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Sensuous / Estée Lauder

Sensuous / Estée Lauder

Sensuous smells exactly like its namesake; this is one of those linear fragrances that don’t evolve very much but it smells so amazing that it doesn’t matter. This was close to becoming my signature scent, but I found it rather difficult to wear on a daily basis. It’s something that I reach for at night, after a hot shower…before bed, or for a quiet evening out with my husband.

Sensuous starts with a blast of sandalwood and cedar, these are the primary notes that can be picked out amongst the mellowing warmth of honey and amber. I sense a little pepper in between but it complements the woodiness of this fragrance so well that you can hardly separate the two. There is a bit of orange on the cool down which invokes a clean powdery feeling to the structure of this perfume. With the exception of ylang-ylang, I did not detect any florals.

I consider Sensuous to be one of my top five powdery fragrances, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever smelled before and I feel this is due to the unique nature of its ingredients. The honey and amber radiates with warmth and sensuality, it reminds me of silk sheets and vanilla body cream, very luxurious and decadent. At its heart this is a boozy powder with balsamic undertones and hints of warm incense.  It’s very feminine but not immature; this is unequivocally a woman’s fragrance.
Overall I am consistently enamored with Sensuous; as the seasons shift into December I find myself embracing it like a warm blanket before a roaring fire. I can imagine this to be a perfect companion for autumn and winter. Sillage and longevity are moderate, this is a skin scent meant to entice and seduce with ease; apparently it works…I am constantly under its spell!


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

London for Men / Burberry

London for Men / Burberry

I have come to the conclusion that men’s fragrances can be much more complex and pleasing to the palate than the average woman’s winter lineup. My latest excursion with Burberry London has proven that perfumes are multifarious in nature, genderless and will appeal to practically anyone who can wear it with love and confidence. This is the perfect fall companion, much like a trench coat on a brisk Autumn day.

London opens up with strong cinnamon and tobacco notes; there is leather at the base and mild citrus to keep this feeling fresh. The bed of oak moss is what gives this perfume a very damp earthy scent that rounds out all the other notes. It smells like wet soil mixed with fresh lavender after a heavy rain. The cinnamon stays true through dry down along with a very surprising scent of roses, the tobacco is still there but it’s become softer and more sentimental. To me this is Thanksgiving in a bottle: warm, spicy, and reminds me of my grandfather’s library.

London is not a tough guy’s fragrance, in fact I feel this is more for the aristocratic gentleman; the kind who is a little old-school, has his head on straight, and doesn’t pussyfoot around the bedroom ;). He is strong willed and non-conventional, a straight shooter who is as likely to break your heart as he is to brighten your day with a soft kiss. On women this is strong, confident, and a slightly bitchy. I totally feel like I am channeling Lauren Bacall with a little whiskey and a cherry cigar. London fantastically transcends gender barriers and I love it.  ♥


Top Notes

Middle Notes


 

Base Notes

 

 

Rosabotanica / Balenciaga

Rosabotanica / Balenciaga

I’m surprised mint was not listed as an ingredient on this; there certainly seems to be some kind of bitterness accompanying the rose and fig opening of this fragrance. Rosabotanica is a very green scent, I feel like I am standing in the middle of an English garden after a heavy spring shower, basking in the aroma of fresh flowers and wet grass. The dry down consists of cardamom, woods, and a very sheer rose. There is pepper throughout its life but I also sense a little saffron as well; grapefruit balances everything out to make this a very clean and energetic fragrance.

Rosabotanica isn’t particularly innovative; it’s a streamlined fragrance with a little twist. There’s something here that reminds me of Agent Provocateur, the rose is an Indian rose…not your conventional evening flower. I am absolutely in love with the dry down after about an hour, pink pepper balances so well with the florals that it’s a shame how soft the sillage is. It’s certainly a skin scent, with almost no projection and poor longevity.

Overall not exactly a game changer, but still very memorable and the bottle design is pretty enough to make it almost worthwhile.


