Is it love or just a crush? Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist

Photo of Rio de Janeiro beach from Travel Channel

If I can’t be at the beach on these lazy summer days, I at least want to smell like I am there – and what better beach than the gorgeous sandy paradise of Rio de Janeiro? I jumped at the chance to try Sol de Janeiro’s Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist ($32 – 8.1 fl oz; in the hopes that I could instantly be transported with a simple spritz. You might recognize this line as Sephora’s “Rookie of the Year” for skin care last year thanks to their Brazilian Bum Bum Cream. People went crazy for the scent, so Sol de Janeiro turned it into a body mist fragrance.

Brazilians believe in “cheirosa,” something I am also pretty obsessive about – it means to smell amazing and delicious all day long. I went to a party recently and a group of people were trying to figure out who smelled so incredible…and they finally realized it was me! Highest compliment ever in my book. Brazilian Crush is a fragrance that you can use head to toe, from your hair to your skin to your clothes, and it keeps you smelling fantastic all day long.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush

 Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist is mostly a mix of pistachio and salted caramel. Fragrance notes include:

  • Top: pistachio, almond
  • Mid: heliotrope, jasmine petals
  • Dry: vanilla, salted caramel, sandalwood

    Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush

It smells surprisingly spicy and not foody at all. This is an addictive scent with a definite wild side – I can totally picture women wearing this and string bikini. Whether or not you are into wearing string bikinis this year, if you like beachy, tropical scents with a bit of spice you are going to find that the Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Fragrance Mist is more of a long time love and not just a crush. Check it out at  Sephora.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration, affiliate links

Vanilla Blackberry and Vanilla Grapefruit…yummy scents from LaVanila

LaVanila vanilla roll on fragrances

When it comes to fragrance, I always go the vanilla route. If I see vanilla listed when scanning the notes, I know immediately that scent will be mine! As a result, I am a frequent flyer with the LaVanila Laboratories line, which is all about vanilla. LaVanila recently sent me two fragrances in their Healthy Roller-Ball ($19) packaging which is a favorite of mine because it’s so convenient.

The Healthy Roller-Ball fragrances are all natural and organic; there are no chemicals inside. I carry one in my purse at all times and it is a great option for travel. Plus, it comes in seven different fragrances:  Fresh Vanilla Lemon, Vanilla Lavender, Vanilla Coconut, Pure Vanilla, Vanilla Grapefruit, Vanilla Blackberry, and Vanilla Passion Fruit.

LaVanila Vanilla GrapefruitLaVanila Vanilla Grapefruit

LaVanila Vanilla Grapefruit is a modern, sexy vanilla scent that is warm but with a bite. I tend to think of citrus fragrances as more spring/summer, but the warmth of the vanilla makes this a perfect cool weather scent. The vanilla is beautifully rich in a very unexpected way.  Vanilla Grapefruit has notes of lime, patchouli, grapefruit, heliotrope, bergamot, Madagascar vanilla and sandalwood. I have to say up front that I detect NO patchouli in this…which a big plus for me because I am usually not a fan of patchouli. For my fellow migraine sufferers, this fragrance has no synthetics so it’s probably never going to trigger or exacerbate a headache. Another plus…men LOVE this scent. Vanilla drives my husband crazy…which is typical for men, from what I read. The top scents that turn a man on are all edible scents, with both vanilla and citrus at the top of the list (so is pumpkin pie, but that’s a whole other review topic!).

Vanilla Grapefruit truly transforms and morphs on my skin. The beginning is more citrus, like a just-cut juicy grapefruit. Then it morphs into a yummy, warm vanilla floating on delicious sandalwood. It still has a bite of the citrus but it’s a little more lime than grapefruit to my nose. The cedar also comes out, but it’s tempered by that soothing vanilla. After an hour or so, it settles into a wonderfully creamy and warm vanilla with that little citrus bite…like a really cute guy who has a touch of danger in him. Gorgeous, delicious, and tiny bit naughty.

If you are looking for a super fresh citrus scent, this isn’t your bottle of heaven. LaVanila Vanilla Grapefruit is more vanilla than anything, but if you want a fabulous warm vanilla with a twist of something different, it is exactly what you are looking for.

LaVanila Vanilla BlackberryLaVanila Vanilla Blackberry

The Blackberry Vanilla scent is a totally different sort of vanilla. The top notes are blackberry and raspberry, the middle note is iris, and the base note is vanilla. When I wear this, I initially smell the iris and vanilla, but then the scent matures and becomes more sweet. The sweetness isn’t a sickening sweet – it’s actually super fresh and clean, smelling slightly like jam. I think the Blackberry Vanilla is very different from the other LaVanila scents that tend to be warm, rich twists on vanilla. This one is actually a cool, refreshing scent. Well,  I guess it’s complicated, but in a good way – the vanilla is warm and the blackberry adds an intriguing coolness. And I get comments on this one all the time. Someone always asks me what I am wearing when I go Blackberry Vanilla.

