Men’s Fragrance: NEW (!) by Calvin Klein, REVEAL

As an Influenster, I had the opportunity to test a new men’s fragrance by Calvin Klein, REVEAL. Considered part of a new olfactive category, the “solar oriental”, this fragrance proclaims a scent categorized by salt, warm woods, pink pepper, and flowers.

Influenster, Calvin Klein, new fragrance, solar oriental, REVEAL

@Influenster #REVEALMORE

I picked up the small package from my personal “post office” and tore into the small envelope. In addition to a sample sized spray bottle, I received a small gray card holder (I guess I can use that in my wallet). I read the fragrance description excitedly, thinking that it sounded just like the type of scent I would like.


I gave an initial spritz into the air and upon first sniff, it actually smelled a little feminine to me. “Hmm,” I thought, “this smells like something I would considering wearing myself.” My mother had a similar reaction, though not to the same degree as me. We brought it in to her boyfriend for third opinion. He liked it, but had no ornate description for what he was smelling.

For the final test, I spritzed it on my own boyfriend. He thought it was okay and said he would wear it, but didn’t seem all that enthused about it. The immediate sniff from what I sprayed on his skin smelled very “generic” and “typical” to me. It smelled like a lot of other men’s fragrances and not all that revolutionary, to say the least. But I know better- let’s give it some time to evaporate.

I also sprayed it on myself, and I still maintain that it smells a little effeminate. It smells totally different on me than it does on him. Less citrusy, more woodsy and warm. I like it on me, but it’s still not a “me” fragrance. (I think I will be ever-loyal to Tuscany per Donna! Still haven’t found anything I like better on me!)

After about 15-20 minutes, I went back to the BF’s forearm and gave it another whiff. It dried down a  bit and smells a little more unique. Definitely smell more warmth and a bit of spice. It’s almost like pepper but without the familiar “bite” that pepper has. I like it the scent on him but it really dried down to be barely perceptible. I think he might need another application.

All in all, it was nice to try but I’m not blown away. Will definitely give it another go and report back.


Note: . Influenster sent this complimentary for testing purposes, but all opinions are my own and I’m not being compensated.

Somewhere in Upper Black Eddy

Fall drive, Sunday afternoon

On the way to visit some friends we passed this area in Upper Black Eddy-Bridgeton. Loved what I saw outside the window so started snapping a few pictures. Here’s the ones that were decent. Maybe one day I’ll get the hang of it and become an expert iPhone photographer 😉

Fancy Rubber Gloves

I have a thing for colorful, “fancy” gloves. The ones in the nice colors,  with the printed cuffs. It makes cleaning so much more bearable.

My latest set:

Bring some color to your cleaning!

Bring some color to your cleaning!

Billowing Brown Curtain

Sitting and waiting at Friedman’s Lunch for my dining partner yesterday morning (yes, we came to a place with “lunch” in the title for breakfast!), I looked around the dining area at the quaint yet sleek, cool vibe. The dark, heavy brown curtain that hung hovering over the doorway would billow every time someone walked in. Sitting so close to it, sometimes it would caress my thigh or knee. I really liked the fabric and its velour heaviness. The way the curtain made a show of presenting each person who entered through the door was slightly captivating. The whole experience was one that caught my senses.

Wine Bars and Wooden Tables

Last week, we went out with friends to a French wine bar, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels. The ambiance was warm, classy, and inviting. The company was fantastic, the wines were flowing, and the bread! Oh, the bread was good enough to be classified as dessert– on its own, with no butter or anything on it. That did not stop us, however, from anointing the pieces of bread with other delicious foodstuffs like cheese, raisins, and honey. What a wonderful night.

Also of note was the design within the wood grain of the tables. While I’m going to guess they were manufactured like this, I had a fun few minutes pretending that the heart-shaped designs in the wood were all-natural. Even still, I felt it worthy of being added to my “hearts” collection.


