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Sephora Fragrance Sampler

Say hello again to the Sephora Favorites Fragrance Sampler set. It’s taken a while to get to this point, but I’ve finally tried out and tested all fourteen samples! I’ve given you plenty to think about over the last few months when it comes to fragrances, but we’ve finally reached the point where it’s time for me to make a decision on my own. (I’m betting you are thinking this day would never actually come, huh?)

Before I reveal the winner, let’s take a quick tick-tock to refresh your memory on what each of the samples I tested were:

Do you remember which ones were my favorite? Here’s what landed in my top five (in no particular order):

  1. Gucci – Guilty
  2. Dolce & Gabbana – Light Blue
  3. Givenchy – Very Irresistible
  4. Versace – Bright Crystal
  5. Juicy Couture – Couture La La

[Click on each of the links for a refresher on why I loved each of these so much]

And now, without further ado, cue the drum roll!

AND THE WINNER IS…..

Dolce & Gabbana - Light Blue

Dolce & Gabbana – Light Blue

I couldn’t resist the amazingly delicious scent of the Light Blue! The light fragrance, really hit all of my senses and I’m fairly certain I knew this one was the winner when I tried it out the first time. It was a really close call for the rest of the top five though!

I’m very happy with the decision and cannot wait for the fragrance to arrive over from the US with my friend next week! I might even have a few more fragrances to write about later, thanks to free Sephora samples with my online purchases. Here’s to my new scent!

XOXO – K

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A few weeks back, I was doing my grocery shop with my friend, when she pointed out the new Garnier products on the shelf. Not that I needed to buy ANOTHER shampoo and conditioner, lord knows I already have about 15 in the shower as is, but I just couldn’t resist! My dry, brittle hair was leaving much to be desired with me, and the other 15 products in my bathroom didn’t seem to be solving my problems!

And so, I picked up the Garnier Ultimate Blends Nourishing Repair shampoo and conditioner to give it a go.

Garnier Ultimate Blends - Nourishing Repairer

This blend is specifically made for very dry and/or damaged hair. I definitely fit the mold there with the extra hard water in this country — I’ve never had split ends before I moved here, but now I can’t seem to get rid of them! And my hair always feels dry and brittle — hair shouldn’t go “crunch” when you twirl it around your finger!

This blend contains avocado oil and shea butter to help reinforce your hair’s natural protective barrier and nourishes from root to tip. It smells divine, like the beach and actually makes me long for the ocean and putting my toes into the sand. (Maybe because I always use an after-sun lotion at the beach that also contains shea butter and the smells are about the same!)

Garnier Ultimate Blends - CloseUp

The shampoo is quite thick, but considering what the product is intended to do, I’m not surprised at all and when my hair is lathered up, I can almost feel the shampoo working it’s hydrating magic. Give your hair a quick rinse and then slather in the conditioner. My hair lady here in Ireland actually recommended I do a bi-weekly treatment where I use conditioner, but instead of rinsing my hair, I leave the conditioner in overnight then shampoo/condition as normal the next morning. I’ve been using the same Garnier products for this treatment as well and a month later I’m finally noticing a difference. My hair is much healthier, has a bounce and a shine it’s not had in quite some time, and has a bit of life back in the ends.

If your hair is in need of repair, this new line is a MUST. I cannot wait for my hair to be fully restored to its glory so I can try out some of the other blends as well. Be sure to pick up a bottle and give it a go next time you are out shopping!

Until next time, XOXO – K

I’ve worked two 16 hour days already this week and while there’s a small light at the end of the tunnel, I’m completely drained — physically, mentally, and emotionally. For a few minutes here, I’d like to focus on something that isn’t tax related, so let’s chat about the very last two fragrances in my Sephora Fragrance Sampler showdown.

Narciso Rodriguez – Eau de Parfum

Narciso RodriguezInspired by modern femininity, this blend of floral, amber, and woody notes evokes a timeless, unforgettable grace & sophistication. 

 I’m fairly certain someone in my office wears this fragrance as I smell it every now and again as I walk around. It’s a nice fragrance — more woodsy (musky even) than floral, which appeals to my nose more than the stronger floral blends. It has a hint of powder in the undertones and is light yet noticeable.

Conclusion: It’s a great fragrance, but not up my alley. I’ll definitely use up my sample, but this one won’t be moving into my top five.

Coach – Signature

CoachInspired by the joyful rush of being in love, this fragrance blends mandarin, dewberry, green violet, & freesia followed by magnolia, jasmine, and gardenia. The fragrance finishes with sandalwood, vanilla, caramel, & musk.

 I’m really torn on this particular fragrance. It is quite powerful and the florals, overpowering magnolia & gardenia, really do give way to the vanilla, caramel, & musk as it floats through the air and lingers and I really love the blend even though it puts a bit of a strain on my head. I’ve been around it with my family as my sister wears it, so maybe it reminds me a bit of home and family. Smell is the most keen sense after all, right?

Conclusion: This is my sister’s signature scent, so I probably won’t be adding it to my list, but it is a GREAT classic fragrance and my sample will be a go to when I need a change-up in the repertoire.