One more thing I notice however, is that at least on me, this scent doesn’t seem to last as long as some of the other LaVanila Healthy Rollerball scents. However, that handy rollerball packaging makes it easy to reapply throughout the day. I really don’t have any other vanilla based scent quite like this one, so I highly recommend this as addition to your fragrance collection.

You can find the Healthy Rollerball fragrances by LaVanila online at and also at Sephora.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration, affiliate links

Smell GOOD this winter solstice with CLEAN!


Winter Solstice is here, which means time for change and renewal! Why not start with your signature fragrance? Try something fresh and new that smells wonderful through these longer nights. I was recently sent two beautiful fragrances from CLEAN and one of them just might be the perfect scent for you.

Clean Warm CottonClean Warm CottonClean Warm Cotton

Clean Warm Cotton by Clean ($40) is a women’s fragrance that is classified as a floral woody musk. It brings back lots of memories for me because I think it smells very close to the original Tide – remember the white powdery stuff your mom used to use? When those clothes came out of the dryer they smelled heavenly. The top notes are citruses and lemon verbena; middle notes are fruits, orange blossom and sea notes; base notes are amber, musk and fern. This is a wonderful fragrance that sparks nostalgia and makes you feel all warm and cozy inside.

Skin by CLEANSkin by CLEANSkin by CLEAN

Clean Reserve Skin by Clean is a floral woody musk fragrance that works for both men and women. This is one of Clean’s latest fragrances and it is a winner. It is a beautiful combination of musk, leather, tonka bean, salt, and praline. It is (of course) a very clean scent and on me it smells a little lemony. I love the slight sweetness…the praline gives it a caramel and vanilla deliciousness. This is the kind of scent that other people lean in for because they want one more sniff. It’s comforting, a very snuggly scent. This fragrance is designed to stand alone or layer with other scents.

Here is my favorite thing to do with these fragrances: after I take my bed sheets out of the washer, I spritz on some of the scent then toss them into the dryer. They come out smelling heavenly and I swear the best part of my day is crawling into bed at night!

I definitely recommend celebrating winter solstice with some good CLEAN fun.  Snuggle up!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Five days of sweet and affordable Secret Santa Gifts!

Five Days of Secret Santa Gifts!
Do you have a Secret Santa exchange at your work or with your family? I LOVE them. I love plotting my gifts, tying them all together with a great theme, then putting them in a strategic place for my pal to find. Last year, my pal was the school librarian, so every gift had some sort of deer in it – think reindeer – and had a punny message with ‘deer’ instead of ‘dear’. Because I love beauty products, I also made all the gifts about pampering herself, which was perfect because she spends an incredible amount of time taking care of everyone else. Of course, with five gifting days you want to keep your treats affordable, so here are five ideas for wonderful Secret Santa gifts that won’t break the bank and will definitely thrill your pal.                                                                                                *samplesClean Fragrance OrnamentClean Fragrance Ornament

You can’t go wrong with an ornament, especially one that has beautiful fragrances inside! The Clean Reserve Rollerball Layering Trio ($10 – a $24 value!) is a super cute ornament that has three Clean fragrances that can be worn alone or layered for different unique scents. It includes Reserve Blonde Rose, a subtle and sophisticated floral; Reserve Sueded Oud, a fresh and creamy oud (which is woody musky sceent); and Reserve Warm Cotton, a blend of floral and cotton accords, plush lily, amber, and musk. You can find this at Sephora and

KBShimmer Grin and Gerbera It

KBShimmer Grin and Gerbera It

KBShimmer Grin and Gerbera It
Who doesn’t want to find a beautiful new nail polish inside a pretty gift bag? My Secret Santa pick is KB Shimmer Grin and Gerbera It ($9.25), from their Fall 2016 Collection. This cream nail polish is a deep warm pink with just a hint of red, which makes it a perfect polish gift because it will work in any season. The bit of red makes it different from the standard pink cream, perfect for that beauty loving Secret Santa pal.

Zoella Bath FizzersZoella Bath Fizzers

It doesn’t get any cuter than these adorable limited edition Zoella Gingerbread Bath Fizzers ($12). You may be familiar with the U.K. based vlogger Zoe Sugg. I am obsessed with her YouTube and Instagram, as well as her beautiful website at Zoe launched her own line, ZoellaBeauty, in the U.K. in 2014 and now you can find it at Target in the US!

