Best Japanese Hand Cream: コーセー プレシャス ガーデン Kose Precious Garden Honey Peach Hand Cream Review

Hand creams are a staple in my hand bag these days. I am gravitating towards using more “adult beauty products” and I use hand creams everyday irrespective of Summer or Winter. My favorite Japanese hand cream these days is Kose Precious Garden Honey Peach Hand Cream. This hand cream claims to have enriching moisturizing performance. It provides instant moisture replenishment with comfortable, supple moisture rich feel.
It has fragrance from organic certified plants. It says, “Enjoy the fragrance that freshly grows in paradise and now turns to your supreme body care, rich in fragrance that can be divided into top notes, middle note and end note like a perfume”. Weird, right?
In simple words, it contains moisture ingredients such as organic chamomile extract, honey, peach and glycerin.

honey and peach hand cream

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How to get soft and beautiful hands

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Kose Japan cosmetics

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amazing smelling hand cream

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best Japanese hand cream

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It comes in many variations such as Rose, Lavender, Grapefruit and the one I have – Peach.
It retails for $4 for 70gms of product. Love the packaging – very girly and bright but not overly cute.
I love this product; it is thick but not sticky or overly creamy. The smell lingers on for much time. It makes my hands smooth and soft after use. It doesn’t leave oily finger prints on paper like other thick hand creams.
I am planning to get it in other variations also – of course after I finish my stock of hand creams!

Flower of the Rainy Season: Ajisai 紫陽花 or Hydrangea

Moving to Japan has not only increased my interest in fashion, but has also introduced me to a whole new world of flowers. There is a flower for every season and one of my favorites is Hydrangea or Ajisai.

Ajisai is the flower that blooms in the rainy season, between mid June to mid July. Depending on the acidity of soil, the flower ranges from white, pink, purple and blue in color and as the rain falls, their color deepens and sometimes the flower even changes from pink to purple. They fade or intensify depending on the rainfall.

Types:
Hydrangea grow in a cluster of small flowers forming two types of blossoms, round pom pom type or the flat heads with small blooms in the center and larger flowers around the perimeter.

Best places to see Ajisai in Japan are:
Gongoro Jinja and Hasadera Temple in Kamakura
Meigetsuin in Kanagawa
Mimurotoji Temple in Kyoto

Visiting the Ajisai Park in Miyazaki, is one my priorities on my to do list / must places to visit. But I would also recommend Nagai Park in Osaka, which is just 20 minutes from Namba on the Midosuji Line in Osaka. The botanical garden there houses a really diverse number of flora and fauna. The park has a well laid out section to showcase their collection of the Hydrangea flower, which I must say is very beautiful and hopefully I will be able to visit the park again before these flowers bid adieu for 2015.

Outfit of the day

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hydrangea

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Hydrangea garden - Japan

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hydrangea

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ajisai flower - Japan

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Japanese garden

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Japan street style

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Indian fashion

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Indian fashion blogger

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white sunglasses - summer trend

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Indian fashion

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gardens in Japan

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rainy season

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Found some Japanese Iris in Nagai Park too!

Japanese Iris

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Nagai Park

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fashion outfit

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ajisai

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Indian fashion

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Top – Forever 21, $18, 2015;
Pants – Stradivarius, $40, 2015;
Bag – Givenchy, gift, 2014;
Sunglasses – GU, $7, 2015, also worn here;
Shoes – Zara, $40, 2013;
Watch – Tag Heuer, gift, 2009, also worn here;
Cuff – The Stone Market, $16, 2011, also worn here;

Places to visit in Japan: Uji City 宇治市

Uji 宇治市 is a small city between Kyoto and Nara in Japan. I went there a few days back as I had heard a lot of good things about temples in Uji. It is also famous for its green tea known for its superior quality.
What to see: There are many temples in Uji, such as Mimurotoji 三室戸寺, Byodoin 平等院 Mampukuji 萬福寺 etc. You can also see Uji river 宇治川 that flows through Uji town. I could visit only Byodoin as it is in the city centre, just 15 minutes walk from Keihan Uji station.
Byodoin is famous for its Phoenix Hall that has a statue of Amida Buddha. They have guided tours that start every 20 minutes and cost 300 Yen extra. Phoenix Hall is a wooden structure with two Phoenix statues on its roof, found behind Japanese 10 Yen coins. I didn’t go inside the Phoenix hall as there was a 1.5 hours wait to go inside and it was too hot and sunny to wait outside for my turn! However, I could see all the artefacts in the Treasure House which is sort of museum inside the temple complex.
I couldn’t go to Mimurotoji as it is about 20 minutes from the city centre and it was too late to go there. Most of the temples in Uji close at 4.30pm.
What to buy: Of course, green tea! The street leading to Byodoin known as Ometesando is lined with shops and restaurants selling tea and tea related items. A small pack of 30 gms can set you back with 2000 Yen though, depending upon the quality!
What to eat: I had some amazing matcha pancakes, which I had never eaten in Osaka before. They came with matcha ice cream and sweet bean paste.
Uji is really beautiful and I will definitely go there again! And you should go there too!

Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

Welcome to Byodoin!

Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

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Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

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Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

Phoenix Hall

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Famous Phoenix Statues!

Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

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Uji River behind me!

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Uji River

Japan street style

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Indian summer outfit

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japanese bridge

Hot and sunny day!

Japanese green tea shops

Ometesando!

japanese temple

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red top outfit for summer

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Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

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Byodoin Temple Uji Japan

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Matcha pancakes/green tea pancakes

Matcha pancakes!

pancakes

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Top – Zara, $50, 2015;
Shorts – Hill Road (Bandra), 15 $, 2006, also worn here;
Cardigan – Zara, $40, 2014;
Slip-ons – Stradivarius, $50, 2015, also worn here;
Bag – Charles & Keith, $60 on Sale, 2014;
Sunglasses – Zara, 45 $, 2012; also worn here;

ニベア Nivea Aqua Effect Refreshing Cleansing Milk Review

Nivea Aqua Effect Refreshing Cleansing Milk effectively removes makeup and skin impurities, preventing the skin from drying out. Its silky texture hydrates skin without leaving any greasy residue and keeps its natural moisture balance. It cleanses and hydrates the skin, making it smooth and supple. It has Vitamin E, Hydra IQ and natural lotus extracts to cleanse gently yet effectively.

ニベア Nivea Aqua Effect Refreshing Cleansing Milk Review

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Nivea cleansing milk

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Indian beauty product - Nivea refreshing cleansing milk

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ニベア Nivea Aqua Effect Refreshing Cleansing Milk Review

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I got this cleansing milk from India for Rs. 159 or $2.5 for 125 ml of product.
It has its trademark Nivea scent. It is really gentle and doesn’t irritate the skin. It spreads really smoothly and evenly on skin. Its consistency is like a smooth lotion, a little runny in fact. However, it still moisturizes the skin without leaving it oily or greasy. It removes my makeup, even eyeliner and mascara easily. I have been using it for 2 months and still have plenty of product left.
It comes in many variations depending on the skin type. I have the one for normal skin, but still, it doesn’t make my face dry. It in facts moisturizes my face well leaving it cool & refreshing.
I will definitely get it again when I am in India as unfortunately I haven’t seen it in Japan. Definitely one of the best products I have ever tried!

Hottest colors for Summer 2015: White and Gold

Summer is here and one of the colors making a comeback in a huge way is white.
Glossing over fashion mags, watching red carpet event, or soaking in the street fashion scene, one cannot help but notice celebrities, bloggers and fashion gurus teaming up their white outfits with tan and gold accessories.
I like white, not getting into the philosophy of stuff as in white being the symbol of purity etc. I think white is universal and goes with any other color, just like black. But, hey try wearing black in the sweltering summer heat and you are going to be one golden crisp fried potato.
So white is my signature color this summer, perfect to beat the heat, soothing to the eyes and offers umpteen options, be it a white top, white shoes, white blazer or even white sunglasses, or breathable white lace, a big trend now, though I’ve always considered it classic.
Personally I think I am no fashion victim who follows trends blindly. Folks who follow me or share my passion for fashion (that sounds so lyrical) will perhaps point that I normally climb on the fashion trend bus, when it is on its last leg of the journey.
Perhaps I am a bit too cautious and keep having these internal debates with myself, if a particular trend will produce the desired result – really I don’t want to be unnecessarily hoarding stuff, regretting my purchases and wondering what went wrong. Zara and H&M are my safest bets, my go to brands – they seem to have their pulse on the right trends and with so many options to choose from and a very high frequency of “new stock”, these high street brands assist me in looking trendy and up to date that too without breaking a bank.
When it comes to accessories such as shades or watches, I think they have a higher longevity and I do at times am more impulsive and like to splurge a bit like these Marc Jacobs sunglasses and watch I am wearing in the following outfit.
I am a Marc Jacobs devotee and many a times I wished just like H&M collaborated with David Beckham, perhaps one day it would be Marc Jacobs. It would be a dream come true!

