Carol’s Daughter Pearls Eau de Toilette


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.


  • Wweezzyy says:

    The definition of “eternity”……………..2 people and a ham. Haha. Lily, please pick me!

  • EleenS says:

    Congratulations, Nava! ‘Bout time they got themselves straight up North. 🙂

    I haven’t tried any of Carol’s Daughter products, so count me in the draw. You’ve made them sound quite worth looking up!

  • Theresa says:

    Congratulations! Felicitations! Canada really is a great place to live.

    Please enter me in the draw. Thank you.

  • Musette says:


    Congratulations! Very happy for you. I cannot believe I missed this – i was just at Sephora this late morning, dangit! Well, if you’ve already chosen, my loss. If not, throw me in el draw! Mitsouko, hmmm?



  • Mina J says:

    Congratulations on your new citizenship! Canada is a lovely place!

    Please enter me in the draw — I would love to try Pearl.

  • Laura M says:

    Congratulations: many wanted to join you after the 2004 election in the U.S.!
    I’d love to sample Pearl. I have Groove and love it!
    Laura M

  • ScentRed says:

    Welcome to Canada. We’re happy to have you 🙂

    Hey Lily – We Canadians LOVE cats. Pick me! Pick me!


  • maitreyi1978 says:

    Please include me in the draw.

  • sunnlitt says:

    Congratulations on your new citizenship. I travel to British Columbia pretty often from California–my best friend from high school lives up there.
    I would love to be entered to win a sample of Pearls.

  • Janet in CA says:

    I am glad that the red tape came off so relatively easily. Sadly shocking when that happens! Congratulations on your new home.

    I would love to be in the drawing.

  • Rachel says:

    Well, I love wearing pearls (the gem) so I’m hoping I’ll love wearing Pearls (the scent)! I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

  • Dana says:

    Please count me in the drawing and I’m glad to hear that you weren’t caught in political red-tape for too long!

  • Erika says:

    Congratulations, and bienvenue au Canada! If you ever want to have a perfume-sniffin’ session near/in Ottawa or Kingston just let me know – I ‘m not the only obsessed one here 😉

    I’m trying really, really hard to get over the vanilla….please count me in!

  • ula says:

    congratz on your cannadienne status and please include me in the drawing

  • Jennifer says:

    Please let your cat pick me. Welcome to the land of Shatner and Trebek!

  • Sara K says:

    I would love to sample Pearl! I’ve never had trouble crossing the border, but for some reason, my mom always does….sometimes she even has trouble at state border crossings. She’s Chinese (US born), but for some reason the AZ and NM border patrol people always try to insist that she’s an illegal alien from Mexico!

  • Elizabeth says:

    Congratulations! I still have never been to Canada, but I hope to go soon. Please enter me in the draw. Thanks!

  • chris g says:

    Congratulations on your new identity! I’d love to be entered in the draw. Thanks!

  • Bev says:

    As a fellow Canadian I’m glad you survived your ordeal. I remember that post; it was very poignant. However, you triumphed, and are now introducing me to a fragrance that I’d love to sample.

  • Deanna says:

    I would love to try a sample of this! 🙂

  • tammy says:

    Oh, and please pay proper homage on my behalf to Madame Lily!

  • tammy says:

    No need to enter me in the draw, but I want to add my congratulations to the rest!

  • Kate says:

    Another lovely smelling Canadian! Congratulations! I’ll have to check out the Pentagon City shop sometime. so no need to add me in the draw.

  • HollyGolightly says:

    If the best part of an ordeal led you to Chaos, then it was all worth it. Please count me in. 🙂

  • Natalie says:

    Félicitations, enfin! You mean you can’t just show up at the border with a hockey stick and a keg of Molson’s and get let in? I had to laugh at your comment about shelving your cynicism — many of the Canadians I have known have been, um, sarcasm-challenged.

    And I would love to be entered in the drawing for Pearl; I’ve been hearing about Carol’s Daughter ever since its Brooklyn beginnings, but never managed to try the products. Thank you, and tell Lily [insert kissy kissy noises here] that I’m a REALLY good chin-scratcher, although be warned that my own kitty is the jealous type.