Trust me, your Secret Santa pal will squeal with delight when she finds these simply darling Gingerbread Man Bath Fizzers. The three little guys are meant to be broken in half, giving her six yummy and spicy warm baths of total ‘me time’. Snap, fizz, and relax….aaaahhhhhh.

Carmex Colloidal Oatmeal LipbalmCarmex Colloidal Oatmeal Lipbalm

Small but mighty, your secret pal with thank you every day she uses her Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm ($1.59). This is one of my most favorite lip balms, especially during brutal winter months. It hydrates lips without any stickiness. The light flavors include 100% natural blend of colloidal oatmeal and cold pressed cranberry seed oil and comes in Sugar Plum, Mixed Berry and Watermelon Blast flavors.

Nail-Spirations Limited Edition Holiday Collection

Nail-Spirations Limited Edition Holiday Collection

All That Glitters

All That Glitters

Ugly Sweater

Ugly Sweater

Some people like quick and easy nails, others are more artistic and like to make their own designs. These options from KISS Salon Secrets will satisfy the instant gratification junkie as well as the do-it-yourselfer. Check out these delightful Nail-Spirations Limited Edition Holiday Collection imPRESS Manicures by KISS ($5.97 at Walmart). All That Glitters has shimmery light colors along with sparkling accents for a party vibe, and Ugly Sweater has awesome snow scenes, Santa heads, and Santa belts. Instant holiday!

KISS Salon Secrets Ombre Design Kit

KISS Salon Secrets Ombre Design Kit

KISS Salon Secrets Ombre Design KitKISS Salon Secrets Ombre Design Kit

For those who love getting creative, you can’t go wrong with the Kiss Salon Secrets Ombre Design Kit ($9.99). This all in one kit comes with a peel-off nailbed protector, fur different polishes, a sponge stamp with refills, and a sticker sheet. The fun is endless with this and KISS makes it easy to create professional quality designs even if you are a total rookie like me. You can find KISS products at Walmart and K Mart.

There you go – five days of Secret Santa gifts that don’t cost an arm and a leg! Have fun gifting your pal with treats that will give her lots of ‘me time’ moments.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Get centered with Scentered Therapy Balms Ultimate Survival Kit!


Oh, if you only knew how much I need my Scentered Therapy Balms. I need some of these mood enhancing body balms more than others, but every single one has saved me time and again. October is, by far, the most stressful month for a high school guidance counselor (my day job…I am a beauty blogger by night). The craziness of college applications, letters of recommendation, student anxiety and mental health issues…and in order to be a good counselor I need to be calm, collected, and centered. So all throughout the day I pull out the appropriate Scentered Therapy Balm to quickly get me back on track.                                                                              samples

Scentered Therapy Balms

Scentered Therapy Balms

Scentered Therapy Balms are fragranced solid balms that are applied to pulse points…or for real immediate gratification I just take a deep inhale. They go to work immediately, calming me down and restoring my mood back to center. There are five different Scentered Therapy Balms from which to choose. Each one can be purchased individually for $24, or for those of us who have stress times fifty, there is the Ultimate Survival Kit for $80.

Scentered Therapy Balm in EscapeSometimes I just need to escape from my current reality. Ok, who am I kidding….I OFTEN need to escape from my current reality. When that happens, I reach for ESCAPE, which is a combination of musky oud, woodsy frankincense, and warm sandalwood. Add in a little vanilla and some smoky birch and cinnamon and it’s an instant escape to an exotic vacation. Aaahhhhh.

Scentered Therapy Balm in LoveWhen I need a hug, I get some LOVE.  Love comforts and calms me with bright orange and clove, romantic rose and jasmine, and rich patchouli and cedarwood. This is especially good for soothing anxiety and opening your heart.

Scentered Therapy Balm in FocusI often find myself so preoccupied with problems that I can’t seem to get anything done – I’m just running around in circles. That’s when I pull out FOCUS to get my head clear and my mind laser focused. The fragrance is crisp and green, with refreshing peppermint, clary sage, spearmint and thyme.

Scentered Therapy Balm in Sleep WellDo you ever fall into bed dead tired, but then can’t sleep because you just can’t shut off your mind?? That’s when SLEEP WELL will become your best friend. There is nothing more relaxing than this magical combination of lavender, chamomile, and geranium. One whiff and you will soon be off to dreamland.

Scentered Therapy Balm in Stress LessMy favorite of the six is the one I need the most often – STRESS LESS. I am a stress puppy. I thrive on excitement and that adrenaline from deadlines and helping others in crises, but a body can only take so much. At some point pretty much every day I think, dang, this stress is going to send me right over the edge. STRESS LESS really and truly helps, with a super relaxing combination of chamomile, neroli, orange, and jasmine. It automatically resets me back into balance and peace.

