New Year, New Decade.

Happy New Year!

I rang in 2010 pretty much the same way I brought in 2000: at home with a glass of champagne. It’s crazy to think that ten years has flown by so quickly. January 1st, 2000: I was still in university (in England), single and as free as a bird. Ten years later, I’m in New York, married, hanging with my folks and my three rug rats. I can’t help but think that the old adage rings true for me: you can have it all, but not at the same time. I always wanted to start a family young, and I did. Now I need to fulfill my own aspirations and get my career where I want it to be.
It has been a year since I started this blog, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely. So wishing you all a blessed, fulfilling year. Now is the time to make your dreams a reality. The only sad thing would be not trying at all, so go for it!


I smell an imposter!!!

Something very terrible has happened.

Let me start at the beginning.

What seems like many years ago, Dolce & Gabbana released their first fragrance for women.  It was simple known as Dolce & Gabbana with the red top (aka pour femme).  The perfume was a love it or loathe it creation.  With its citrus and herbal top notes, heady floral heart and vanilla-musk base, there was nothing shy about it.  The jus had tons of sillage and could easily wear the wearer instead of the other way around.

I was just out of high school when I discovered this heavenly creation.  It was love at first sniff, and it was the first fragrance that was powerful enough to affect my mood.  All I had to do was wear it and I felt like a confident, sexy, bombshell instantly. It was brash and brazen, yet somehow still sophisticated.  It was my mother who treated me to my 3.4 oz bottle, and whenever I wore it, the compliments came all day long.  I was careful with my bottle of treasured perfume, so I only wore it on special occasions.  Recently, I took a good, long look at what was left of it and decided to retire it.  Here’s why: My bottle of D&G was purchased in 1998 and I was pretty certain that the jus had been altered since then.  I resolved that I would buy myself a new bottle and keep what was left of the vintage elixir for any super special moments.

When Your Nose Knows:

I received my new bottle of D&G pour femme and tested it on my arm.  Instantly, I knew that something was wrong. Very wrong.  The top notes seemed thin and not rich as they should.  As they developed into the heart of the fragrance my nose couldn’t get past a particular synthetic note that overwhelmed and altered the entire composition of the jus.  The dry down was the ‘politically correct’ version of what it used to be.  The fragrance itself had changed drastically.  It was an imposter!

To further convince myself of what I knew to be true, I asked my hubby to smell the new version of the perfume.  He has always loved the ’98 version on me.  He smelled the new stuff (not knowing what perfume it was) and declared that he didn’t care for it.

So am I crazy? No, not at all.  There is a great explanation as to why a perfume that is the same brand can (and often does) smell different that a previously purchased bottle.  Companies and Perfume Houses (especially the big ones, ie. brands found in a dept. store) often substitute or swap ingredients or change the composition of a fragrance for several reasons.  The raw ingredients needed may become scarce, the powers that be may issue the order to make the jus more cost efficient, etc.  The most troubling reason of late has come from the IFRA who are set to ban a host of natural ingredients that have been at the heart of great perfume making for the last hundred or so years. Classics will soon become ghosts of themselves without ingredients such as oak moss and jasmine.  Instead, fragrances will become synthetic in nature (which they already are, sorry to say).  Out with real ingredients, in with man-made formulas made to smell like the genuine article.  Needless to say, there are many people (myself included) that see this as the death of the art of perfumery. Good-bye Chanel No. 5, Farewell Joy.  I can’t help but wonder why the perfume houses are essentially agreeing to these restrictions and thereby, actively contributing to their own downfall.  As I type this post, I am sitting here, wearing the imposter fragrance sold to me as D&G.  I will have no choice but to stockpile certain favorites of mine before they are altered.  I wish I could say that this has been my first encounter with a fragrance that has been drastically reformulated; unfortunately, it has not.  Lucky for me, I have my original, beloved D&G tucked away for safe keeping (what is left of it, anyway), and the perfume I wore when I married.

