I finally caved and decided to buy Kilian Black Phantom (Memento Mori) Eau de Parfum (purchased for a whopping KD 116) (mentioned here), rather than continuing to lust after it from afar (here). The fact that the sales assistant (stationed at the Lancome Fragrances) was such a sweetie was also a major factor! I mean… homeboy hooked it up!
He drowned me in Black Phantom (literally dousing me with the stuff!) and willingly filled up several of those little vials for me (with scents that I chose) and gave me several more fragrance samples that he thought I might enjoy and gave me a Dolce & Gabbana Duo Set (Perfumed Body Lotion + Lipstick) and gave me an Estee Lauder Cosmetics Bag (which was filled with a mish-mash of Travel-Size Estee Lauder products and an actual Travel-Size Armani Perfume that he’d stuffed in there for me)!
He did me right! Enough to where I felt obligated to purchase something from his station! So, I picked up another Perfume that I’d been lusting after, which was Lancome Tresor Midnight Rose Eau de Parfum (purchased at a more reasonable KD 43)!
Seeing as how popular my previous Zara Perfume posts were (Cashmere Rose is almost always listed in the Top 10 Posts in the side-bar), I picked up a total of x19 Zara Fragrances for around KD 120 to review (but also because I’m kinda’ obsessed with fragrances now and also because I was hoping to find some “hidden gems”). For starters, just like their clothing, Zara regularly comes out with a lot of excellent duplicates or “dupes” of best-selling high-end and designer perfumes.
That said, keep in mind, as with most cheap-y fragrances with a high alcohol content, these do not last as long. As such, most of them were pretty inexpensive (the lowest ranging from KD 4/900 and the highest ranging to KD 10/900)! I’d also like to point out that although certain fragrances might still have the same name, Zara tends to reformulate them (completely switching up the scent) and change the packaging, from year to year. Lastly, these are just my “first impressions” and my opinion is subject to change (so please don’t be offended if you happen to love a certain scent and I don’t).
I was really happy with my previous haulage from Nordstrom (here) so when I noticed that they were having another really cool promo, I decided to place another order. Plus, it was mah birthday (not that I needed an excuse to shop, since we’ve already established that I’m clearly a shopaholic). Basically, the promo was if you spent $135 (around KD 40) on Fragrances (including Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Perfumes and even Scented Candles), you qualified for the Gift With Purchase, which happened to be a pack of Fragrance Samples (haulage here)! As you can see, the items arrived individually wrapped in packing paper, in a rather large (practically empty) cardboard box also stuffed with packing paper. It’s not pretty, but hey, it works (everything arrived safely and undamaged)!
– Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Gift Set ($155 Value) retails for $103 (KD 33/700)
-Trish McEvoy No. 9 Blackberry & Vanilla Musk Refillable Pen Spray (.2 oz./6mL) (Limited Edition) retails for $32 (KD 10/500)
– beautyblender Sweet Surprise Set (Limited Edition) ($28 Value) retails for $20 (KD 6/500)
– Fragrance Samples Pack (gift with purchase) (haulage here)
–Samples Pack (free with every order)
Nordstrom was having yet another promo and just like it says on the sticker, with every $135 Fragrance Purchase (which converts to around KD 40) you qualified for the pack of fragrance samples (as shown)! Most of them were tiny spray samples, but there were several adorable mini perfume bottles and even an actual candle! Not only that, but they were all either from designer or niche brands! A lot of them were relatively new fragrances too! Best of all, included was a sample of Delina by Parfums de Marly (which I’ve been dying to try)!!!!
This particular promo could not have come at a better time, especially since as I’ve already demonstrated (haulage here), I was more than willing to spend my money on samples. Funny how only a few months prior, I would’ve barely glanced at this promo, but now that I’m obsessed with perfumes, I was giddy with excitement, practically salivating, at the prospect of playing around with all those perfume samples!
