Lil’ bit of Everything

I swear, Yoga Teacher Training ends on Sunday, and I’ll have half of my life back and may be able to wear perfume with abandon again (no scents in the studio!) and half more than 10 minutes to string together. And that’s about the way my mind is going, stringing half-thoughts together for days at a time.

Has Parfumerie Generale Tonkamande been out for a while? Not sure why I haven’t smelled it before. Notes of Almond milk, aldehydes, tonka bean, wheat, sandalwood, vanilla, amber, great cereally sweet milky fragrance, if you like that sort of thing. I do, it’s got that Lann’ael feel to it, though not exactly the same, the aldehydes put a spring it it’s step that makes it feel lighter, fluffier. Too bad it’s springtime and I’m less in the mood for gourmandish scents.I’ll make an exception for this little sample, but not too often until the weather goes cold again.

But can we talk about nails? Back almost a year ago, I started doing acrylics, but they kept lifting, so we switched brands, and then weird things started happening to my nails, starting in September, and reaching the pinnacle of weird-gross when I went to India last November. Scary, your nails having a meltdown when you are swimming in the confluence of Mother Germ Country. The sides of the nailbeds were disintegrating, along with the tips. When I got back home, we took them off, worried and convinced that I had a fungus or something. Turns out that it wasn’t, I was allergic to whatever product we were putting on my nails. As soon as the product was off, all the problems started growing out.

Since then, I’ve been doing the shellac thing – the polish that lasts two weeks. I do like it, but what I miss are my pinkbase/white tips and the pristine nails of all the right length that were almost indestructible that I got with the acrylics. I got less okay with Shellac when I had my first break. Yeah, it hardens them up and makes them harder to screw up, but my acyrlics were iron, I never broke any one of them.

So, question, should I try gels? Is it that much different than acrylics? Anyone know? Suck it up and deal with the breakage and lack of perfect French manicure? Shellac can do that to a degree, but it doesn’t leave the white tips as pristine, I don’t think.

Now that spring seems to be making a more than hat-tip appearance, I am really starting to jones for lily of the valley scents. I have several favorites, but what’s yours? Or do you hate LoTV?

  • minette says:

    don’t know a thing about gel nails. all i know is i hate seeing french manicures – peach/pink nail with white tips – on toenails. it’s creepy… like they are pudgy, misformed fingers. and i know i’m not alone on that. prefer natural nails with an interesting color. good luck with your gels, though, and with your training. yoga is awesome.

    • nozknoz says:

      Minette, I totally agree with you on the French manicured toes. Shudder!!! I’ve seen a lot of finger nail shapes that should not have gone there, either.

      • minette says:

        nozknoz, i totally agree! like sharp, clawlike shapes. ick.

        one of my coworkers does the french-manicure-on-toenails thing, and i really have to keep a lid on my facial expression whenever i catch a glimpse.

        but the worst-ever manicure was on a coworker up in dallas. she actually allowed her nails to grow so long that they curled under and around. she painted them dark, metallic red. AND… she was actually able to word process with them! this amazed all of us!

  • Tara says:

    I have been getting Gel nails for a few years now and really like it. I find them much less damaging than acyrlics. I have not tried the Shelac, but the constant removing might be damaging.

    I really like the gel because even when you don’t wear polish your nails look great, which was not the case with the silk wraps I used to get.

    Good Luck..

  • Flora says:

    I don’t really do my nails – too much gardening and many years working in a hospital means short and bare – but once a or twice a year I will slip on some polish; one of those occasions is usually Halloween. :-)

    I adore LOTV, always have, everything from coty MdB to Diorissimo. My favorite is (vintage) Caron Muquet de Bonheur, but today I am wearing my new find, vintage Le Galion Le Muguet PdT, and it’s really pretty. I can tell it’s vintage immediately becasue it has that certain something that is just “not there” anymore in modern scents, and it’s addictive as heck – a touch of nitro musks maybe, or one of the now-banned aroma chemicals they use to construct the LOTV accord? Whatever, I love it!

  • BBJ says:

    Oh, also, an off-topic, or at least off-Lily-of-the-Valley. Can anyone suggest something I might like if I really like Guerlain Sous le Vent? I’m in love. But it’s, well, insanely pricey. I love that dry green, and the herbalicious-lavenderness.

  • BBJ says:

    I wore Coty Muguet de Bois from Walgreens for a couple of years in high school, and I remember adoring it. I don’t think I’ve worn a LotV scent since.

  • Tom says:

    I am so losing my gay cred by admitting this but the whole conversation went right over my head. I thought Acrylic and Gel referred to a type of nail polish.

