Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read at least one book per month in 2015. In order to help myself stick to that resolution I’ve decided to review the books I read and share my thoughts with you!

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent

I received Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent as a Christmas gift and thought it would be the perfect book to start my resolution with. Mandy Aftel is an artisan perfumer who hand-blends and bottles all of her creations. She works with only the finest natural ingredients and crafts perfume with essences much like an artist creates a masterpiece with a brush. It is apparent in this book that Aftel is extremely passionate about her work. You can view and purchase her products here!

In Fragrant, Aftel details the history of scent by discussing five of its pillars; cinnamon, mint, frankincense, ambergris, and jasmine. Cinnamon speaks of the exotic. Mint reminds us of home. Frankincense elevates our senses. Ambergris is shrouded in mystery. Jasmine seduces us.

Each section of this book begins with a brief history of the scent in question and then digresses into a broader look at the history of scent itself. Each section ends with practical tips and instructions for creating your own perfumes, recipes for perfumes that feature each section’s specific scent, and even ways to incorporate each scent into your next meal.

I’ve always been fascinated by perfume and scent, so naturally, I loved this book! Aftel has a fun, passionate voice. It is clear in every sentence that she eats, sleeps, and breathes perfume (literally). Her book is full of fascinating tidbits. I found it especially interesting to learn about the mystery that shrouded some of these essences. Cinnamon, for example, was once believed to be harvested by giant mythical birds.

Fragrant is an incredibly interesting book and a fairly light read. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in fragrance or the history of scent. Whether you’re new to the subject (like myself) or a highly skilled perfumer, there’s something in this book for everyone!

Wearing Black in Winter

I started noticing a trend in my buying habits when I used to work at a store where the only clothes you could wear from other stores had to be black. I was on a tight budget so I didn’t like buying clothes that I couldn’t wear to work. Since then, I’ve worked at 2 stores where your clothes have to be all black. My wardrobe now consists of mainly blacks, grays, and other neutrals. I love to wear color, but black always looks good no matter how dressy or casual you make it. I wear black all year round. Today, I put together a couple of outfits to showcase some of the best black pieces in my wardrobe!

Photo Jan 29, 10 10 06 PM

Urban Outfitters Romper, Xhilaration Sparkle Moon & Star Tights, Victoria’s Secret Simply Victoria Strappy Bra, Vince Camuto Boots, Forever 21 Necklace

I bought this romper from Urban Outfitters without even realizing that it was a romper. I was in a hurry and they had 50% off sale and I didn’t feel like trying anything on that day. When I tried it on at home I was very confused by the leg holes until I realized that I just bought the most comfortable item of clothing that I will ever own. I love how the low back can show off your favorite strappy bra. The material is so soft and comfy, but looks great when going out! I have been loving paring it with my sparkly tights and favorite boots!

PINK Cage Pushup Bralette, Old Navy T-Shirt, Nordstrom Leggings, Vince Camuto Boots

I have had this t-shirt for a few years and I knew I had to buy it the moment I saw it. When I got it, I bought it 2 sizes too big so that I could wear it as more of an off the shoulder t-shirt like I’m doing here. It shows off my cage bralette and goes great with jeans or leggings when I’m going to class. It has developed some small holes on the front so I have been tying it in a knot or wearing it tucked into some high waisted jeans. These leggings were a gift; I feel like I wear them every other day. The fit is amazing and they’re thick so they feel like actual pants. They have cool details like seams going down the back and at the knees, as well as elastic panels on the hips.

Photo Jan 29, 10 11 08 PM

TJ Maxx Pom-Pom Top, Xhilaration Skater Skirt, Urban Outfitters Cut-Out Wedges

This is an outfit I wear to work sometimes minus the heels. I found this crop top at TJ Maxx for only $7 and it has adorable tiny pom-poms around the neckline, sleeves, and hem. I will buy almost anything if it has pom-poms on it. A black skater skirt is an essential basic. It’s flirty, but not too sexy for work when I wear it with tights. I can pair this black skirt with almost any other top or sweater in my wardrobe and it goes with everything!

Styling an all black wardrobe is something you can do year-round. I like throwing in pops of color with my lipstick, shoes, jewelry, or a fun cardigan or blazer. How do you rock an all black outfit?? The Babes want to know!

Valentine’s Day Lingerie Roundup

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and The Babes can’t wait to buy some sexy lingerie! Most designers and brands come out with special collections for the holiday and The Babes rounded up some of their favorites to share with you! These irresistible options are available across three different price points.

<$50

ASOS

Emily’s Pick

ASOS Lace Scuba Body $37.90

ASOS is a great place to find affordable lingerie. My favorite part is the fact that they carry a lot of larger sizes too. I love this body suit! The lace is so pretty and I love how there is a bra so it adds extra support and coverage when wearing it under your clothes.

Forever 21

Sarah’s Pick

Forever 21 Floral Mesh Balconette Bra & Lace-Trimmed Floral Boyshorts $13.80

Forever 21 has really improved their intimates range over the past year or so. This little mesh bra and panty set is super feminine and cute and a total steal at just $14 for the set!

 $50<$100

Topshop Satin and Lace Bralette and High Waisted Knickers $62

Emily’s Pick

Topshop Satin and Lace Bralette and High Waisted Knickers $62

I’ve never personally bought anything from Topshop, but after browsing their website there are definitely some things I have my eyes on now. I’m a huge fan of bralettes and unlined bras. I wear them more than any other kind of bra. I love the mix of satin and lace in this strappy bra and high-waisted panty set.