    • Nava says:

      Nah, Molson and a hockey stick can’t grease the wheels like they once could. Another sad casualty of post 9/11 life.

      Another significant memory I will take away from this are the people I met and the stories I read recounting nutty situations on both sides. And, to never take ANYTHING for granted.

      As for the sarcasm and cynicism, I do have to credit my aunt with her ability to stay positive throughout this whole ordeal. I wonder if she’ll let me wear perfume around her now… 🙂

  • Elle says:

    Congrats on your citizenship!
    Almond cookie? I’m a die hard marzipan fan (DSH’s is my fave so far), so this is something I have to try (actually, am off to place an unsniffed order – don’t think it’s possible that I won’t love it). The Pearl sounds wonderful as well. And it’s incredible what an endorsement from Oprah can do!

  • barbara says:

    count me in for the draw by paw…I am a big fan of Carol’s hair milk-got a jar 12 years ago of the foot scrub, which may have a new for-something watermelony and cucuberish-yum for the warm air.Congrats on your citizenship

  • Janet says:

    I’d love to smell something reminiscent of Mitsouko eau de toilette!!! Please count me in 🙂

  • Tara C says:

    Felicitations Nava! I became a Canadian citizen 23 years ago and it’s a good feeling. Welcome home!

  • Pantela Lilly says:

    Contratulations on your citinzenship, I became a U.S. citizen many years ago and it’s thrilling to be accepted . . . anywhere! I love Carol’s Daughter’s hair milk and a couple of the butters, the smells are fabulous, I do get a sweet tooth though. Please sign me up for your drawing and please let your kitty Lily know that I too am a Lilly, that might give me some leverage!

  • First of all, congratulations!! Must feel good! 🙂

    And secondly, I have heard about this line, but never actually tried it. Your detailed review is very illuminating and it created curiosity so I would love to find a way to sample. They’re completely unavailable in Europe and I like to support small businesses when they’re worth it.

  • Aparatchick says:

    Hooray! That’s great news Nava.

    I’ve tried some of the Carol’s Daughter line and like what I’ve tried. Any idea why it’s called “Carol’s Daughter?”

    • Nava says:

      Lisa Price’s mom was named Carol. There are some great video clips about the brand on, especially the one from CNBC that talks about the “Oprah Effect” and how Lisa got started.

  • Gretchen says:

    Congratulations! Do put me in the drawing. I hope I get the lucky paw.

  • Dleep says:

    Congratulations on getting through your immigration maze. Here kitty, kitty, nice kitty. Pick me!

    Thank you.

  • Jill S says:

    I tried the Pearl fragrance. Really nice. Please include me.

  • MaryAnn says:

    I saw Lisa on Rachel Ray where she made a body scrub. I was intriigued & bought Groove on TPC. Her scents are delicious. Alas, Pearls is always sold out but on my wish list.

  • helenviolette says:

    Yay! Congrats Nava! And count me into the draw! here kitty kitty kitty…

  • March says:

    Yay!!!! Hey, that’s awesome!!!! I am so happy for you, honey, it didn’t look like it was going to happen. Hugs! You can skip the drawing, I’ll go to the local store and try it…

    • Nava says:

      Thanks March. I’d love to hear what you think of it, since you are the reigning Mitsouko queen. 🙂

  • violetnoir says:

    You must be breathing a sigh of relief! Congratulations!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    Thank you!

    P.S.–My dog’s name is Lily. I love that name.

  • Christine Lasky says:

    If you could please toss my name into the hat to win a sample of Pearls I would greatly appreciate it!

  • Linda says:

    Congratulations, Nava — I am so glad the ordeal is over.

    I have been dying to try this line and keep forgetting when I have money to deploy in its cause. If Lily sees fit, I would love a sample.

  • pyramus says:

    You said the magic words: “reminiscent of Mitsouko”. And now I would like to try it.

    Congratulations on your citizenship! A Finnish co-worker of mine and her husband became Canadian citizens just last week. There is something extremely cool about being a citizen not merely by dint of having been born there but by actively saying, “This is the country I want to call home”. (I haven’t found any place I’d rather live than Canada, but it could happen.)

