Every once in a while, the cynical perfumista must put her cynicism on a shelf and acknowledge the good in the world. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is worth mentioning.
Carol’s Daughter is a company founded by a fellow Brooklynite, Lisa Price. After spending time as a pre-law student at City College, a United Nations messenger, and a writer’s assistant on the taped-in-Brooklyn Cosby Show, Lisa became a successful purveyor of handmade bath, body and hair products she concocted in her kitchen and initially sold at flea markets and craft fairs. As word of mouth spread about the fabulousness of her formulations, she managed to find herself a cadre of influential backers, Jay Z, Mary J. Blige, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith among them, to help her open her first retail store in Brooklyn, in 1999. I was long since removed from Brooklyn at that point, and I don’t quite remember how I became aware of her products, but somehow, the words “Almond Cookie perfume oil” came into my sights, and the rest is history.
Since 1999, Lisa’s one store on DeKalb Avenue in downtown Brooklyn has evolved into a chain of 8 retail locations (one in the DC area at Fashion Centre Pentagon City), including the original DeKalb Avenue “heritage” store and a flagship store on Harlem’s Grand Concourse. She is also in many Sephora locations, as well as a number of Macy’s and Dillard’s department stores. Her success can be credited to the strength of her investors as well as the ubiquitous “Oprah Effect”. Apparently, pitching Oprah will send you on a rocket ride to the financial stratosphere if she likes your product. I don’t pay any attention to Oprah’s likes and dislikes, especially now since the whole world is hip to her powerful influence. I am quite capable of thinking and deciding for myself. To the contrary, I certainly do not begrudge anyone the success her endorsement can bring. After Lisa’s products were featured on Oprah, her sales exploded from $2 million to $20 million. And her products, originally targeted to the African American community, went mainstream.
Sadly, Almond Cookie perfume oil is no longer made, but it was replaced by an equally delicious eau de toilette, which I love. I wrote of my love for marzipan in my last post, and if you’re attracted to that sweet, almondy goodness, Almond Cookie is spectacular. It is warmer and sweeter than Acorelle Amande de Blé, and just so snuggly and comforting. Almond Cookie bath and body products are just as delicious, especially the Shea Soufflé body cream, which is a can’t-do-without for me in winter.
Last November, Carol’s Daughter unveiled a signature fine fragrance, Pearls. I gave it a perfunctory sniff at Sephora once or twice, but didn’t really think much of it. When I recently re-sniffed and sprayed it on my skin at the Pentagon City store, I fell in love. This is quite monumental and significant for me since Pearls is considered (gasp!) a “fresh aldehyde” scent. The notes are lemon verbena, apricot, peach, jasmine, rose, violet leaves, vanilla and caramel. Before all you vintage jezebels (you know who you are) get up in arms about the inclusion of the dreaded “v” note, I implore you to open your hearts as I did and embrace the beauty of this concoction. It is actually quite reminiscent of Mitsouko eau de toilette. You heard me. And at $45.00 for 75 ml, it is another wallet-friendly gem.
In the spirit of open mindedness and generosity, I’d like to offer up three samples of Carol’s Daughter Pearls to three random commentators. Please express your interest, and I will allow my cat, Lily, to pick the winners. She doesn’t have opposable thumbs, but she can Simonize a chicken carcass to a high gloss shine.
Another reason I decided to shelve my cynical self for the time being, is because I officially became a Canadian citizen this week. You may remember my post from January (Chaos – 1/13/09), recounting my harrowing ordeal last October at the Thousand Islands border crossing in New York/Ontario, and my subsequent one year travel ban from Canada. Well, all is now right with the world and I am truly a citizen of North America. I was advised by my immigration attorney that this would take quite a bit of time to unfold, and neither one of us was expecting this resolution as quickly as it transpired. So, I am now the proud owner of yet another piece of photo identification that makes me look like a serial killer. What I wouldn’t give for a mug shot of Paris Hilton or Lindsay Lohan right now. In the words of fellow Canadian Mike Myers: NOT!!
I am no longer persona non grata, or an enemy radical. Je suis Canadienne.