Tag Archives: jo malone

editor’s picks: nordstrom anniversary sale 2014

Psst…Looking for details on the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? I’ve got the scoop right here. |

It’s here, friends: Early Access for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale starts now! As always, I’m sharing my picks of the best (and the worst) from the Sale – time to start shopping!

Read on

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beauty buzz: perfect summer-to-fall scents

{Editor’s Note: One of you dear readers asked me about my favorite summer-to-fall fragrances this month. And with the last day of summer looming (yes, Labor Day is my definition of the end of summer), it felt like the perfect time to lend advice on picking a scent to bridge the gap between lazy summer nights and crisp fall mornings. Sadly, all that fragrance-sniffing leads to migraines at my house, so I’ve enlisted a super-sophisticated surrogate to guide you through some of the best scents of the season. Jen, who lives in Manhattan and doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to beauty finds, has picked three favorites that she swears are perfect for this time of year, and is even taking you along on a dreamy end-of-summer holiday to try them out. Enjoy the ride!}

Jen V. ~ Jo Malone’s Wild Bluebell Cologne is a “light floral” according to Jo, and in fact, is as light as a sheer, white dress. The scent, while fresh, feminine, and lovely, is not entirely innocent. There is an edgier side to it that is not obvious upon first spray – think tea with the Duchess and her not-so-prim little sister. The base is white amber and musk, which supports the lighter floral notes, and a “spicy chord of cloves” adds a bit of naughtiness, and gives the scent that extra edge that allows it to transition you from your summer cottage in the Cotswolds to your London flat in autumn with perfect English aplomb. For greater longevity during the colder months, layer the scent over the matching shower gel and body cream, just as you would with cashmere – or better yet, a classic English tweed over silk.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Aqua Universalis is equally at home with duality. Upon first spray, one is hit with a strong burst of citrus (lemon from Sicily) and bergamot. Then the white bouquet notes begin to unfold subtly, and a woodsy musk weaves its way through, transforming a light summer day into an Indian summer night with a hint of seasons to come. Imagine Tilda Swinton in I Am Love (see this film if only for the Jil Sander wardrobe), returning from a lover’s tryst in the Mediterranean to a formal, family lunch in Milan. With no time to shower and change scents, Aqua Universalis easily evolves to more serious pursuits.

On the flip side is Bond No. 9, the perfume house famed for scents named after the neighborhoods and iconic landmarks of New York. I was hoping to fall for their latest, Sag Harbor, but instead, it’s the Hamptons that remains my summer love. It’s easy to imagine lying on the beach, with the first, crisp citrus notes of the scent enveloping me in a spray of sea, slightly salty. Throughout the day, the sun warms the scent to a magnolia and light jasmine, but not in an overly feminine way. Later in the evening, warm amber and sandalwood leave you in a languid post-beach haze that helps this scent seamlessly transition to fall.

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get gifting: the glamazon

for the friend who can’t even be lured away from sephora by the promise of a venti pumpkin spice latte, here’s a list of goodies sure to make their holiday extra special.  i absolutely can’t pick a favorite from this run-down…i’ve tried several times.  but i will say that each and every one of these would be perfect for absolutely any skin tone or type, so you’re guaranteed a virtually error-proof holiday.  especially if you manage to track down that la mer illumating powder. or the bobbi brown eye palette. or the kiehls creme de corps, or the jo malone bath oils, or….oh, there i go.  best to get one of each, i think.  you know, just in case.

Creme De Corps 500ml 0006

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famous favorites

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left to right, from top: la mer illuminating powder (impossible to find online, but still in stores), $95; kiehls creme de corps limited edition by jeff koons, $45; duwop venom gloss candy box, $25; origins famous favorites, $59.50; bobbi brown day to night eye palette, $45; caudalie vinotherapie my spa escape, $34; jo malone bath oil collection, $85; ojon shine & protect winter collection, $39.

{FTC disclaimer: some product samples were provided to help me compile this guide, but as usual, there’s no pay-for-play here.}

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friday finds: mother’s day edition

this year has been a little tricky for mother’s day gifts for me.  with my nana gone, i’ve been trying to come up with something extra special for my mom this year. and while i did come up with something i think she’ll love (can’t tell, of course…it would ruin the surprise!), i thought i’d share my runner-up ideas with all of you!