    • Nava says:

      My mom was Canadian, so I was able to claim citizenship through birthright. It can be a wonderful place to visit and live as long as you mind your Ps & Qs at the land border crossings. Lately I’ve been seeing a lot of print ads for Canadian tourism and all I keep thinking is, man it is such a crap shoot to try and cross the border. I’m sure the Canadian Tourism board doesn’t want that to be public knowledge.

  • erin says:

    kudos on your citizenship! And oh please do include me in the draw.

  • Debbie R. says:

    I have been looking for a good marzipan fragrance. So far, it seems to be a tie between Sinfonia’s Amanda Sucree and Hypnotic Poison. I’d love to try this Carol’s Daughter fragrance.

    I think I remember reading about the Canadian problem, but man. I didn’t realize it resulted in a one-year ban. You’ve got to be kidding? Why did they do that? (I’m sorry for having forgotten…if you don’t want to go over it again, that’s okay.)

    I have often thought it would be nice to have a citizenship in Canada. For stupid reasons, tho, like I like the wildnerness and the people seem so very likeable. It’s a democracy like ours and so very close. Anyway, congratulations on your getting it! And for many hassle-free trips back and forth across that border.

    • Nava says:

      In a nutshell, I attempted to cross with some very dangerous pieces of furniture. You know, a chair, a bed, some cutlery…the usual suspects.

      If I’d had a cache of weapons and a couple kilos of cocaine, I’m sure I would have sailed right through.

  • Cynthia says:

    This line has been on my radar for awhile, but i’ve never actually experienced it in person. Please enter me in your draw. Thanks!

  • dissed says:

    That is a beautiful bottle.

  • dissed says:

    Congratulations! I’ve heard that Canada can be huffy about that sort of thing, as is the U.S. So much for being a Citizen of the Earth.

    I would love to try Pearl. Mitsouko only likes me about once every 30 trials, but there’s always hope.

  • Janell says:

    I’m glad your citizenship was granted so promptly. Please, please, please put me in the draw.

  • kathleen says:

    Congratulations, Nava.
    I would love to be included in the draw, please.

  • LindaB says:

    Oh Lily, pick me, pick me!!! haha
    I would absolutely love to sample this–it sounds wonderful.

  • Francesca says:

    Oooh, Pearls sounds delish.

    Congrats on the citizenship and resolution to your ordeal.

  • Fernando says:

    This one does sound interesting; please enter me in the draw.

    Congratulations on the new citizenship! Having gone through a naturalization process myself, I know if can be quite long and complicated. Enjoy your new status.

    • Nava says:

      Thanks Fernando. I can’t wait to crack open a can of Molson Canadian and proclaim, I AM CANADIAN! I may also be marginally insane. 😀

  • Tommasina says:


    Funny how these ‘cheapies’ can be so good, isn’t it? I am currently into almonds, big time: have been searching for the lowest price to be had on Nina Ricci Amour d’Amandier / Almond Amour: do you know it, Nava? Trouble is, I came up with the very best – amazingly low – price on a site I’m told is very shady indeed. Still debating whether to risk it – and may yet do so, since the risk is only about $15!

    Although I’m wary of many aldehydes, I wouldn’t mind a shot at the Carol’s Daughter Pearls, please.

    • Nava says:

      I beg you dear Tommasina, do not sell your soul for $15 to some shady discount site. A bottle of Almond Cookie Eau de Toilette is only $27.00 and in stock at

  • Rappleyea says:

    Before I even started to read this, I thought to myself that was probably the prettiest packaging I’d seen in some time. And you had me from “quite reminiscent of Mitsouko eau de toilette”. So please add me to the draw (and Lily, I have the very handsome boys Andrew and Pierce sitting in my lap as I type this – they’ll share treats and toys!).

    I’ll also add my congratulations on your new citizenship.

  • Louise says:

    Bienvenue au Canada! Yipee!

    I have a free-standing Carol’s Daughter store at my local mall, and Pearls sounds very nice. I may just have to wander over there after my mani today…:)

    • Nava says:

      Merci beaucoup (pronounced like a native)!

      Yes, definitely investigate. I’d love your opinion since you are such a big fan of aldehydes.