Hottest colors for Summer 2015: White and Gold

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white lace dress

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Hottest colors for Summer 2015: White and Gold

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Hottest colors for Summer 2015: White and Gold

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white color dress

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Summer trends

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top trends

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Hottest colors for Summer 2015: White and Gold

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Hottest colors for Summer 2015: White and Gold

white dress trend

Michael Kors Selma bag

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white outfit

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white and gold

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white outfit

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White dress – Zara, $60, 2015;
White shoes – Zara, $60, 2015;
Gold belt – Forever 21 フォーエバー21, $9, 2013, also worn here;
Gold bracelet – H&M, $7, 2015, also worn here;
Watch – Marc Jacobs マーク ジェイコブス , gift, 2013, also worn here;
Bag – Michael Kors, gift, 2014;
Sunglasses – Marc Jacobs マーク ジェイコブス , 130$, 2013, also worn here;

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Baviphat バビペット Hug Me Perfume Spray Baby Hug Review

Today I have a small and quick review of Baviphat Hug Me Perfume Spray Baby Hug. Baviphat says, “Hug me perfume spray is the mystical fragrance resembling a child’s innocence. Lavender extract keeps the skin moist and healthy. This product can be used on body and fibre such as clothes, scarves or bags.” This is kind of true.. the fragrance really resembles a baby’s scent i.e. very fresh.
Also this fragrance is eco-friendly.

Baviphat perfume spray

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Baviphat perfume spray

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Baviphat perfume spray

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Baviphat perfume spray

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It doesn’t stay for a long time but it is just a spray after all. It is difficult to describe the scent..it is just very natural with a hint of lavender. It is best for the days you don’t wanna over do with heavy scents. This smells just like your own smell..as if you are not wearing anything but still smell nice. It can be used on anything, clothes, shoes, bags even your linen!! Also if you spray it directly on your body it will moisturize your skin as well.
It comes in a light brown plastic bottle with a spray nozzle. I am not a big fan of its packaging, definitely an area that can be improved upon.
Baviphat is a Korean brand and so this spray is difficult to find here in Japan. I bought it from a limited time Korean shop for $1.5 for 150 ml. But if I ever find again (most of the Korean websites carry it) I will definitely stock up on it.

Latest Fashion Trends I will follow in 2015: Coordinates or Matching Sets

When I tell you that I am slow in following latest fashion trends, I am not kidding. For instance this matchy – matchy or coordinate trend that started maybe a few months back, I jumped on the bandwagon only recently. I don’t follow fashion trends because, first, there are so many of them around that it makes it sometimes difficult to keep up with them; second, I don’t wanna push all my old (out of fashion) clothes into the back of my wardrobe as it somehow makes me feel guilty. Last, not all trends look good on me, for instance culottes! I have tried them on more than once, but on me, they look strange, as if I am wearing my dad’s shrunk pajamas!
However one trend I am happy following is matching sets or coordinates. I think it is not something that will look bad on anyone, plus you can use any item on its own and make a statement or just make a cool outfit together. I can’t stress how simple and easy it has made my life. For instance this outfit I am wearing, I just throw it on with some flats when I am going out, or I just dress it up with a blazer and some black pumps for work. No brains are used in the mornings any more!

Latest Fashion Trends I will follow in 2015

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Coordinates or Matching sets

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DKNY Sling bag

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Coordinates or Matching sets

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cool white sunglasses

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outfit of the day ootd

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Japan street style

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Latest Fashion Trends I will follow in 2015

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Wore this one Sunday afternoon to visit Shitenno-ji Temple 四天王寺 near my house. They have so many cute turtles in their small pond plus a flea market every month! Be sure to go there if you are in Osaka! You will not regret it!

Shitenno-ji, Osaka, Japan

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Shitenno-ji, Osaka, Japan

Cute Japanese doll at flea market at Shitenno-ji, Osaka

Shitenno-ji, Osaka, Japan

Can you see all the turtles?

Shitenno-ji, Osaka, Japan

More turtles!

Shitenno-ji, Osaka, Japan

Time to relax!