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as i said, i’ve been a little bit more sentimental than usual about moms this year, so i loved the idea behind this book before i even saw it.  photographer jeannette montgomery barron decided to share her memories about her mom by photographing some of her most memorable outfits and using them to tell the story of her mom’s life, and the result is my mother’s clothes.  it’s incredibly touching, and the photos are beautiful.  i imagine giving this to my mom with a photo of her stylish self pasted into the front.

if your mom leans more heavily toward the martha stewart side of things, jo malone’s candle collaboration with farrow & ball is absolutely sure to be a hit.  they’ve paired their five most popular fragrances with limited edition containers from the famed paint company, and the result is a candle that looks utterly perfect and smells divine.  my favorite is the lime basil & mandarin, but pomegranate noir is also pretty wonderful.

alexis bittar is offering to personally sign a piece of jewelry for your mom this year, if you buy from their website by may 4 (include code ‘LOVEMOM’ and her name in the comments when you check out).  their signature lucite bangles are so perfectly timeless and chic, they’ll be the perfect update to her wardrobe, no matter what her style. and prices start at $55, so you should be able to grab something on most any budget.  the styles i’ve pictured above are my personal favorites for mom…clockwise from left, buy them herehere and here.

while i was out shopping with my dear friend jocelyn when she was in town last weekend, i came across this moleskine recipe journal ($20), and my heart skipped a beat.  it would be perfect for anyone that loves to cook and experiment, but what a perfect gift for your culinarily-inclined mom!  now she can write down all of her “top secret” recipes for you, and tape all of those recipes she’s torn from magazines and newspapers to the pages.

if you’re set on sending flowers (and really, what mom doesn’t love flowers?), i happened on these stunning sugar cookies from miette, one of my favorite pastry shops in san francisco.  they’ll ship anywhere, and i think they might be even prettier than actual flowers.

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beauty buzz: jo malone kohdo wood collection

i get a little giddy when a new jo malone fragrance comes out – which is a little odd for someone allergic to most perfumes, i admit.  but the truth is, i find most perfumes much too complex and overpowering – the simple, clean fragrances from jo malone just get me every time.  

the lotus blossom & water lily scent, from their new kohdo wood collection, is my latest find. it’s maybe the perfect floral – light and fresh, with just enough mandarin and wood to keep it very clean.

this would make a perfect mom’s day gift, actually – i’d buy her the shower gel or the cologne, and pair it with a sweet little bouquet of flowers.  if your mom’s more of a purist, or just anti-floral, try the crisp, lemon-y verbena of provence, my all-time favorite jo malone scent.  gift it nestled into a little bowl of lemons, and even the martha-est mom will be impressed!

get free shipping at the jo malone website, or – if you’re a last-minute gifter, you can pick these up at saks, neimans or nordstrom on the way to mother’s day brunch.

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happy holidays, everyone!

well, this is it – happy chrismakkah, everyone!  i’ll be around a bit next week…i’m sure i won’t be able to resist sharing a few after-christmas sales.  but posting will be light, and drinking will be heavy…’tis the season, after all.  

for those of you that are entertaining family and friends, or just needing some R&R this week, i thought i’d leave you with a few words of advice from interior design guru bella mancini on using my favorite jo malone scents to make the world a little less hectic and a little more festive:

• During the holidays, some of my favorite moments are those spent in the silent, early morning hours.  I love to turn on the tree lights, start a fire, sit on the sofa and drink my morning coffee.  Jo Malone’s Fragrance Combining Candle enhances this special moment.  I light it near my hearth, and it illuminates brightly while smelling of sweet holiday scent.

• When holiday entertaining, I place a small bouquet of fresh cut eucalyptus and large white roses on the sink in my powder room.  I then spritz Pine & Eucalyptus Living Colognewhich smells like freshly cut pine trees, into the air and on hand towels.  Voila – the bathroom not only looks gorgeous, but it smells gorgeous, too!

• Before holiday overnight guests arrive, I spritz their bed linens with Jo Malone Acqua di Limone Scent Surround Spray.  Its lime, citrus scent is refreshing and clean.

• The Wild Fig & Cassis Home Candle is my absolute favorite – I adore its wintry, woody fragrance so much that it has become my home’s signature scent!  When staying with my in-laws during the holidays, I love to bring something special from my home to theirs, and this candle is undoubtedly the gift I always bring!

i hope each one of you dear readers has a truly wonderful holiday…whether you’re lighting candles, stuffing stockings, or skipping out to maui!  thank you for a fantastic year, and here’s to much more fun together in 2009!

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what i’m giving today: gift sets worth giving

editor’s note:  the drawing for that stunning pallie croc wallet closes thursday at midnight…have you really not entered yet?

let me preface this guide with the following:  despite their rep, gift sets can be really lovely, thoughtful gifts.  added bonus:  once you make up your mind, they’re easy to track down, and usually require no wrapping at all.  for me, the key to succeeding with the gift set give is to make sure (drum roll) it’s a set of something the recipient will actually use and enjoy, and something you obviously put some thought into.  heading to the drugstore on 12/24 and picking up a box of coty perfume with a matching scented scrunchie is not thoughtful…and it comes through.  but, below are my picks (and general thoughts) on giving a gift set that’s sure to be a hit.

my absolute favorite sets this season are from diptyque and jo malone.  both are stunning, impeccably presented, and guaranteed to be the best gift under the tree.