  • Mals86 says:

    Congratulations on your new citizenship status! I’m sure that’s a big relief to you.

    I am a fan of aldhydic florals, so I’d love to sample Pearls. The packaging is quite lovely, as well – perhaps I should start a-sampling the line.

    (Marzipan? Why, yes, I’d love some… to wear? Even better.)

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Nava

    Congrats on the resolution to the ordeal. I’ve seen Carol’s Daughter products at Sephora, but I can’t remember if I have tried them. Now that you have said the magic words (aldehydes and reminiscent of Mitsouko), you will be sure to see me scurrying my way into either Pentagon City or the Tyson’s Sephora in search of a big, honkin’ spritz. Or I could bribe Lily with a sample or two that she might like? Don’t worry about entering me in the drawing. It sounds like the fragrance is available in this area, so I won’t be greedy. The notes seem very nice for the summer and the bottle and box look much nicer than most fragrances in this price range.

    • Nava says:

      Thanks Melissa. Lily is one persnickety feline. However, she does enjoy the scent of a fine leather saddle every so often! 😀

      The Sephora at Tysons has a great array of Carol’s Daughter products. That’s where I picked up my bottle.

  • Olfacta says:

    Congratulations! I also remember your January post and your concern about living through a mid-Atlantic summer.

    • Nava says:

      Thanks. I met someone yesterday who just moved to NoVA from Miami. I told him he brought the oppressive humidity with him, and requested that he leave immediately. 😀

  • Ann C. says:

    The bottle is lovely and the notes sound right up my alley. Please enter my name into your drawing.

    Good news about your Canadian citizenship! Like the others, I well remember your upsetting and frustrating ordeal. I’m glad it finally work out for you.

  • sybil says:

    Congratulations on getting through the immigration labyrinth! And, since I’ve not tried Carol’s Daughter, please put me in the drawing. I’m sort of scared of aldehydes, but it sounds really good!

    • Nava says:

      You’re preaching to the choir about aldehydes. I’ve been known to cross streets to get away from them, but this scent is wonderful. Is there such a thing as a “gourmand aldehyde”? If not, Pearls is certainly blazing a new trail.

  • Eva says:

    Nava that is such very good news!! I remember your poignant blog very well and it was your total dedication to Chaos at the time that got me interested in samplig it also. And of-course am really loving it. And your Apothia Pearl recommendation as well. I would love to be included in the draw.

    • Tiara says:

      That post was what led me to try Chaos as well and that’s my next big purchase! So enjoy how it unfolds as the day goes on. Lasts forever on me.

      While not my favorite notes, the men in my household enjoy the vanilla and caramel. I could probably stuff cookies in my pockets and get the same response but Pearls sounds lovely.

    • Nava says:

      Thanks. The best part of my ordeal was that it lead me to Chaos. If anyone reads this and doesn’t understand the context, I probably sound like I’m a few sandwiches short of a picnic, but I don’t care!

      • carter says:

        I don’t know the story, don’t understand the context and alls I keep thinking is “She wants chaos? Why’d she ever leave New York?” As March would say, I keed 🙂

  • Trish/Pikake says:

    Would love to try this. I am a fan of Carol’s Daughter Groove Body Butter, but have not explored their perfumes.

    And congrats on your citizenship!!

  • carter says:

    Congratulations on becoming persona grata! I’m guessing that makes no sense, but like your brand new citizenship, it’s a good thing 😉

    The only Carol’s Daughter product I am familiar with is the Body Jelly and I like it a lot, particularly the smell, so I’d love to be entered in the drawing for a sample of Pearls. Here Lily, kitty-kitty! I’ve got some nice Zabar’s lox for you!

    • Nava says:

      She’d have to get by me first before I’d let her near Zabar’s lox. What’s it up to, $100.00 a pound? 😀

      • carter says:

        At least! Only for holidays and verrrry special cats 😉

        • Nava says:

          I’ve been slumming with Wegmans Nova and scallion cream cheese. Even their bagels are really tasty. 🙂

  • tara says:

    Sorry I meant to say that I would love to sample Pearl!! Thanks

  • tara says: