Category Archives: Fragrance Reviews

Swatch And Learn’s #2016BestNine

Swatch And Learn Best Nine 2016

As another year draws to a close, it’s a time of reflection about the accomplishments and challenges ¬†that punctuated 2016.

Thank you for joining me on my blogging journey since 2010!

I look forward to sharing more swatches, reviews, and sprinklings of humour in the coming year. I’m excited to plan new goals for 2017 and to see where the ongoing adventure goes!

Because of the support and encouragement from readers like you, I am happy to say that a lot of my blogging dreams have come true in ways that I never imagined! Thank you so much for visiting and for leaving comments.

I have learned a lot from all of you, and I hope that Swatch And Learn has become a place on the internet that provides you with a little sunshine, especially on those difficult days! *Hug* Together, let’s continue to improve and grow while sharing our passion for nail polish. ūüôā

If you’re addicted to Instagram like I am, you no doubt have seen the trend of posting the #2016BestNine collage, which depicts an Instagram user’s nine most-popular images based on the number of likes.

Above is the collage generated by the 2016 Best Nine website, which shows my most-liked images on Instagram.

I am so honoured that, in 2016, I received 59,935 likes on my Instagram!

Also, for my Pinterest for 2016:

  • 1,616,971 people saw my pins
  • 10,422 people saved my pins to their boards
  • 6,170 people clicked my pins

It really floors me, and I’m so pleased that you have been enjoying my photos!

In this post, check out the links. They’ll lead you to the reviews and/or swatches that I published on here earlier, in case you want more information and details about a certain nail polish.

Reminder: Today’s the last day to enter my worldwide giveaway!

Be sure to get your entry in by tonight at 11:59 pm EST for your chance to win my Zoya Enchanted Collection worldwide giveaway! (3 winners! See that blog post for the full details.)

Zoya Enchanted Collection Giveaway

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The Body Shop Red Musk Eau de Toilette Review

The Body Shop Red Musk Eau de Toilette Review

The Body Shop Red Musk Eau de Toilette is a cozy yet sexy fragrance that combines the warmth of cinnamon and seductive spiced musk with a touch of tobacco.

It’s one of those scents that is feminine with a slight masculine edge. As I get older, I find myself being drawn more to fragrances that balance between the two or even that slightly dip more into the masculine side. I think it’s because I already have plenty of sweet scents that I enjoy, and this is new territory to explore.

Over the years, I’ve done many fragrance reviews on here, and while some are expensive and others fall in the middle of the road, what I love about The Body Shop fragrances is that they are very affordable, allowing more people to test-drive a new scent.

Additionally, The Body Shop Red Musk contains cruelty-free musk and is enriched with Community Trade alcohol from Ecuador. More on this later in the review.

P.S. On my nails, I’m wearing Pretty Serious Stud Muffin from the Well Meaning But Ultimately Quite Awkward Pet Names Collection.

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Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Perfume Review

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black Perfume Review

Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black is a sensual, woody, and sophisticated perfume that was designed with the modern woman in mind.

Concocted by perfumer, Pierre Negrin, this Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen scent is atypical of celebrity fragrances that tend to play it safe in the sweet, fruity-floral territory.

I appreciate my fair share of sweet gourmand scents, but there are lots of times when I reach for a bolder perfume that makes a statement and that conjures up thoughts of confident and ambitious women with a take-no-prisoners attitude.

Nirvana Black fits the bill on all counts.

In this post, I’ll share with you my thoughts on this eau de parfum, as well as its projection, longevity, and bottle design.

Since it is available at Sephora, is on the pricey side, and the Sephora VIB Sale has started (for VIB Rouge members today and VIB and BI members later), I thought it was a good idea to review the Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black perfume now.

On my nails: OPI This Cost Me a Mint from the SoftShades 2016 Collection.

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Elizabeth Arden Untold Eau de Parfum Review

Elizabeth Arden Untold Review

Like a string of pearls and a sparkling wine glass,¬†Elizabeth Arden Untold¬†is an eau de parfum that’s a class act.

Punctuated with sensual notes like bergamot, jasmine, sandalwood, and musk, it’s sophisticated like a pencil skirt paired with black pumps.

As much as I have a soft spot for sweet gourmand perfumes, I’ve been experimenting with classic scents, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how much I love them! (You may remember an earlier review I did on Elizabeth Arden Always Red.)