Sarah's Pick

Sarah’s Pick

Victoria’s Secret Chantilly Lace Merrywidow $88

Victoria’s Secret always has a wide selection of V-Day options, but this piece caught my eye this time around. The merrywidow is a flattering silhouette on most body types and I love the bold red color of this one. The sexy lace neckline is killer! This set isn’t for the faint of heart!

$100<

L'Agent by Agent Provocateur  Vanessa Non Pad Demi Bra, Suspender, and Mini Brief

Emily’s Pick

L’Agent by Agent Provocateur Vanessa Non Pad Demi Bra, Suspender, & Mini Brief $208

I love the idea of doing purple for Valentine’s Day! It is something that isn’t done often, but it’s such a  fun color that translates really well for V-Day! The lace in this set is to die for! I love how romantic the scalloped edges and bows are.

Sarah's Pick

Sarah’s Pick

Only Hearts Golden Key Set $132

I’m obsessed with this V-Day set from Only Hearts! This bralette is so romantic and the tassels are so playful. I have a weakness for tassels. I also love the contrast of the black lace and the nude mesh. This set is too precious to pass up!

#OOTD

Emily's OOTD

Emily’s OOTD

Fuzzy Maroon Cardigan (Forever 21), Dream Catcher T-Shirt (Altar’d State), Hi-Waisted Jeggings (American Eagle), Boots (Urban Outfitters)

Sarah's OOTD

Sarah’s OOTD

Leopard Print Blouse (The Limited), Sky-High Jeggings (American Eagle), Navy Blue Suede Moccasins (Minnetonka)

Manicure Monday: Geometric Cut-Outs

Geometric Cut-Outs

Geometric Cut-Outs

For today’s Manicure Monday post I decided to try creating triangular areas of exposed nail. I did this by cutting small triangles out of tape and simply painting around them. I decided to use a darker color so that the contrast would be more obvious. This polish is American Apparel’s Nail Lacquer in Berry.

Thrift Store Finds

Check out what treasures The Babes found on their latest trip to the thrift store!

emily coughlin

Navy and White Striped Crop Top

Recently, I have fallen in love with stripes. I found this little tshirt for $3.99 and I just love how adorable it is. It’s a thick, but super soft material. The neckline is my favorite part! I usually don’t like high necklines on me but I love how wide it is, with the navy trim. The shirt is a size small but I love that it works as a fitted crop top on me!

emily coughlin

Cream Open-Knit Fuzzy Sweater

I’m obsessed with the fuzzy sweater trend right now. I spotted this sweater jacket and instantly fell in love. It’s so fluffy and fun! It is an open knit, but it’s still pretty warm. The material is slightly itchy but it didn’t really bother me and I got used to it. It has large white buttons on the cuffs and down the front, but it wouldn’t fit me buttoned, which it totally fine because I wouldn’t really want to button it ever! The sleeves and everywhere else fit like a glove! I couldn’t pass this up since it was only $3.99!

emily coughlin

Leopard Print Coat

This reversible leopard print coat is absolutely perfect. I paid $3.99 for it! It’s black on the inside, but can be worn the other way. I will probably never wear it with the leopard on the inside because I love how it looks on the outside! It’s soft and warm and a little oversized so I can layer a lot underneath. It’s the perfect coat for that time of year when it’s chilly but it warms up in the afternoon! It’s perfect for right now, but it’s not something I would wear when it’s below freezing.

Floral Printed Wrap-Front Blouse & Cole Haan Pumps

Floral Printed Wrap-Front Blouse & Cole Haan Pumps

The color and print of this top were too pretty for me to pass up! It has a lovely wrap-front closure and kimono sleeves. It’s also very silky which makes it comfortable and luxurious to the touch. I snagged this top for just $3.99!

These Cole Haan pumps were a steal for $19.99! They even came in the original box with the $248 price tag intact! They are black leather with a black patent leather toe and about a 2.5 inch heel. They fit like a dream and are comfortable enough to wear all day! I’d been looking for a new pair of black pumps and just happened to stumble upon these! It was meant to be!

Ann Taylor Cropped Cardigan with Satin Trim

Ann Taylor Cropped Cardigan with Satin Trim

Cropped jackets are a huge trend for this Spring so I had to have this Ann Taylor cardigan. It’s a very heavy knit fabric with a delicate satin trim in a lovely mauve color. This piece was just $3.99 and I can’t wait to incorporate it into my Spring wardrobe!

Over-the-Knee Black Suede Boots

Over-the-Knee Black Suede Boots

Emily found these boots and I got so excited when she showed them to me! I’d been searching for a pair of over-the-knee boots, but I have wide calves so I was having a hard time finding a pair that actually fit me. These boots are perfect because they have an inseam zipper, but they also have adjustable laces on the back of the calf so that the fit can be customized. And they even have cute little tassels! I’m a sucker for tassels!

Over-the-Knee Black Suede Boots - Back Detail

Over-the-Knee Black Suede Boots – Back Detail

#OOTD

Check out what the babes wore today while getting to enjoy the lovely weather in between classes!

Emily's OOTD

Emily’s OOTD

Cardigan (The Limited), “I Don’t Pop Molly” T-Shirt (Rad), Jeans (Forever 21+), Boots (Urban Outfitters) 

Sarah's OOTD

Sarah’s OOTD

V-Neck Sweater (The Limited), Skirt (Forever 21), Legwear (The Limited), Boots (Target)