Tag Archives: grayling jewelry

fragrance face-off: balenciaga vs. bottega veneta

Today’s guest post is by Ms. Katy Kippen (who also happens to be the uber-talented designer behind Grayling Jewelry). With bling that good, you know her taste is impeccable – but I had no idea she’s also pretty darned articulate about fragrance. Since my expertise stops at the pretty packaging, I happily delegated this one to her! Prepare to learn more about good perfume than you ever thought you’d know.


Now that it’s cooler out, my usual floral fragrance is beginning to feel a bit delicate.  I’ve been searching for a a warmer blend, one that feels “right” with my winter wardrobe.

How convenient it was, then, when Becki offered me the chance to test and review two just-released perfumes, L’Essence from Balenciaga and the very first fragrance release from Bottega Veneta – Eau de Parfum.

Both are chypres, a fragrance style described by Wikipedia as, “an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a floral middle, and a mossy-animalic base-note derived from oak moss and musks.” But interestingly enough, they don’t smell anything alike.

First, I tried Balenciaga L’Essence, the greener version of Balenciaga’s original scent from 2009.  It’s safe to say I’m in love with the new interpretation – which is quite a surprise.

At first sniff, I wasn’t sure about it. In the beginning, the scent is large and rich.  It is almost headache-inducing. You needn’t stick your nose right up to your wrist or the nozzle to catch a whiff (in fact, I would suggest refraining from doing so, as the top notes might make your nostrils hurt). But once the initial violet notes in L’Essence mellowed, my wrists smelled lovely. The delicate citrusy-powder scent lasted all day. L’Essence is quite mysterious – what begins as somewhat off-putting ends up drawing you in. L’Essence is truly a unique fragrance; it’s worth waiting for the initial notes to fade away as what’s left is quite lovely and feminine.

Next I tried Bottega Veneta’s Eau de Parfum, described by the company website as a “leathery floral”, “evoking blended notes of Italian bergamot, Brazilian pink pepper, Indian Sambac jasmine, oak moss and patchouli.”

From the description, I anticipated an explosion of musky flowers. Instead it was much softer. The fragrance is earthy and mossy – like lingering aroma of smoky incense and burning resin (which are things I love). In fact, it smells a lot like one of my favorite candles, Spiritus Sancti, from the French maker Cire Trudon.

I wasn’t sure about wearing a scent with hints of “leather” in it initially. But after a long trial period, I am finally sold. Eau de Parfum from Bottega Veneta is the perfect fragrance to pair with a cozy sweater by a warm fire.  It truly epitomizes everything their company stands for – luxury, quality, and sensuality.  Plus, the bottom of the bottle has a frosted texture which would be especially beautiful on a mirrored tray on a vanity.

The final verdict? While Balenciaga’s scent was my initial favorite, when the cold weather set in, Eau de Parfum from Bottega Veneta answered my calling.  It exudes a warmth that’s a perfect match for cool temps. –Katy Kippen

Share 'fragrance face-off: balenciaga vs. bottega veneta' on Facebook Share 'fragrance face-off: balenciaga vs. bottega veneta' on Google+ Share 'fragrance face-off: balenciaga vs. bottega veneta' on Pinterest Share 'fragrance face-off: balenciaga vs. bottega veneta' on Twitter Share 'fragrance face-off: balenciaga vs. bottega veneta' on Email

welcome sponsor: grayling jewelry

You are going to absolutely flip for our newest sponsor, friends – I’ve been a fan of hers for ages, and am so thrilled to welcome her to the fold at SMC!

Grayling Jewelry just launched its fall collection – Northern Lights – and the pieces are maybe my favorite she’s ever done. Full of bold, faceted stones and rich, decadent chain, these are pieces that make a statement, but still manage to be incredibly wearable.

When I told Katy Kippen, the uber-talented designer behind Grayling, that I’d be writing up a little something on her line, she suggested that I pick one piece to feature. It’s like choosing one piece of candy in a store, friends…I’d never be able to choose between the cinnamon bears and the marshmallows. And so it is with Katy…but I’ve managed to narrow it down:

{Clockwise from top left: Tail Arc earring, $88; Magnetism necklace, $315;
Cassini bracelet
, $145;  Pytheas necklace (it’s reversible!), $295.}

So many pretties! And one of my favorite things about Katy is that she’s always thinking about versatility – so many of her designs are reversible or variable in a few different ways. Which brings me to one of my top two pieces:

Yes, that’s one piece, friends. One long necklace you can wear dozens of different ways – in fact, it converts to a lariat-style drop pendant too. No wonder it’s called the Variability necklace.

Yep, I think that’s my favorite. Well, except for this:

How could I possibly choose? Sure, the Northern Lights can’t be rearranged in a thousand different configuations, but there’s something about those champagne-colored crystals and drapes of chain that I just know I’d want to wear every chance I got (as evidenced by the fact that, when I borrowed it for a photo shoot recently, I kept it much longer than was at all appropriate).

Go check out all of the stunning eye candy over at Grayling Jewelry and show them some SMC love, won’t you?

Share 'welcome sponsor: grayling jewelry' on Facebook Share 'welcome sponsor: grayling jewelry' on Google+ Share 'welcome sponsor: grayling jewelry' on Pinterest Share 'welcome sponsor: grayling jewelry' on Twitter Share 'welcome sponsor: grayling jewelry' on Email