Top Notes

Middle Notes

Base Notes

French Linen and Dark Wax

French Linen and Dark Wax

I finally got around to finishing this night stand, I am utterly in love! This was painted with Annie Sloan’s French Linen and Old White. I used Annie Sloan’s dark wax for a nice weathered appearance. I left the pulls alone, I was going to paint it white to match the drawer but the bronze tones made this dresser a little warmer. I absolutely love the scalloped details on this piece.  I did not paint the inside yet, still deciding if I should. Here are some pictures and details:

Annie Sloan’s colors matched to Behr colors (Updated for 2015)

Annie Sloan’s colors matched to Behr colors (Updated for 2015)

I love Annie Sloan paint, however I am not always a fan of her prices. Chalk paint is currently the “in” thing these days, but after using her paint and creating my own DIY mixtures, I really do not see a difference. Honestly, whip up a batch of Plaster of Paris with any of the Behr colors that match ASCP’s and put them side by side…the difference is nil to nothing.

I know there is already a list out there that matches Behr colors to Annie Sloan’s but I realized after doing some research that the list is A) outdated B) the colors are not precise and do not match.

I wanted to do a very thorough and close match to ASCP’s colors. The colors I’ve researched are not just “similar”, they also match undertones and overtones. Thus, the colors are as close to authentic as possible.

Pardon my finger haha

 

Antibes Green matched with Behr’s Parakeet
ASCP’s Coco matched with Behr’s Ethiopia (camera lens makes it look a little green, it’s actually brownish cream).

In some cases when a Behr color is not possible, I matched it with Glidden or Ralph Lauren paints. All three brands are carried by the Home Depot and are affiliated with each other. Home Depot can transform it into a Behr “color” by using their color match system.

**So for example the closest match to ASCP’s Barcelona Orange is Ralph Lauren’s Varsity Orange, you can turn it into a Behr Premium Plus Ultra brand by letting the associate know the name and number of the RL color. Simple!**

 

 

 

  • ASCP Antibes Green
    • Behr Parakeet MQ4-47d

 

  • ASCP Antoinette
    • Behr Rosewater S170-2u

 

  • ASCP Aries
    • Glidden Wood Thrush Gold 10YY 45/419

 

  • ASCP Aubusson Blue
    • Behr Tornado Season S450-6d

 

  • ASCP Barcelona Orange
    • Ralph Lauren Varsity Orange RL4087
    • Behr Tiki Torch M180-6d

 

  • ASCP Burgundy
    • Behr Deep Claret BIC-50

 

  • ASCP Chateau Grey
    • Behr Grassy Savannah N340-5m

 

  • ASCP CoCo
    • Behr Ethiopia PPU5-6d

 

  • ASCP Country Grey
    • Behr Rye Bread PPU8-10m

 

  • ASCP Cream
    • Behr Hummus PPu6-11u

 

  • ASCP Duck Egg Blue
    • Behr Misty Moss N420-3m

 

  • ASCP Emile
    • Behr Gothic Purple N110-4d

 

  • ASCP Emperor’s Silk
    • Behr Red Red Red BIC-49

 

  • ASCP English Yellow
    • Behr Sulphur Yellow P320-7d

 

  • ASCP Florence
    • Glidden Niagara Reef Jade 70GG 25/242

 

  • ASCP French Linen
    • Behr Gray Squirrel N320-5m

 

  • ASCP Graphite
    • Behr Astronomical N450-7d

 

  • ASCP Greek Blue
    • Behr Empire Blue MQ5-56m

 

  • ASCP Henrietta
    • Behr Highland Thistle S110-4u

 

  • ASCP Louis Blue
    • Behr Opal Waters MQ5-50u

 

  • ASCP Napoleonic Blue
    • Glidden Federal Blue 50BB 10/147
    • Behr Velvet Rope MQ5-58

 

  • ASCP Old Ochre
    • Behr Dainty Lace MQ3-11u

 

  • ASCP Old Violet
    • Glidden Mountain Slate Blue 10bb 18/106
    • Behr Hypnotic MQ5-19

 

  • ASCP Old White
    • Behr Writing Paper S310-1u

 

  • ASCP Olive
    • Behr Kilimanjaro N340-7d

 

  • ASCP Paloma
    • Behr Metropolis N140-3m

 

  • ASCP Paris Grey
    • Behr Classic Silver PPU18-11u

 

  • ASCP Primer Red
    • Ralph Lauren Townhouse RL4062

 

  • ASCP Provence
    • Glidden Blue Green Sea 90GG35/153

 

  • ASCP Pure White
    • Behr Ultra Pure White PPU18-6

 

  • ASCP Scandinavian Pink
    • Behr Red Coral PPU1-5Ad

 

  • ASCP Versailles
    • Behr Mojito PPU8-11

 

 

Pretty Little Things

Pretty Little Things

Quick update, my mom found these dirty frames when cleaning out her garage. I LOVE gold anything and these things had little ornate details that I knew could transform into something cute.

So dirty and gross!

First, these were covered in cobwebs and dirt, so a much needed scrubbing was my priority. I filled up my bucket and with some water & soap…I managed to get some of that yuckiness out. =P

What a difference! =P

So to prep, I decided to prime the frames with some 1-2-3 Primer I bought from your local Home Depot.
I then started to paint with Glidden’s “Winter Mauve” on one frame and Behr’s “Indiscreet” on another.

I allowed the frames to dry over night. The next morning I started the staining process; I’m still new to this staining thing but after my last project I have started to gain a little more confidence.

With an artist’s brush I applied the stain in little nooks and crannies, making sure to apply heavily in the moldings and corners.

After applying, I allowed the stain to “sit” for over a minute. Then with a lint free rag, I wiped off the excess using circular motions and light pressure. =D

I applied more stain on the outer edges to create a dimensional look to the frames. Once everything was dry I used a small painter’s brush, whipped out some metallic gold paint from Ralph Lauren (I used Parlor Gold). And painted the gold on to the moldings.

Parlor Gold by Ralph Lauren

For these frames I had in mind to use them as chalk boards, so I ordered some 8 x 10 glass panes from a nearby store. I applied primer to the panes and applied one layer of chalkboard paint. The finishing product? Fantastic!

 

Little Saigon

Little Saigon

My favorite morning ritual consists of sitting alone in a quiet meditative state, next to my window…on a gray dreary morning. Sipping coffee from my favorite cup, and perhaps reading the news off my phone.
A week ago I read two separate articles on how Asians “lacked imagination” and are generally “not very artistic” (their words). Both pieces were from two separate but very reputable agencies, making me think that perhaps Asians get the sloppy seconds when it comes to first impressions. Being so, I couldn’t help but feel that it placed a bit of a dent in my morning. Either way, I shrugged it off and focused on my passion: refurbishing!

So I found this night stand sitting isolated on my street, someone had completely ruined it with cigarette marks, crayons, some coffee stains, belt marks, and dark holes. They left her out for the trash so I guess it is up to me to save her! =P

It’s covered in some gooey brown liquid…EW!
Lots of weird black marks

I couldn’t even touch it, no I made my husband carry it LOL.
So the first order of business was to clean the crap out of her. She was so dirty she almost made it stylish haha. So I brought out the hose, sprayed everything down and with a bucket and some soap…I used a wire sponge and started to scrub. I tried to get all the dirt and yucky stuff out of the crevices and sprayed down the areas that were inaccessible to me. It was tough, I am talking dried glue..gum, dead insects…I swore it was like a museum packed into this tiny little night stand.

I allowed for her to dry for a few hours then I whipped out my random orbital sander and proceeded to sand off all the leftover marks and little raises in the paint.

