Portmanteau List: Smell and Packaging


When it comes to products I put on my face and body, the most important thing is smell.

I need products to smell natural, so I look for a high level of essential oils. Anybody who knows me well has likely had to watch me sob after an hour of standing in shop isles killing my nose cells with disgusting smells in order to search for something that doesn't make me gag.

When I find something, I stick to it like glue.

Weleda's Wild Rose range is one of them. They're fairly expensive, but they're so, so good and their commitment to creating natural products is unparalleled. I use their day and night cream, as well as their deodorant, body oil for the rest of my skin, and their delicious smelling shower milk.

For my hair I use products from Lavera. Their products are also organic and high in essential oils, so the smell of their products is wonderful and about half the price of Weleda. I'd say Lavera is bang in the middle in terms of production, cost, and level of natural smelling products. This is also why this paragraph is in between the other two ends I am referring to.

Alverde is great especially for basics in terms of skin products. In England I used to like using Simple, and Alverde is one notch up in terms of natural smells and organic production as well as price.

However. The big problem for me is the packaging of all the beauty products above. I quite dislike pink as a colour, and it's on bloody everything. So I shall be looking for packaging which lives up to my standards and fits my products in its varying sizes and volumes. I'm thinking of Muji... We shall see.

I'm somebody who likes to remove all form of labelling and stickers wherever I can, so I tend to be particularly fond of products which have sticker labels instead of printed labels.

The only exceptions to this rule are Chanel and Dior. Their packaging is sleek and black and their logo understated and elegant. This is what I like to see. My Dior smoky eye shadow palette got stolen on one of my travels so I had to buy some Mac ones (it was the only make up store where I'd been), which are nowhere near as good and left me irritated at how expensive it was for what I was getting. I look forward to having used it up but I will not just buy another after having spent that much money.

Even with make up smell comes first for me. Chanel's blush, for example, makes me smile when I put it on, and I care about the smell more than about how it looks on me (yes, yes. It's also an excellent blush). I always feel like I've just plucked a rose petal from the Hampton Court rose garden and softly laid it on my cheek. That's how good it smells.

In a video by Ingrid Nielsen I learned to mix products in order to have them smell nicer (though that was not the point of her given tip) and it changed my life. This sounds dramatic, but it's true. For example, I now actually use foundation, which I never used to do before as I couldn't find foundation that was both good in its function AND smelled natural enough for my standards - now I have a fairly neutral smelling foundation by Estee Lauder and I mix it in with my day cream before putting it on my face! It changes everything, seriously.

In fact, the only beauty product on this table that I did not buy based on its smell is the Essie nail varnish. But I don't think there's a way around this, nail varnish is just that. Essie is amazing. Even somebody as inexperienced and shaky as myself was able to haphazardly paste some of it onto the tips of my hand while at the airport waiting for my delayed flight between a screaming child and a snoring businessman. And it actually looked good. Whenever I have tried to put on nail varnish in the past it looked like someone screamed murder as they turned a bottle of nail varnish upside down onto my hand because they thought the christmas tree needle-like chunks inside were mini cockroaches. 
I regress, putting on Essie in the most unforgiving of environments with the least trained of hands still somehow looked smooth, covered, and did not spill over. I'm in awe. For real. This level of chemical intelligence deserves to be used even if the smell is about as alcoholic and chemical as a beauty product can get.

I always feel accomplished when I complete a collection. Don't you?