Sweater and Skirt – Azul by Moussy, $60, 2015;
Shoes – Stradivarius, $23 on sale, 2015;
Bag – DKNY, gift , 2013, also worn here;
Sunglasses – GU, $7, 2015;
Denim jacket – Numero Uno, $22, 1998, also worn here;

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Pantene ProV パンテーンプロブイ Nature Fusion Fullness & Life Review

Pantene ProV Nature Fusion Fullness & Life shampoo claims to revitalize and boost hair volume, which I specifically need after doing a Keratin Protein treatment. It restores shine and fullness to hair upon the loss of volume and natural gloss through constant damage. It is augmented with Cassia complex which facilitates gentle cleansing and delivery of conditioning benefits. It is paraben free and contains avocado and grape seed oil.
It comes in Pantene regular packaging with a light green cap. The bottle has a flip top that is easy to use and travel friendly. It is a light green clear shampoo. I believe that clear shampoos are better for fine hair as they don’t weigh hair down.
I got it from India and paid about $2.5 for a 170ml bottle (watch what else I got from India, here). It lathers really well and I have been using it so much that I am already half way through the bottle!!

Pantene ProV パンテーンプロブイ Nature Fusion Fullness & Life Review

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Pantene ProV パンテーンプロブイ Nature Fusion Fullness & Life Review

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Pantene ProV パンテーンプロブイ Nature Fusion Fullness & Life Review

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Pantene ProV パンテーンプロブイ Nature Fusion Fullness & Life Review

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This shampoo adds volume to my hair. I sometimes even skip the conditioner for added volume, and it still doesn’t make my hair dry,
It cleans to some extent the product build up due to hair sprays and other hair styling products. It has a nice floral scent that lingers on even after hair wash. I can feel volume and bounce after I use it. I seriouly think it lives upto its claim of revitalizing weak and tired hair with fullness and shine.
I really love this shampoo!! I regret not getting the conditioner and a back up!!

Things to do in Osaka, Japan 日本: Flower viewing at Nagai Park 長居公園

Flower viewing is a very popular activity in Japan and most of the festivals revolve around flowers, but they are not only limited to cherry blossom! Every month and season has their own distinct flower. Surprisingly before coming to Japan I never counted flower viewing as an activity, or thought of visiting parks on a weekend. It is strange how time and a particular culture can change your likes and preferences!

One of the good places to view flowers in Osaka is Nagai Botanical Garden. It is in the centre of the city on Midosuji Subway Line. They have different flowers every season, such as peony, daffodil and tulip during spring; water lily, silk flower and crape myrtle during summer; kenaf, cosmea and bush clover during autumn; and Japanese plum, sasanqua and Christmas rose in the winter. They have over 1000 species of trees & flowers and preserved local forest.

Things to do in Osaka, Japan

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Nagai Park, Osaka

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Things to do in Osaka, Japan

Beautiful rose garden at Nagai Park

Things to do in Osaka, Japan

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Outfit of the day

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tassel bag

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selfie

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Japan street style

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Nagai Park, Osaka

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Spring in Japan

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Things to do in Osaka, Japan

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Flowers in Japan

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Nagai Park Osaka, Japan

Check out that driver make that victory sign!

Things to do in Osaka, Japan

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Nagai Park, Osaka

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Summer trend - tassels

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Japan street style

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Nagai Park, Osaka

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Things to do in Osaka, Japan

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Things to do in Osaka, Japan

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Well it is not a place you need to visit in Osaka as a traveller, but as a local it is a nice place to spend a few warm summer evenings and take a picture or two!

Off- the shoulder top – Stradivarius, $13, 2015;
Jeans – Zara, $60, 2014, also worn here;
Cardigan – Zara, $40, 2014;
Tassel Bag – Stradivarius, $30;
Sunglasses – Hep Navio, $10, 2014, also worn here;
Watch – Marc Jacobs, gift, 2013, also worn here;
Slip-ons – Stradivarius, $50, 2015, also worn here;

マークス & スペンサ – Marks & Spencer Magnolia EDT Review

マークス & スペンサ – Marks and Spencer Magnolia EDT is a kind of perfume that some people will like and some will not. A small 30ml bottle cost me $10 which I think is quite reasonable. This magnolia line also features hand cream, shower cream, moisture hand wash, body lotion and soap bath cream.

The packaging is very simple, nothing too fancy. I find it perfect to carry around as it is not very heavy.

This fragrance opens with a very strong Magnolia flower scent. Longitivity is weak as it stays on for maybe about an hour or so on me!! I don’t think that the sillage is good as nobody has ever noticed this perfume on me whereas, whenever I wear this I have people complementing me.

I like the scent, hope the folks at Marks and Spencer can work overtime to do something about the longitivity. Or maybe layering this scent with other items of this line might help??

マークス & スペンサー Marks & Spencer Magnolia EDT

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マークス & スペンサー Marks & Spencer Magnolia EDT

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マークス & スペンサー Marks & Spencer Magnolia EDT

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マークス & スペンサー Marks & Spencer Magnolia EDT

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マークス & スペンサー Marks & Spencer Magnolia EDT

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