Sanding off all the little nicks on the drawers

I took my sander over the entire dresser, applying very little pressure and using 220 grit. This was my first time using an orbital sander so I was afraid of using anything too coarse, I didn’t want to destroy the night stand lol. Luckily I found it to be very easy to use, the machine practically did the work itself! In retrospect I could have gotten away with 100 grit if I wanted to.

There was an area on the side that had a large crack running up from the bottom. I was watching Restoration America (or something) and learned that I could use the sanding dust from my project mixed with a bit of glue to act as a filler. So never passing up an opportunity to try something different, I decided to do just that!

Large crack running up the side!

 

Some glue and sanding dust to use as a filler!

I filled her with a bit of glue, and waited to dry. Then sanded off the build-up until the area was smooth again. It worked perfectly! I couldn’t tell there was ever a dent there! =]

Once I wiped everything down with a tack cloth, I started to apply my first coat of paint. I used Graphite as my base coat, then applied 2 layers of ASPC’s Emperor’s Silk. I was inspired by antique Chinese furniture, something rustic but modern.

Lookin good!

I loved that the black base coat was showing through a little, giving the red a darker contrast in some areas. Instead of using dark wax this time, I decided to Stain this piece. I’ve had a bad experience using stain in the past, but I am not one to be deterred (trust me). So I decided to try it again this time, and it was a MAJOR SUCCESS.

I allowed the stain to settle into the nooks and crannies on the drawer. Wiping off using baby oil in areas that I wanted to highlight, such as the center of the drawers. Working in a clockwise motion, I wanted everything to get darker as the stain migrated away from the center. Generally I allowed the stain to sit for no longer than 30 seconds before I started to wipe it off, honestly you have to work quickly or it will dry fast. Use baby oil to remove!

I stained the top of the night stand and let it sit.

I left the stain on top of the nightstand for 3 days!

On hindsight I should have just painted it black, but I wanted to experiment with the results so I left the stain on top for 3 whole days. It took that long to dry (you don’t want to apply poly to wet stain). It smelled horribly but left a shiny finish. I love it.

After staining, I decided to stencil gold flowers on the front, it was my first time stenciling also and I was horrible at it! The colors seeped through to the bottom and left weird blotches! I was using a roller instead of a stencil brush so that was a total mistake, I also allowed my brush to get too wet.

First time stenciling

Either way , there was a lot of washing off and re-applying involved. Luckily, I got better at it and decided to finish the gold leaves by hand, it eradicated the fuzzy lines.

I had some left over paint that I needed to get rid of so I painted the inside drawer green.

To finish things off, I grabbed some handles at home depot and threw them together.

Boom. This girl is on fire!

Birthday Vacation

Birthday Vacation

Another year, another moment of reflection. Time seemed to have sped up on me, and every day I am finding that life can be so fragile. I want to wake up every day appreciating all that I have, because I feel that everything might not have existed if I had made one wrong decision. Enjoy life now, every day, it may never be this sweet again.

I had the best birthday week ever, my husband is so absolutely amazing, I love him truly. He showered me with so much this month I feel so guilty! Today was especially nice because he surprised me with a visit to Peinture!

The store was pretty swanky!
Duck egg blue with an old white base and white washed!

Peinture is an Annie Sloan distributor in LA, I had so much fun on my trip and even got away with a can of dark wax!


The store was beautiful on the inside,lots of pretty furniture, and everything ASCP! I especially loved all the pieces that were done with color washes and paint layering. There were also pamphlets with color samples and paint chips.

The price for these pieces were a little outrageous, ranging from about $400 to $900 for a drawer! To be honest, I don’t see any difference between ASCP paint on furniture and just regular Behr paint mixed with POP at home.

I totally love all the ASCP samples on chairs!

The lady at the counter told me painting classes were booked until the end of July! Nooooooooo! =P

 

 

 

Super chippy

Such a beautiful piece!

My hubby surprised me with a delicious birthday cake on the way home! He is such the perfect guy!

By the way, I can’t wait to use my ASCP dark wax on my new projects!

All in all, a perfect birthday. Goodnight world.