colognes and perfumes.  The cold, mute scents of winter are gone and we are ready to celebrate by once again partaking in a palate of summer scents.

Great Perfume Houses Part 22

Viva l’Italia!

Our exploration of great perfume houses from around the world continues and as you can guess we are staying in Italy-Parma to be exact! So let’s get started and take a look at the house of Acqua di Parma.
Acqua di Parma, a symbol of Italian expertise and grace, was founded by a group
of master perfumers in Parma in 1916.  Since their founding all their products of
fragrances, candles, bathrobes and leather accessories have been made in Italy.  
The company started out by offering a Eau de Cologne, Acqua di Parma Colonia, intended to scent the handkerchiefs of elegant men.  It was a light refreshing scent compared to the more common stronger and heavier in composition perfumes of the time.
The 1930s was the time period of increased popularity, which led to increased
production and distribution.  The “Golden Age” for Acqua di Parma Colonia would
between the thirties and fifties, when it was successful among members of high
society and also Hollywood clientele.  Notable celebrities who wore Acqua di
Parma were Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Lana Turner and Ava Gardner.
With subtle blends of sunny essences of floral notes of lavender, rosemary, damask rose, verbena and sunny essences of Sicilian citrus fruits, the Colonia
formula has remained unchanged for nearly a hundred years.  It was not until 2003 that an alternative scent was offered, Colonia Assoluta.
Acqua di Parma is now more than just a perfume house.  In 1998 Acqua di Parma opened their first bouqieu on Milan’s Via del Gesu.  In 2008 they opened luxury spa Blue Mediterraneo Spa in Porto Cervo (Sardinia).

All products and services under the Acqua di Parma umbrella are dedicated to quality, creativity, elegance and exclusiveness.

Bring out your Italian side at a great discount!  http://www.lilydirect.com/