One final note.  It truly does peeve me that these perfume houses are substituting real, quality ingredients for poor substitutes without admitting it or lowering the price to reflect their now inferior product.  Perfumistas, we must find a way to make our voice heard.

Summer Break

I have to apologize to any one who has been dropping by to see if I wrote anything new.  This is pretty much it.  It’s summer, and I’m trying to make the most of it while it lasts (never mind the weather is bipolar!).  I’ll be back in blogging mode in the later part of August, and with new info to share! So, enjoy your summer everyone! monarch-beach-c

It’s about time!

I am a voracious reader.  I devour books.  Almost ten years ago, I read a novel that was barely 200 pages, if that long.  The name of that novel is PUSH.  I remember this story because it was so well written, so gritty and heartwrenching…and it was the first book I had ever read that moved me to tears (since then, few others have managed to do the same). The story is about Precious, a teenager pregnant by her father for the second time.  She’s abused, obese, dark and uneducated, but she attempts to do better for herself and her baby.  I am so pleased that Sapphire’s work is now on the big screen for all to see.  I hope the movie does justice to the book.

Silencing the Spirit

RF5379460Miss California is a hot topic.  People are still on this discussion, and most (from what I see and hear) think she was in the wrong to say what she said.  Here on Conscious Beauty, Miss California gets kudos for not selling out on her beliefs.  A lot of people (ie. gays) were offended when Carrie Prejean stated that she feels marriage should be between a man and a woman. We all have free will, and are entitled to our own opinion; however, free will carries with it, eternal consequences.   My opinion:  It’s unpopular and many will find it offensive, but I’m not interested in following the world’s belief system.  I fully agree with Miss California.  I am not a gay-basher, homophobic or anything like that.  However, I am not going to compromise my beliefs in order to make someone feel comfortable, especially when it is something my faith is crystal clear on.  Like I said, this stance may not be popular, but I’m going by God’s wisdom and man’s foolishness.  Everyone has the right to their own decision, one way or the other, just don’t try to force your set of values down my throat.

Happy Easter

05_08_5-cross-on-a-hill_webEvery one has their take on what today means.  For some, it’s about a bunny, or a day of work.  For me and many others who have accepted the salvation of Jesus Christ, today marks the day Jesus conquered death and evil.  I’m always amazed that church is packed on Easter, but not so much during the rest of the year.  I can personally testify that accepting Christ changes your life in ways that are impossible to imagine until you do it.  It’s wonderful.  Heaven and Hell are real places, and we’re going to one or the other depending the the choice we make. For those who accept Salvation, this is the closest they will ever come to experiencing Hell.  For those who do not, this life on Earth is the closest they’ll ever come to experiencing Heaven. The same almighty God who formed the universe and made us refuses to force Himself into our heart.  We have to invite Him in.  So, if you haven’t tried Jesus yet, or are putting it of, let me encourage you with the news that it will be the best decision you ever made. Happy Easter.

Keira Knightley Plays the Victim

There aren’t a lot of young movie stars that interest me. Keira Knightley may be one of the few.  When I hear she’s in a movie, I’m quick to check what type of film it is.  I admire the way she’s held her own and stayed out of the circus that most of her peers have joined.  My respect for Keira mainly comes for her period films.  She took one of my favorite literary characters (Lizzie Bennett) and portrayed her beautifully.  I loved Atonement and a bunch of other stuff she’s been in. Now, to the issue at hand.  Ms. Knightley and director Joe Wright (Pride & Prejudice, Atonement) have collaborated (once again) in a brilliant public service announcement about domestic violence.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this is all due to the Rihanna-Chris Brown drama, which has affected and influenced teens here and abroad.  Every one involved in this PSA made their contribution for free, which counts for something in this day and age.  While the other celebrities were busy chit-chatting about how acceptable or wrong beating on a woman may be, this woman made her stance.  For that, she gets major props. Oh yeah, it’s a British PSA, but with the power of the web, every one can watch!

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