Monday, May 18, 2009

Starring…! Fragrances: An In-Depth Look at A New Niche Line (Part 1)

Well, I am excited. As I have already mentioned, it’s been all about the comfort of gourmand fragrances with me lately and I’ve hit the motherload with my discovery of Starring…! Fragrances. Starring…! Fragrances is a small, Los Angeles based niche fragrance line created by actresses Courtney and Ashley Peldon, dedicated not only to providing unique, hand-crafted scents, but also to a green philosophy with respect to the environment and personal health and wellness. The company’s commitment to a green, eco-friendly philosophy is evident in all stages of production, with recycling, locally sourced materials, local business support and use of natural and organic ingredients. You can find out more about the ingredients used in the products by clicking here.

What excited me most about this new discovery of course, was the huge collection of sweet fragrances with edible notes to satisfy any craving! Despite the fact that there is an extensive selection of just about any type of scent (musk, floral, oriental, amber, citrus and tropical scents just to name a few), there is no denying the fact that the website is a veritable gourmand playground! Give me a lovely cup of coffee and I can get lost playing there, like Alice down the rabbit hole. Admittedly, the site itself is not so easy to navigate (as is the case with any site offering such an extensive collection), but the trip is well worth it. With their cheeky names (which co-founder Courtney affirms they are meant to appeal to the fun-loving, kitschy side in all of us) and their delicious short descriptions and note listings, the perfumes had me clicking through with a smile on my face.

Aside from an extensive scent line-up, Starring…! Fragrances also offers unique, fun services. What’s even more exciting is that -just as the scents themselves, these services are offered at excellent prices. Case in point, the Wedding & Party Favors, which I think is a brilliant idea! The company offers the possibility to enhance any event (such as wedding, birthday and bachelorette parties or bridal/baby showers) by presenting guests with a scent. It is even possible to choose two different scents (a masculine and a feminine for example). Bottles are personalized with the name of your choice, such as with the name of the event, the honored person, the wedding couple etc. A minimum of 50 bottles (the website mentions 25 as the minimum which would be even more affordable, but when I tested this I was only able to place orders for 50 pieces or more) has to be ordered, but the prices are excellent: 8$ per 15ml spray, 5$ per 10ml roll-on or 13.50$ for the 1 oz perfume spray.

Another fun feature is the Custom Perfume service, which allows you to create your own custom perfume based on either one of 10 different (mostly gourmand) categories (my favorite is the custom pumpkin!) or based on a personality test, all for the small price of 26$. For something even more tailored to your own tastes, you can choose the Starring...! YOU! A Custom Creation category and give a brief with specifications or even send in a sample for duplication, all for just $40.

There are many, many goodies to be discovered on the site, but what I want to focus on today are a couple of the Bath & Body products I got to try. More specifically, I want to tell you about the Body Butter and the Organic Premium Silk Crème, which are both excellent. The Body Butter is, in a word, SUMPTUOUS! I dipped my fingers in the small sample pot and had to actually exclaim with pleasure, because the texture is just SO amazing. This is a rich, thick cream, with a delightful, whipped texture. It might be rich and thick but it is also incredibly soft to the touch. It is easy to work into the skin, melting in almost instantly and leaving absolutely no grease, tackiness or an oily feeling behind. It is made with superb emollients (shea butter, cocoa butter and coconut oil) and is enriched with free-radical fighting antioxidants such as grapeseed oil, green tea extract and vitamins E & C. This is just perfect not only for everyday use, but also for overnight hand and heel treatments used with gloves and socks. The Organic Premium Silk Crème has a completely different feel, having a light, silky, rather flowing liquid texture. It sinks in beautifully and leaves skin feeling deeply hydrated and moist, as well as looking gorgeous due to the soft sheen it leaves behind. It is 82% organic and contains wonderful nourishing and emollient ingredients such as silk amino acids, avocado, coconut & jojoba oil, aloe and several antioxidants including grapeseed oil and black willow bark. I loved using both samples I was sent and heartily recommend them. The price is the same for both (smallest size is 2 oz for $7, largest 8 oz for $16) and you can select both the fragrance you want your moisturizer to be scented with, but also the scent intensity (low, medium or high) for no extra cost.

I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday for the second part of my Starring…! Fragrances exploration, when I will be reviewing two beautiful gourmands, The Diva and White Almond Cake.

Images: Flickr by Xurble, and


PinstripedZebra said...

This seems to be a nice place to shop from! Working with local businesses and organic ingredients seems to be the key.

I was reading the quotes on the website and I laughed out loud at: 'We do not test on animals, only actors.' :)


adrian said...

I have been purchasing from Starring...! for over two years, and have nothing but wonderful things to say about Ashley and Courtney, and the products they offer.
Everything is top notch, including the hands-on customer service.
I am known as the "person who smells really good". That is usually
the comment I get whenever I wear a Starring...! product, which is basically every day.

Ines said...

Body butters and creams? And I can choose the scent and even its intensity? :) Divina, you sure know how to make me spend more money... ;) Do they deliver all over the world? I'll have to go and check their site straight away.

Anonymous said...

The services sound great. I think the party favors service would be a great idea for those office baskets companies put together in xmas time! Of course then everyone would smell the same, but it beats some of the things we get in those, like tacky wine bottle openers, yuck.


Divina said...

Hi Z! Yeah, I thought that was funny as well. I appreciate companies who source materials localy and this is a good example showing that not everything that uses natural and organic ingredients has to be expensive.

Divina said...

Adrian, thank you so much for chiming in. It is important to hear from someone who has experience with the brand. So far it was completely off my radar and judging from the rest of the fragrance blogs it is a brand that has been off the radar of the perfumista community at large. I am glad to have been able to introduce it and I am very enthusiastic about it.

Divina said...

Oh, Ines, my wallet moans together with yours! Maybe we should send them to rehab? *chuckle* I will also be buying from them, so I am joining you in the spending spree! Yeah, they do ship internationally which is great!

Divina said...

Oh, no, Christine! I've also received a corkscrew while working! (worked for a year before I started with my University studies) It was such an unpleasant surprise. Open velvet box, find ridiculous object. Why, thanks. Would have loved to have received perfume instead!!!

Nancy aka urgirl13 said...

wow, divina, what a lovely write-up! i adore courtney and ashley as they were, now i adore them even more!! and... soon as i have a moment to blink i will be purchasing some body butter from the website... i LOVE body butters and i did not know my darling peldon grlz had concocted such deliciousness to add to their already deep repertoire... next in line, me!!!! thanks for sharing and informing... nancy ;)

Divina said...

Thanks so much Nancy :) Wearing the body butter right now actually scented with the "Porn Star" fragrance. I love salt notes in fragrances and this definitely has a very salty overtone. Combined with the sweetness, it is just perfect.