Calyx Returns Under Clinique’s Label

In the late ’90s, I worked at a salad place at the mall. That was the first and last time I worked with food. My favorite part of the day was when the Macy’s beauty counter ladies came over for a salad and I would accost the =&0=& sales associates with questions–mostly about Calyx and the suite of color-inspired fragrances the brand sold then (I was yellow). Discussing beauty at my patently non-beauty focused jobs is a recurring theme in my lifestyle. Anywho, they were not interested in discussing the ins and outs of =&1=&with me away from the counter, but I was obsessed and later bought several Px perfumes on my lunch break. Calyx was one of my first fragrance favorites. =&2=& showed up at my apartment with a press release last night. It was much like that part in =&3=&in the alternate universe where we see a marquee for=&4=& in addition to a present-day shot of Manhattan with the twin towers in the skyline. It’s all very the Alternate 1985, to reference =&5=& (meta!). =&6=&

Fictitious Fragrance Fan: Andera of ‘Beautiful Girls’

Sparkle, Neely, sparkle: This is the 2013 BBJ Holiday Gift Guide. For more gift-worthy items for everyone on your list, check out my other offerings.

Regular readers know that I have three movies (well, two movies and one trilogy) that I MUST watch every year, at the same time annually. I especially like it when the season/weather is the same IRL as it is in the movie/TV show. In late October, I watch Back To The Future I/II/II. In November, I watch Beautiful Girls (to prepare me for the transition from NYC to my smaller hometown of Blue Bell, PA, even though that movie actually takes place in February in Massachusetts). Over Christmas, I HAVE to watch The Family Man, which is a totally underrated gem of genius. But back to Beautiful Girls, specifically Andera, one of my favorite pop culture characters ever. Can we talk about what an inspirashe she is? Incidentally, this isn’t even the only FFF installment Uma Thurman has triggered; check out Mia Wallace of Pulp Fiction‘s treatment here

Girl breezes into town to visit her cousin (app, as in appetizers, not the Steve Jobs variety, fan Stinky Womack, who owns the bar), slays the snow-covered SCENE and wins everyone over with her wit, her intellect and stunningly simple ’90s-style cozy clothing and blonde hair. Then, she’s all, bai, I’m going back to Chi town to be with my man and read the Sunday paper and listen to Van Morrison and drink ice cold martinis. She completely inadvertently seduces every male resident of Knight’s Ridge simply by being herself and sashaying around in her THERMALS and winter coat, craftily deflecting the unwanted advances of an entire bro pack (INCLUDING A ’90s MATT DILLON) without hurting anyone’s feelings. She is not even being glamorous, which you know she is when she returns to her small fish in a pig pond lifestyle in Chicago. Her beauty game is so simple, yet incendiary. 

Her perfume? She would rock a subtle, yet sexy warm scent, and there is no doubt in my mind that it would be Tocca’s newest gal, Margaux. It blends the warmth of cashmere woods with warm musk, lightened with the sweetness of vanilla and yields an effect that’s romantic while conjuring cozy. It is Andera personified.  It’s described as deep, rich and soulful, just like Andera, thanks to notes of blood orange, bergamot, cassis, green gardenia, black jasmine, ambery violet, benzoin and heliotrope. Get it for your big city gal on your list, who (secretly) looks forward to cozy suburban delights this holiday season. 

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: Lynne Stone, Girls Just Want To Have Fun

If you were alive and of sound mind in the ’80s, there’s no possible way you missed the ultimate dancing movie, Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Your only excuse could be toting a Y chromosome or living somewhere other than America (even on Guam”). Otherwise, you know the national treasure that was Lynne Stone, BFF of SJP, played by a young Helen Hunt. She rocked her Walkman to babysit, she drinks Tab, she adorns her ‘do with plastic dinosaur barrettes–the girl’s got style. In fact, in her words, “What [she] lack[s]s in substance, [she] make[s] up for in style.” What scent would she wear? Read on and find out.

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: Blanche Devereaux

=&0=& =&1=& has a KNACK for many things, one of them being beautiful, formal floral fragrances of the highest quality and artisanship. Their bevy of blossomy scents, to me, instantly evoke a southern woman of gargantuan glamour. When I first lit my =&2=&, I looked around my apartment for =&3=&‘s =&4=&. It’s HER, friends. And at a recent dinner =&5=& hosted for some online editors a few weeks ago, I became acquainted with =&6=&($65 at Sephora) and almost screamed into my soufflee that =&7=&. Here’s how I know everyone’s favorite sexy senior would rock it. 

I envision an ’80s Blanche sashaying into her local Neiman Marcus in Miami (Bal Harbor, obv) and being absolutely enchanted by Passiflora’s gorgeous floral illustrations. The bottle so perfectly mimics the dulcet tones of her vegetation-themed Beverly Hills Hilton style wallpaper. And then, she sprayed it. Christophe Laudamiel’s blend is an herbaceous sonnet, starting out with green notes, progressing to passion flower and leaving behind base notes of hyacinth and lily-of-the-valley. If you’re a floral fan (or a Blanche enthusiast, do try it out tout de suite. 
Tell me over some cheesecake: Have you tried this fragrance? What do you think Blanche would rock?
In BBJ feature Fictitious Fragrance Fans, I assign a pop-culture character a signature scent. Fragrance is one of the most difficult areas of beauty to discuss and I find myself trying to convey a scent to you, more often than not, by the pop culture character it embodies to me. So why not make it a thing?