Have you tried either of these fragrances? TWEET ME! The final installment in this series will feature my top five and the winner! (But I’m on holidays for 10 days, so, I hope you don’t forget about me during that time). What are your thoughts? I know my sister absolutely adores the Coach fragrance.

XOXO – K

I put my foot down this week at work. OK, maybe more figuratively than literally, and just in my head, but I can only work so many 14 hour days before I’m just drained and need a few days for myself! And so, since it’s 6:30 PM on a Wednesday and I’m actually sitting at home, I decided to throw a blog post up! By the time you read this, it’ll be Thursday anyway 🙂

This week, the Sephora Fragrance Sampler showdown is all about the florals pitting Balenciaga’s Florabotanica against Hanae Mori’s Butterfly. Let’s chat!

Balenciaga – Florabotanica

Balenciaga - Florabotanica

Inspired by Balenciaga’s botanical garden in Paris, this scent delivers enchanting freshness with hints of Turkish rose, hemp, and vetiver roots  to evoke an elegant beauty that is both stunning and dangerous — like a rose.

It’s absolutely wrong to hate on a fragrance for the celebrity they’ve placed in their ads, right? Well, I just can’t seem to get past the ad photos with Kristen Stewart…Outside of Kristen Stewart I honestly don’t care much for the ad either. But hey, it’s a good thing I’m judging these samples based on my nose rather than my eyes!

So, the fragrance itself? It’s right there in line with the ad in my book. The florals overpower the entire fragrance and I’m sitting here sneezing as I write this. I honestly can’t think of anything nice to say about this one, so, I’m seriously stopping while I’m ahead — because if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. Considering this is the 13th? one I’m writing about, it speaks volumes, right?

Conclusion: Scratch this one off the list entirely and I’m giving the sample to the next person I pass on the streets!

Hanae Mori – Butterfly

Hanae Mori - Butterfly

Named after the legendary fashion designer Madame Hanae Mori — Madame Butterfly — this fragrance presents hints of strawberries and blackberries mixed with jasmine and peony and follows with sandalwood and cedar to create an alluring, glamorous energy. 

I really love the bottle for this one. It’s sneaky with the butterfly shaped cap. Creativity points! And doesn’t the description just automatically make you think of a butterfly? Alluring, gorgeous, and light all definitely come into my mind — just like a butterfly landing on the tip of a rose petal.

This fragrance is quite feminine, a bit too much so for me, though I do really enjoy the blend of scents. It would be great for a proper Sunday afternoon tea, where all the gals are dressed in their Sunday best, hats, gloves, and all.

Conclusion: I’ll definitely hang on to this sample in the event I’m ever invited to such a girlie event. It could really take the Sunday dress up a notch with the delicate blend of fruit, florals, and earth notes.

Have you tried either of these fragrances? TWEET ME! Well, while neither of these will be making it into the top contenders list, the Hanae Mori could definitely be worth a sniff next time you pass by a beauty counter!

XOXO – K

I realise Thursday has come and gone, but Sunday Showdown has just as much ring to it as Thursday Throwdown, right?

I only have six more fragrances to get through before I can FINALLY make a decision, so I need to get this little project wrapped up! Let’s discuss the fragrances from this week’s Sephora Fragrance Sampler showdown: Lancome vs Chloe.

Lancome – La Vie Est Belle

Lancome - La Vie Est Belle

Meaning life is beautiful, this fragrance captures the daring spirit of the modern woman with notes of Iris pallida, patchouli, orange blossom, jasmine, and a sweet gourmand blend. This fragrance is crafted to give you sex appeal and make you irresistible

Maybe it’s a little unfair that this particular fragrance is in the sampler set, as I already own this one — a MASSIVE bottle of this one. I have actually owned this one since it hit the stores a little over a year and a half ago. It is absolutely addictive! I love the scent — so light and gentle. Yet, I feel just like Julia Roberts in the ads for it, breaking  the crystal chain and capturing the eye of all around (by way of their nose).

This fragrance IS my essence and before I started this project, it was–still is–my go to fragrance. It embodies feminine and life really is beautiful!

Conclusion: See above.

Chloe – Eau de Parfum

Chloe - Eau de Parfum

This fragrance is designed to capture the attitude of a Chloe woman with a blend of pink peony, rose petals, amber, and honey. This fragrance is chic and will make the perfect entrance every time. 

Just the description on this one makes me think of Blair Waldorf in Gossip Girl. I don’t exactly know why, because I have no idea what a Chloe woman is. I know what a Chloe woman isn’t though, and that’s me. I actually like the notes of peony I get from this fragrance, but the rose petal is a bit overpowering and after a short time I had the most unforgiving headache.

This fragrance is a bit too sophisticated for me, but it is definitely worth a sniff if you tend to gravitate towards these flower blends. Just be sure to pair it with a very classy outfit (power suit for the office!).

Conclusion: A bit too strong for my nose, this fragrance is well suited to a strong, powerful woman. The floral notes pop brightly and a bit loudly even.

Have you tried either of these fragrances? TWEET ME! We only have four left now before I have to make a very tough decision! Stay tuned for another rendition later this week. Happy Sunday.

Until next time. XOXO – K