I think all of the Scentered Therapy Balms are fabulous fragrance balms. If you can only afford one, there isn’t a bad choice among them. If you can afford the Ultimate Survival Kit, go for it — I can promise you there is a balm for every time you find yourself a little off-center.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration


Katy Perry’s Mad Love

Katy Perry's Mad LoveThere isn’t much more fun than being madly in love. Does Katy Perry’s Mad Love ($29.95 at fragrance make me feel head over heels?

pr sample

Mad Love is a sequel to Katy’s Mad Potion fragrance from last year, her first since beginning her collaboration with Coty. The concept is Katy Perry as a flirtatiously mischievous cupid, shooting arrows into unsuspecting mortals with her beautiful perfume. One sniff and it’s not just true love, it’s mad love!

Katy Perry's Mad LoveThe bottle is super cute and whimsical, that’s for sure. It’s a pale pink flacon with a marble-looking ball-shaped cap. A love arrow wraps around the neck of the bottle, and the body has a heart that contains the name of the perfume. The box is even beautiful, with the same pale pink and white marble.

Katy Perry's Mad LoveKaty Perry's Mad LoveCalled a floriental fruity fragrance, top notes include Lady Apple Sorbet, Mara Strawberry, and Pink Grapefruit.

Middle notes include Peony Petals, Sun-Kissed Jasmine, and Bleeding Heart flower.

Base notes include Coconut Wood, Skin Musk, and Sandalwood.

Mad Love is a sweet, musky, creamy scent. It’s a sugary vanilla that isn’t a sickly sweet, along with a bit of strawberry and just enough bite of juicy grapefruit. The drydown is warm and velvety, with notes of jasmine, sandalwood, and coconut. I really appreciate the excellent longevity of the scent. I know when I have a winner because I keep stealing sniffs throughout the day and I am happy to say that I think this fragrance is true love.

Katy Perry's Mad LoveHere’s a fun fact: there was quite a bit of speculation in the media about the inspiration for the name.  Many thought it may have come from Taylor Swift’s song, Bad Blood:  “Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood; You know it used to be mad love”. Considering they are both bad ass chicks, I like to think Katy was paying homage to Taylor.

I most certainly do have mad love for this scent. It’s so much fun to be in love and this fragrance has me head over heels.  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration

Summer scents that spark nostalgia: CLEAN Warm Cotton Breeze and Sunkissed Skin

CLEAN PerfumeSummer is my favorite season. When the weather is balmy and I am relaxing outdoors, I savor every moment. When it isn’t summertime, I love fragrances that take me back to long, lazy days.  CLEAN Perfume has two fabulous new summer splash scents that are summer nostalgia in a bottle –  Summer Splash Warm Cotton Breeze and Summer Splash Sunkissed Skin.

pr samples

CLEAN Summer Splash PerfumesCLEAN Perfume is a lifestyle brand that launched in 2003 with products that are simple, nostalgic, and eco-conscious. Some of my favorite all time scents are from CLEANSummer Sun, Summer Escape, Cotton T Shirt…it’s easy to see that I have a ‘type’! Their two new summer splash fragrances are beautiful scents to mist on before hot summer days and cool summer nights…or any other day during the year that you just wish it was summer.

CLEAN Warm Cotton BreezeCLEAN Warm Cotton Breeze is an interpretation of their Warm Cotton signature scent.  This is a fun, playful version of the original. Top notes include aldehydes (these have a lemony/floral effect), mandarin orange, orange and bergamot; middle notes are lily-of-the-valley, hyacinth and pear blossom; and base notes are musk, amber and white wood.

Warm Cotton Breeze smells just like you think it should – bright and fresh, rather citrus but also warm from the amber and musk. When I smell this, it makes me think of that feeling I have after a long day playing at the beach — that perfect moment after showering, feeling fresh and clean and happy while watching the sun set.

CLEAN Sunkissed Skin

I think I love CLEAN Summer Splash Sunkissed Skin even more. This has top notes of ozone, lotus and melon; middle notes of flowers, coconut and dew drop; and base notes of musk, amberwood and vanilla.

The fragrance smells like warm, bare skin in the midst of a flowering summer meadow. It’s a delicate, creamy scent that makes me think of bare feet, lazing in a swing, and drinking refreshing sweet tea.

Clean Summer Splash Duo

These two scents are available at Ulta as a duo for $50.  Be sure to pick this up – you will love both scents while in the moment and appreciate them even more after you made those memories!  – Lisa

*sent for editorial consideration