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: Mary From ‘About Time’

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This post is sponsored, but all opinions herein are my own. 

I’m not sure if there IS a movie that’s more my speed than About Time, which incorporates British humor (it’s from filmmaker Richard Curtis of Love Actually, Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral fame) and chick flick undertones. Years of demonic dating in Manhattan may have left me dead inside, but my soul needs to see happy, functional relationships existing at least on the silver screen. Plus, it features the beautiful Rachel McAdams, who has starred in SEVERAL of my favorite movies. Here’s a summary of the film’s plot.

At the age of 21, Tim Lake (Domhnall Gleeson) discovers he can travel in time…The night after another unsatisfactory New Year party, Tim’s father (Bill Nighy) tells his son that the men in his family have always had the ability to travel through time. Tim can’t change history, but he can change what happens and has happened in his own life—so he decides to make his world a better place… by getting a girlfriend. Sadly, that turns out not to be as easy as you might think. 

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: Mia Wallace of ‘Pulp Fiction’

Adrenaline-shot recipient, Pulp Fiction‘s Mia Wallace, played by Uma Thurman, changed the lipstick and lacquer landscape of the ‘90s.
Few other movie characters can claim such an impact–and especially during such a patently unchic time when fashion and beauty were left to draw inspiration from the emerging Seattle music scene as many major influencers in fashion at this time were tragically dying of AIDS. Her sleek dusky bob, her smokily lined eyes and quirky locutions like “I’ll be down in two shakes of a lamb’s tail” positively empowered all of us to delve into decadent deep shades and launched the insanely popular Chanel “Rouge Noir,” later renamed Vamp. It was created to mirror the hue of dried blood and its first year alone sales grew to $1 million. To the casual movie buff, Mia Wallace recalls a Willow filter take on Scarface’s Elvira Hancock in both personality and looks. But did Elvira spawn two eras of glampire beauty moments, spanning 15 years? Mia Wallace also schooled us on world’s tendency to divide between Beatles vs. Elvis people. One cannot claim equal allegiance to both. It’s vital that you understand this.

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: ‘Stealing Beauty”s Lucy Harmon

Welcome to BBJ feature Fictitious Fragrance Fans. Fragrance is one of the most difficult areas of beauty to discuss and I find myself trying to convey a scent to you, more often than not, by the pop culture character it embodies to me. So why not make it a thing?

Stealing Beauty is a very beautiful, deeply ’90s drama about life, death and love in the life of Liv Tyler’s character, Lucy Harmon. The Bertolucci film boasts wonderful landscapes and an innocent girl, a virgin, who tries to understand what’s going on inside of her and around her.

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Saks Launches New Fragrance Floor

Remember when Almost Famous‘ Penny Lane said all you needed to do when you missed your friends was go to the record store? 

Well, Saks Fifth Avenue’s New York City flagship has launched the olfactory version of that, where you can visit all of your favorite Fictitious Fragrance Fans from Lisa of Weird Scienceto Katharine Parker to Jody Sawyer.

Among the fabulous fragrance finds to grace the floor are Le Labo (score the Santal 33, a fiercely coveted favorite of mine) and Hermes along with eight other new shops within Saks that will be offering exclusives (Swarovski-studed perfume bottles from Bond No. 9, for example). Because let’s be real, I’ve always thought that London had the right idea sectioning off sanctioned fragrance territories, i.e., Liberty of London and Harrods’ special, dedicated rooms. When you’re shopping for fragrance, you’re shopping for fragrance: it’s all about test-driving a metric ton of them until you land on your special scent.

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On Wednesdays We Wear Pink-packaged Body Souffle

This post is sponsored by Avon, but all opinions herein are my own.

If this lacy-racy jar of skin-smoothing softly scented MADNESS isn’t EXACTLY what Will & Grace‘s Karen Walker would wear when she’s masquerading about town as Anastasia Beaverhausen, then I don’t know what is. It’s a fruity scent with the gravitas of sultry amber that evokes all the cunning sexiness of this fictional character’s channeling of her very own fictional character. Too much? Well, so is Anastasia Beaverhausen. Behold: 

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Fictitious Fragrance Fan: ‘The Sweetest Thing”s Courtney Rockcliffe

Welcome to BBJ feature Fictitious Fragrance Fans. Fragrance is one of the most difficult areas of beauty to discuss and I find myself trying to convey a scent to you, more often than not, by the pop culture character it embodies to me. So why not make it a thing?

Courtney Rockcliffe (played by Christina Applegate, above right) is probably the coolest friend you could have.
If I were to design my own pop-culture influenced Life Extension a la Vanilla Sky‘s David Aames,  I would absolutely include a partner-in-crime from her prototype. This divorce lawyer is smart, supportive, a girls’ girl who keeps it so real, she allows fellow ladies to feel up her implants in a public bathroom to help them determine if they should make the leap themselves. Okay? She forces her friends into doing what she knows they need to do but does it with a sense of adventure AND occasion. Remember the “Days of our Lives” outfits they rocked to the wedding the duo crashed? Most importantly? She’s a closeted romantic, most likely because of her gig “defending the rights of [her] broken hearted clients and try to squeeze every single penny out of their miserable cheating spouses.” I mostly identified with the hilarious Pina Coladas song scene, in which a favorite tune of the gals’ college years came on and she and Christina (played by Cameron Diaz) saw no other alternative than to call their friend Jane (Selma Blair) at her JOB to tell her they were just wondering… if she likes PINA COLADAAAAAS? 

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