Solo “Artist Date”

I recently started “The Artist Way at Work” by Julia Cameron to help me fuel my creativity and passions. (Maybe you’ll be seeing a lot more blog posts from me as a result.) I also signed up for an in-person course led by Kaeshi Chai, Brad McDonald, and Arielle Adamy . I “jumped ahead” a bit because I also started the Audible version of the original, “The Artist’s Way” and became familiar with the idea of the “Artist Date” or “time out”, and decided to take the opportunity as soon as it came to me.

I was scheduled to have afternoon tea with some friends on Friday, an excursion that would bring me not far from the Princeton area. While searching for something else to do, I came upon two exhibits at the Princeton University Art Museum: Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan, and Kongo Across the Waters. While I didn’t have much time before our tea, I decided to take what was available to me and set out on a solo (albeit short) adventure.

The surrounding area is lovely and quaint, and the museum itself is lovely. I definitely plan to go back one day when I have more time. The exhibits were really interesting as well. Of course, there was was a heart for me to see within the museum:

From Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan exhibit

From Chigusa and the Art of Tea in Japan exhibit

And I just loved being around artifacts and beautiful artistry. Neither exhibit disappointed. I felt a tingle run through me as I made my way through the exhibits. It was just wonderful! I recommend Artist Dates for everyone!

Reviving a Pedicure

I didn’t have time to go for a pedicure this past week (though my feet and psyche could really use the pampering), but unfortunately for me, more than half the polish from my right big toenail decided to come off. Not to be one to allow such a chipped debacle to be seen by anyone other than me, I made do with one of the three bottles of nail polish that I actually own. This one was closest to the color I already had on. While it in no way “blends in”, I was kind of surprised at liking the effect. I know I won’t fool anyone into thinking it was done on purpose, but the “look” amused me. So I leave it here for you to see as well.

Silly pedicure revamp

Silly pedicure revamp

Hot Chocolate

I was having such a hankering for hot chocolate for the last few weeks. Not that powdered, packaged, Swiss Miss stuff- nosirree, I wanted the “real thing”. And finally, I got it. This past Saturday evening, I settled in for a relaxing evening at home with a small cup of decadent, rich hot chocolate. It was soothing and delightful, the thickness of it so palpable against my tongue.

This particular hot chocolate was made with Chocolove’s dark chocolate bar with crystalized ginger. Heavenly. Something to savor. What made it even more interesting to the senses was the bits of crystalized ginger that remained in the liquid. I’m a big fan of ginger and its warming effects on the body (and one’s psyche, if you are willing to open yourself up to noticing it and succumbing to it).

Nights with hot chocolate are always a treat….

chocolove, dark chocolate with crystalized ginger

little cups of hot chocolate

Made with Chocolove’s Crystalized Ginger Dark Chocolate. Was delicious!

ravioli, Polaner All-Fruit

Breakfast Ravioli!

For Xmas Eve, we had fresh ravioli with dinner and in a stroke of inspiration, I had an idea for the extra raviolis that were not going to be served- save them for the morning after. How nice would they be once fried gently in butter, maybe with a dusting of powdered sugar on top? I envisioned squishing a little jelly into their centers before frying them (I used strawberry Polaner all-fruit) and laying them into a pan of melted butter. Once golden brown, I gave them a dusting of powdered sugar and served with a tad more jelly on the side.

They were perfect. Just the right amount of sweetness to complement the ricotta and savory herbs with which they had already been stuffed. I expect I’ll be doing this more often!

ravioli, Polaner All-Fruit

Breakfast ravioli with strawberry Polaner All-Fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar.

Fruity Fair Trade Chocolate

If you haven’t already noticed, I am a chocolate lover of the highest degree. One of my latest favorites is a bar by Madecasse, heirloom Madagascar cocoa. I love the fruity notes present in the chocolate. It is truly as described, “bright with a fruity finish”.

I love the careful attention that was paid to the packaging.The chocolate lover has a little work to do in order to get to those luscious morsels, starting with untying the small tie at the top of the bar. Lift open the flap. Bring your nose a little closer and breathe in deeply. At next glance, you’ll see that the bar is wrapped in foil. Tear it open gently and break off a rectangle. Pop it in your mouth and savor it.

Madecasse, chocolate bar, fair trade

Madecasse bar