    My friend did whatever version they had in the 80’s. I remember she even did it at home for a while with the god-awful stinky chemicals. Eventually she had to drop it for the same reason, it trashed her natural nails. They grew back fine, though..

  • odonata9 says:

    I keep my fingernails natural – occasional manicures w/ pale polish, but I hate the look of chipped polish and refuse to go more than once a month. But I keep my toenails polished and get pedicures monthly – living in San Diego, flip flops/sandals are worn almost (but not quite) year round.

    As for LotV, it’s OK. I have a small decant of vintage Diorissimo that I really should give some attention to. I do remember giving my mom some Coty Muguet de Bois as a gift for Mother’s Day or a birthday when I was a kid.

  • mary says:

    Odalisque and Muguet du Bonheur are the two lotv scents at the top of the old line up right now. I know what you mean on the nails. I gave up on acrylics after realizing they might look pretty,but were wrecking my nailbeds. I switched to the natural look with occasional spiffing up with buffer cubes and polish. Right now I am still enjoying the bottle of Tickle my Francey March inspired me to buy last year. Also have been enjoying some sparkley taupey stuff from T. LeClerc, forget the name. Suits my lifestyle to

  • Gretchen says:

    Do the “gentleman’s manicure”, as my mother used to call it. That means keep your nails always clean and short (white part no longer than 1/16″) with the edges filed smooth. Carefree elegance.

    Parfums Delrae’s Debut for LOTV.

  • Mary Beth says:

    Have you tried “Always in Bloom”? It was done for the Longwood Gdns’ extravaganza Making Scents. Predominantly LOTV. Not my thing, but it’s nice every now and again. I thing Robin did a review on it last spring.

    Sorry, GF – can’t help you with the nails. Mine absorb water like crazy so even polish causes major angst after a face wash.

  • Musette says:

    My nails are always a disaster. I have weak, splitty/peely nails, esp on the index and middle fingers. For years I used Nail Magic, back when it had formalin in it, and it really strengthened and hardened my nails (if any of you have ever touched an embalmed body you will understand why) – then they took the Formalin out and the new formula just wasn’t effective. Dang. Sometimes you really can have Better Living Through Chemistry.

    Anyhoo, now I just try to keep them healthy, keep a clear polish on for regular work days and a light pink OPI (I am a fan of Hopelessly in Love) to give a clean look for meetings, etc.

    This time of year I am all about LoTV. I have some gorgeous vintage Diorissimo body lotion and a lovely early-contemp edp. Also, it’s that time of year to bust out the Coty Muguet, which is still lovely. LoTV, imo, is one of those scents where, if you really like it, you don’t have to go super high end/vintage (though vintage Diorissimo is shocking-good but I am NOT going there [-(

    xoxoxo >-)

  • Don’t you have that silk technique Patty where the nail technician builds upon your nail with silk protein? It gives an almost unearthly smoothness and natural luster to the nail, lasts as much as acrylics and is much better for your nails’ health.
    However I keep mine natural, as they keep growing to a good length unassisted, have a nice shape naturally and I don’t like the idea of having too many products on them (some fancy Mavala or Chanel polish is acceptable)

    LOTV is hard to do right; can’t end up smelling like a floor scrubber. That said, I like Caron’s and Tauer’s take. Only the vintage parfum in Diorissimo was really superior.

  • Susan says:

    I’ve never used any gels, so nothing there. I agree that Chanel polish is fabulous.

    I am currently really, really wanting a bottle of Carillon Pour un Ange. I like that the base is dirtied up a bit but still recognizably LOTV, and also still very wearable.

    I’d like to try the Caron Muguet de Bonheur – seems like it’s getting good buzz lately.

  • mals86 says:

    I have terrible nails (funny-shaped, sort of flat, weak and bendy) that seem to be genetic – my mother and sister have the same sort of issues – so I never do anything to them other than basic nail-clippers-and-cuticle-softener maintenance. Have done the cheapie press-on nails for fancy weddings and the like, but they’ve only been on fingers for 24 hours tops, so I don’t really count that as nail experience!

    I love muguet. Diorissimo, of course, and the old Kenzo Parfum d’Ete in the frosted leaf bottle, and Carillon pour un Ange, which I’ve only got two sample vials of but which oughta do me for awhile because it’s so potent.

  • pam says:

    I love Diorissimo and keep an old bottle of the cologne for an occasional dab. But it doesn’t last on me, and that includes edp. My favorite frag with muguet in it is Paco Rabanne Metal, which is quirky but I love it.

    Good luck with the nails. As a pianist, I never polish my nails (somehow, the fingers then feel heavier, and I keep seeing color peripherally) and had to skim over the part about the problems with your nails. Got too empathatic and my hands felt funny. Ooo!

  • DinaC says:

    I’ve never done acrylics or gels, shellac, etc. on my nails. I do nail polish on my finger nails for special occasions only. Otherwise, I file, shape, buff etc. so they are always neat. On the other hand, I love to do my toenails, year round, so they always have polish on them.

    I like LotV, seasonally. I have a tiny sample of vintage Diorissimo, but it doesn’t last very long. The top notes vanish almost immediately. I think I’d like a LotV scent that smelled like the real thing and not too perfumey, but that’s like asking for a unicorn, right?!?

  • SilviaFunkly says:

    I do my own nails upkeep and the result is not that bad. I swear by Dr Hauschka Neem Nail Oil, applied at night for strenthening and moisturizing.

    LotV not my fav note, but I remember enjoying the VC&A Muguet Blanc.

  • Melissa says:

    I used to do the gel, acrylic nail thing, but the weakening to my own nails finally turned me against all of it. At this point in my life, I barely have time to even keep a coat of clear polish on them, so I just keep them filed to a manageable, even length and they’re actually stronger than ever. Plus, gardening isn’t compatible with all of those coatings and products. I would occasionally get soil under a slightly lifting tip and things could get ugly…

    As for LoTV, not for me. Or only in tiny doses, well-blended. I’m waiting to try Tonkamonde, but I don’t want to order from PG. I’ll wait until it gets to The Perfume Shoppe.

  • Francesca says:

    Never tried anything other than polish on my nails.

    I like AG Muguet. I think that’s the only LotV scent I’ve got.

  • Sherri M. says:

    I tried the gel nails briefly. Mine were definitely more fragile than the acrylics; however I attribute alot of this to the nail tech. My favorite nail salon had moved, so I thought I’d try a closer place. Mis-take. The nail tech was very gentle and slow, but definitely not as experiences (read “good”) as Rose who had done my nails the last eight years. Besides being more expensive to start, I ended up having to go to the salon every 2-3 days with breaks (which very seldom happened w/ acrylics). I agree with Louise that getting a good manicurist is half the battle; you may have better results having someone you know does a great job on acrylics apply the gel nails.

    Btw, I seldom wear polish, but Chanel nail polish is the absolute best and worth every penny. I can get two full weeks of wear with no chips, and I am rather rough with my nails.

    I love lotv–have Diorissimo, Annick Goutal and even a collectible Guerlain Muguet which I actually use from time to time. However, my favorite is still an old bottle of Caron Muguet du Bonheur I got at one of the discounters at Opry Mills Mall before it got flooded out. It is more airy and delicate than any perfume I own and always draws compliments (for about the first 10 minutes it’s on; it fades very quickly). I got a sample of the parfum from TPC, and it is NOTHING like this little bottle of EDT. Much harsher. Maybe for once I actually got a really good see MdB is not favored by perfumistas as a rule.

    Hope you find a nail solution and Happy Spring! :-)

    • Catherine says:

      I second Chanel polish. I feel like I’ll never try another brand, at least for my fingernails, because the formula doesn’t damage my nails. I can’t say it lasts so long on my nails, but I love everything about the formula and brush.

    • nozknoz says:

      I bought an empty Muguet de Bonheur parfum bottle on ebay because I loved the shape and it was cheap. There were a few drops of the perfume left. I haven’t had the heart to display it yet – I want to save the lovely smell. I’d really love to have a bottle of the vintage parfum (not likely)!

  • Louise says:

    Must try that TonkAmande-just concerned about its sweetness.

    As far as nails, I’ve tried acrylics, gels, Shellac. And always come back to my own nails. All the artificials damage the nail, and all have the dreaded Grow Out line-it just looks fake to me to have an unvarnished area and even a small ridge of new nail. Both acrylics and gels caused horrible damage to my nails, which caused at least 6 months to grow out. And Shellac caused some splitting as well.

    So, I only go the natural nail route now. When I’ve got the time and am trying to baby them, I get a manicure weekly. Otherwise, I go every two weeks, and do a light polish in between. I do take pretty good care of them-cuticle oil, filing any snags, etc. But my once “weak” nails are really strong now.

    Maybe time to let them rest a while?

    The key for me is a really good nail tech. I have someone now who charges 12 bucks, is gentle and careful, and whose manicures last a week more or less.

  • tmp00 says:

    Well I love the Lily scents, and I’ve babbled about them endlessly. Is that new PG the one that smells like hazelnuts burnt in butter? I think it just might be me but if butter notes are the new black I’m going to blog about countertops and cars until it’s all over. And I wear Aomassai. :((

    • Musette says:

      Tom, when you say ‘lily’ do you mean actual lily? I ask because if so, I wondered what your thoughts are on Lys Med (Malle). I so want to love this one but….:-?

      xo >-)