I was at Sephora shopping for a birthday present for someone who was extremely difficult to shop for. While there, I hunted down a few of the Perfumes on my list that I’ve been dying to sniff (mostly Lancome). On a whim, I decided to check out some of the “private” and “exclusive” luxury fragrances (Tom Ford and Armani Prive and Maison Lancome and Geurlain and so on) and accidentally stumbled upon Kilian! I don’t know if an invisibility spell was cast on the display, but somehow I’ve never ever noticed it before! As per usual, there were no sales assistants designated to any of the displays and customers were just left to their own devices. I searched for Back to Black (because frag-heads on YouTube rave about it all the time) but couldn’t find it. I did however find my new favorite Perfume of life, but more on that towards the end of this post…
So my obsession with Perfumes was at its peak. However, I didn’t want to purchase them locally because they’d be more expensive and I wouldn’t receive anything else with them (as a gift with purchase or loyalty points or whatever else) no matter how extortionate the price was, and and I wouldn’t know if I was getting an older batch (potentially expired) and worst of all, I wouldn’t know if they were fake or not, but mostly I was anxious about purchasing locally because of this (Perfume Fail). If I bought them online, they’d be new, less expensive and more often than not, I’d receive a gift with purchase or samples or something. However, I wouldn’t be able to give them a sniff beforehand, and based on previous experience, I’m not really the luckiest when it comes to blind-buys.
Even though I’d love to, I couldn’t sign up for those monthly subscription boxes (such as Scentbird and the like) because the cost of shipping to Kuwait via Aramex, would add up to something ridiculous. In comes MyPerfumeSamples.com which was exactly what it sounded like! You pick out the scents that you wanted and the sizes that you preferred (with the pricing varying from scent to scent) and they’d ship them over. Up on the website, each scent had the fragrance notes and the year it was released and so on, listed next to it. I purchased a handful, in varied sizes.
– Sample Vials: smallest size and cheapest, comes with a dip-stick applicator (I only got 1)
– Pocket Sprays: bit bigger, comes with a spray mechanism and a cap (I got 5)
– Travel Sprays: substantially larger, comes with a spray mechanism and a cap, wider spread (I purchased 6 but only 5 arrived)
Each sample came in a plastic sachet of it’s own, with the name of the scent printed on the actual sample (so handy!) and they were all packed together in a bubble-wrapped package within a package. Since looking at plain samples can get boring, I decided to add photos of the actual perfume bottles as well. Now on to the Perfumes (samples) that I’d ordered…
Like I said in my previous post (here), I was sick of paying top
dollar dinar and still having to deal with all the unpleasantness at the local stores. So, I turned to online shopping and one store that really stood out to me was Nordstrom. They had everything you could think of, including brands that have yet to reach Kuwait (give ’em a year… or ten lawl)! I purchased a ton of skincare and ended up getting a ton of deluxe samples as a “gift with purchase”, all for only KD 100 ($331.52 with tax)!
Everything was properly packaged (not one thing arrived damaged) and was shipped pretty much the next day! They also had great customer service with agents available on the 24-hour live chat pop-up to answer any of your questions! You could tell these guys were trained because they knew exactly what they were talking about and they got back to you instantly (unlike the 15 minute wait at Carriage for them to only tell you “I don’t know” lol so useless). Even on the off-chance that customer service reps at Nordstrom didn’t know something, they’d transfer you to the proper department in a matter of seconds! They were so professional! More importantly, they were all extremely polite and actually quite friendly!
Basically, from the products, to the price, to the attitude of the customer service reps, the whole experience was massively different to the experience of shopping at any given store in Kuwait! You don’t have to take my word for it either! Just compare this Nordstrom Haul to any given Sephora Haul and you can spot the different for yourself! Needless to say, I was extremely satisfied with the whole experience of shopping online from Nordstrom and will continue to do so in the future!
I got some stuff from Herbivore Botanicals and Sunday Riley, both of which are skincare brands that I have yet to see in Kuwait. You wouldn’t think it, but to me, Buxom Lip Creams are one of the most elusive beauty products I’ve ever tried to acquire. It was next to impossible to get my hands on this stuff… and I’ve seriously been trying… for years! +10 years later, I’ve finally gotten my hands on the shade White Russian! I can die happy now! I also got a small size of the infamous ExfoliKate which I’ve wanted to try for years now, but could never find. I picked up the COSRX Low pH BHA Overnight Mask because it seemed like a great starting point to ease my skin into this whole chemical exfoliating business. Also, COSRX is a Korean brand. Arguably the best thing out of this entire haul, was the discovery of my beloved Lancome Oscillation Mascara (full review here), which I was told was discontinued, but apparently is still being sold world-wide, just not in Kuwait.