this holiday, diptyque has released a limited edition set of its three most popular holiday candles.  girls, if you aren’t familiar with diptyque, well, let’s just say these aren’t any ordinary candles.  the scents are positively other-worldly…incredibly unique and sophisticated, and a great gift for just about anyone.  the holiday “black box” set includes their pomander, feu de bois (firewood) and spruce scents – burning them individually or together creates the most amazing holiday scent in your house.  give them to your favorite hostess, or anyone who loves the finer things – just don’t give them to your great aunt who collects yankee candles…there is such a thing as wasteful luxury.

jo malone, my other favorite this year, is a perfectly luxe gift option.  to keep it from being generic, make sure you pick a set that reflects your friend’s tastes.  if she loves to wear perfume, there’s nothing better than jo malone’s “tasting kit” – they really have pioneered the concept of mixing scents to create a custom fragrance, and this set is the perfect way to help her really have some fun.  i also happen to love the fragrance combining collection for anyone who really loves the finer things, even if they aren’t familiar with the line.  sadly, it’s sold out online, but should be easy to track down at your local saks or neiman marcus.

for someone you know a little better, i love the idea of a well-thought-out beauty sets.  but do reserve these for good friends, as they’re definitely a trickier gift to give well.  

for your friend that’s always raving about her new yoga instructor, or that great vegan restaurant that just opened up down the street, look no further than suki.  this is a product line i’ve raved about before, and their holiday offerings are a wonderful way to introduce someone to the line.  because skin types can be tricky, stick to something that offers universal benefits, like their gorgeous deluxe moisturizing kit (that wooden case the set comes in is gorgeous!).  

if you have a friend or a mom who’s constantly bemoaning the fact that she can’t afford/is terrified but overwhelmingly curious about botox, i can think of no better gift than the eye coffret set from darphin (please, please, don’t get this gift for someone unless you’ve actually heard her express discontent with her eyes.  no self-improvement suggestions via holiday gifts, ever).  ladies, you know how rarely i’m thrilled with an eye cream…but darphin’s products work actual wonders, and are completely splurge-worthy.  your friend will thank her lucky stars that you know her so well.  (tip:  this is also a great set to put on your own wish list…i have a hard time splurging on darphin for myself, but adore receiving it!)

for the friend whose feet are more likely to be 30,000 feet overhead than planted on terra firma, get her a beauty set that’s designed to repair travel-weary skin and make it through TSA safely.  my absolute favorite is the organics to go set from juice beauty – this is another line i just love.  best of all, this set is highly budget-friendly:  pick it up for just $29 at your local whole foods!

and, if all else fails, gift sets from bliss are always fun and lighthearted, and guaranteed to please.  their products are harder to track down than, say, philosophy, so it feels more thoughtful.  my pick is the “you look spa-velous” set, which is a great set to introduce someone to the bliss world (the oxygen mask alone will make them a convert).  tack on a gift certificate for a mani if your friend has a bliss spa nearby, and you have one seriously satisfying gift.

so, those are my picks this season.  what do you think – was i convincing?  will you be giving any gift sets this year?

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what i want today: comforting fall scents

the moment the weather turns cool, i start craving warm, comforting scents like cinnamon, clove and winter fruits.  short of keeping an oven full of pie at all times, my best shot for maintaining those classic fall scents in my home is via candle.  so, i’ve taken it upon myself to run an exhaustive test, and i’ve come up with my list of favorites for this fall season.

the new joya collection at barneys has my undivided attention.  i haven’t stopped burning their fantastic candles since they arrived.  they’ve collaborated with one of my favorite ceramic artists, sarah cihat, to develop candles that smell amazing, last forever, and are housed in truly gorgeous containers.  my personal favorite is the pomegranate white pepper ($48), which has the deep sweetness of pomegranate, but the snap of white pepper, ginger and cardamom keeps it from being too cloying. 

i know it’s a second pomegranate scent, but the pomegranate noir from jo malone ($65) is so different,  they’re both worth loving.  in the jo malone version, the pomegranate is more prominent, probably because of the raspberry notes in the background.  but by adding patchouli and frankincense, this turns into a much more complex fragrance.  overall, if you’re after a true pomegranate, i’d go with the jo malone…but if you’re after just a generally light sweet scent with a hint of spice, the joya is for you.

i have to admit to some work bias here, but honestly, pacifica’s tibetan mountain temple ($20) is my hands-down favorite for homey, spicy scents this season.  it’s not intended as a holiday candle, but the scents of ginger, orange and vetiver combine to make this as comforting as a scent can be.  i can’t get enough!  archipelago’s gingered grapefruit ($24) is another great option, but the grapefruit makes this one much sharper – a great candle for day to keep you awake, where the pacifica is a night-only burn for me…it just makes me cozy, warm and relaxed.

for something really different, i’ve been obsessively sniffing the new agadir candle from tocca ($36) since it arrived.  it smells exactly like sweet pipe tobacco, a scent i’ve always secretly loved, especially when the air outside is crisp.  the particular beauty of this scent (besides the gorgeous trademark tocca packaging) is that this is a scent your other half can’t pass up…it’s as manly as a candle gets.

what’s your favorite cold-weather scent?

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