This fragrance may be called Untold, but I believe that it tells a refined story.

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Justin Bieber Someday Eau de Parfum Review & Canadian Giveaway

Justin Bieber Someday Eau de Parfum Review

Justin Bieber Someday is an eau de parfum that was originally released in 2011. It was later sold and is currently under the careful wing of Elizabeth Arden.

Marketed towards his fan base of primarily females aged 14 to 18 (at least back then), it’s no secret that I fall way outside that demographic.¬†(I¬†fall somewhere between the Paleozoic and Triassic eras, to be exact.)¬†

Nevertheless, I put down my granny cane, adjusted my spectacles, lined up my doilies, and poured myself some Earl Grey tea into a gold-rimmed cup laced with English roses before getting ready to test out this fragrance. Why? I believe that anyone can wear whatever scent they want. “Age is just a number,” said this blogging dinosaur.

Even when a fragrance is made for a specific gender, age, or personality, if you feel great wearing it, go for it! Dissolve those unnecessary boundaries. The world has built enough walls.

Before we begin the Justin Bieber Someday perfume review, I want you to know where I’m coming from. Generally, I tend to enjoy the sweeter, gourmand eau de parfums, and even those that aren’t necessarily billed as being sweet become that way when interacting with my body chemistry. However, in the past year, I have also started to enjoy more mature, floriental and spicy fragrances.

Created by Honorine Blac, the perfumer of Fiermenich, Justin Bieber Someday is classified as a fruity gourmand fragrance. From the description alone, it sounds like something I might like.

In this post, you’ll see photos of the bottle and hear my thoughts on what I think of the Justin Bieber Someday perfume.

P.S. I’m having a spontaneous surprise: a Justin Bieber Someday 50 mL Eau de Parfum giveaway for a brand new bottle! It’s open to Canadian readers only until this Saturday December 19th, 2015 at 11:59 pm EST. (Scroll to the bottom of this post for the full details and to enter.)¬†Edit (Sunday December 20th, 2015): Congratulations, Rebecca! You’ve won my giveaway! Please check your e-mail shortly and reply to my e-mail within 24 hours to claim your prize! Thanks to everyone for participating, and come back again soon, as I’ll be having nail-polish giveaways.

P.P.S. In case you missed it, yesterday evening, I published a blog post on the OPI Hello Kitty Collection launching in January 2016!

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Elizabeth Arden Always Red Perfume Review & Pictures

Elizabeth Arden Always Red Perfume ReviewPerfume never fails to make me as curious as Alice catching sight of the White Rabbit gawking at the time.

I tend to stick to my favourites on a daily basis, which are always in the gourmand and make-me-smell-like-dessert category.

So when I recently attended an Elizabeth Arden preview event last week at the Trump Hotel in Toronto, I was surprised that, upon first whiff, I gravitated toward Elizabeth Arden Always Red!

This fragrance launches in mid-July, so it should be out pretty soon when you read this.

It’s more mature than the scents that are normally in my comfort zone, yet this one appealed to me because it’s womanly without coming across as stuffy or old-fashioned.

I’ve been wearing Elizabeth Arden Always Red several times since being introduced to it, and I now have a good idea of its lasting power and strength, as well as how it mixes with my body chemistry.

(As you know, the same perfume can smell different or transform throughout the day on different people. It’s very personal, which is why fragrance intrigues me so much. The right scent can make your day, and the wrong one can give you a headache.)

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Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Chalkboard Edition for Women & Men (with My Doodles!)

Ed Hard Skulls And Roses Chalkboard EditionThe Ed Hardy Skulls & Roses Chalkboard Edition for Women & Men feature fragrance bottles with a unique finish that allows you to draw on them with chalk!

PR was kind enough to send me both bottles, and encouraged me to put my spin on them.

Hehe, I’m not a great drawer, but when I was in school, I enjoyed doodling in my notebooks a lot for fun (especially if the class was boring – hey just being honest).

It’s been a long time since I doodled, so this little project brought out the kid in me (not that the kid in me ever really went far – just down the street, actually, to buy some candy!) ūüėČ

In this post, I’ll show you in closer detail what I came up with. As a whole, I’m calling this collective, “Open Your Mind to Love”, which you may remember me showing on Instagram yesterday.

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