Another year of fragrant bliss and blogging about my olfactive experiences is under the belt. This blog is a peephole into a portion of my life, though not the whole view. I do share as much as I can in an effort to be transparent and chronicle my journey in some small way. Plus the rapport and conversations had with you all during times of turbulence always lift me a little higher when I struggle in the mire. 2016 was the year of tweaking my photography (thank you Stephanie), a new job, painting bedrooms and a new A/C unit, a family vacation back to my husband's hometown, meeting a blogger friend, making new blogger friends, watching Savanna read the Harry Potter series and participate in her first Pokemon tournaments, seeing Scarlette hone her math skills and reading her first chapter books. Adam remains the constant in my life that keeps me sane, laughing when I want to cry and feeling loved when I can't seem to love myself.
I enjoy looking back and reflecting on the year, identifying if my tastes changed or new vendors took a top billing in my home and if new smelly treasures emerged. And I believe a few did pop up.
Top Ten Scents of 2016:
1. Peppermint/Lord of Misrule/Peppermint Swizzle Sticks from Sniff My Tarts
2. Merlin's Forest from Candle From The Keeping Room
3. Sleepy from The Bathing Garden
4. Cranberry Citrus Balsam from Lasting Scent Candles
5. Pumpkins in the Fire/Cinnamon Sticks from Sugar & Spice
6. Fresh Picked Strawberry from Candles From The Keeping Room
7. Apple Clove Butter from Beezy Tarts
8. Starlight Soda Pop from The Bathing Garden
9. Apples & Cinnamon from Dessa's Homspun Scents
10. Violet Sugar Cookie from Glitterati
Top scent of the year: Nag Champa, I loved it from Valhalla, various blends of it from Candles From The Keeping Room, FuturePrimitive, and Rosegirls. Sunnee even gifted me an amazing hand cream that smells like a refined Nag Champa that I use daily.
Top Five Vendors:
Candles From The Keeping Room-No surprise here. I love the wide variety of scents offered, the consistent throw, and the customer service. Carol puts her all into her business and it shows. I tend to stock up when I order and I know that the tarts will last a good long while. Some favorites this year include: Merlin's Forest, Fresh Picked Strawberry, Moroccan Mint, Woodland Foliage, Tokyo Nights, Amish Quilt, Balsam & Citrus, Juniper Berry & Cedar, Blue Cedar Lavender, White Cedar Forest, and Apple Cobbler Delight.
Sniff My Tarts- Amy and Donna create amazing wax and have many years of experience under their belts. They fulfill my craving for endless blending options and the new website this year was just the cherry on the top. Anytime they open I am there with bells on. Plus the new RTS option is nice for those who don't like a wait. Favorites: Pink Sugar blends, mint blends, Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake, Dragon's Blood, Lord of Misrule, Butter Brickle, marshmallow blends, serendipity blends and my new favorite this year is Enchanted Forest.
Lasting Scent Candles- I felt like I dodged a bullet this year with Lasting Scent Candles staying open. Pam has been opening every few months with a hefty scent list, 1.5 ounce and 2 ounce scent shot options and bags of brittle too. What I really enjoy is that after a pre-order, she will often take the left overs and have a nice RTS sale with a discount. If I missed out on certain scents or didn't take advantage like I wanted, I often go back for seconds with the RTS offered. In the new year she will kick off with some customer favorites in loaf format. Some of my LSC stand outs this year are: Toasted Embers, Beignets, mint blends, patchouli blends, lavender blends, wedding cakes, Spooky Apparitions, Dracula, Samhain, Cobweb Cookies, Cranberry Citrus Balsam, Sugar Sparkle, Snow Globe, marshmallow blends. Heck. I love them all.
The Bathing Garden- Ahhhh... the artful tarts that are from The Bathing Garden are both a joy for the eye and the nose. Shannon is on a nice roll with the seasonal collections and offerings this whole year. She stays open 24/7 and everything is made to order. I try to purchase at least a little something from each collection or season. I think my favorite one this year was the Marie Antoinette and Take Me To The Sea falling into a close second. Her monthly scent bundles, scrubs, lotions and parfaits are dreamy. I wouldn't mind a room spray in some of her scents. Some of my favorites: Widow's Walk, Ever Night, Starlight Soda Pop, Sleepy, Marie Antoinette's Boudoir, Cleopatra's Cream Bath, Gingerbread House, Lavender Vanilla Custard, Calypso, Beach Bum, Pink Sands, and Chestnuts & Pinecones.
Dessa's Homespun Scents- As a spice lover, shopping Dessa's scent list is pure bliss. Dessa offers a wonderful selection of scents and shapes, all at fair prices. She even does sales too! Her scent list does have a few staples missing of mine but I can pick up my mints and earthy scents other places. Her spice and bakery and woods more than make up for it. Her TAT is always great, given the wax is made to order. Stand out include: Apples & Cinnamon, Cranberries & Pine, Cinnamon Garland, Pumpkin Wreath Woods, Smoky Mountain Berries, Haunted Hollow, Country Store, Home for the Holidays, Winter Solstice, Autumn Campfire, Harvest Moon, October, Fall in the Country.
Other great vendors I enjoy:
Sugar & Spice
New Vendor I enjoyed:
Satin Suzie Scents
New Wax Vendor Wild Card Item:
Lasting Scent Candle's room sprays- excellent!!!
My top three soaps this year:
Handmade in Florida sea salt and lime (I think? It was a freebie and I love it to pieces)
FuturePrimitive Owlette's End (so scrubby and yummy)
Bathhouse Soapery Tea Tree & Peppermint (a pick-me-up and perk-me-up)
My Favorite Fragrance Experience: Sniffing around Indigo Perfumery with Jacqui in Cleveland this summer.
Fragrances I bought full bottle of in 2016:
1. Manor by Solstice Scents
2. Chai by Baruti
3. Arancia di Capri by Acqua di Parma
Top Five Fragrances Sampled in 2016:
1. Equestrian by Sonoma Scent Studio
2. Matsu by DSH Perfumes
3. Runestone by Solstice Scents
4. Dryad by Verdant Faerie
5. Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors
Body Care Highlights:
Burnishing Glace' from Solstice Scents in Lavender Vanilla is a nightly treat.
The Bathing Garden Ever Night body lotion hit the spot.
The Bathing Garden's Coconut Crystal Cake parfait (half whipped soap, half sugar scrub) made my mom, sisters and I ooooh and aaaaaah when I brought it to our beach getaway.
FuturePrimitive's Milk Bath Tea in Bell, Book, and Candle gave a frothy, milky luxurious bathing experience.
Handmade in Florida's Patchouli Oud Buddha Bath Bomb fizzed and bubbled amazingly.
The best candle of the year was the Tizianna Terenzi Laudano Nero candle from Olfactif. I am going to try and order another one next year. The throw was stellar, the wood wicks were the sturdiest and loudest beasties ever and the heavy glass and gold details... exquisite.
Pumpkin Woods from Bath & Body Works hit a sweet spot in home fragrance for me.
Cire Trudon's Gabriel ended the year on a sophisticated high note in my bedroom (review to come in the new year).
What were some of your stand-outs from 2016? What vendors should I give a go in the new year to come?
I plan on plugging away here at The Redolent Mermaid in 2017. There will still be wax to melt, candles to burn, jewelry to wear, food to cook, books to read and random finds to highlight along the way. I hope you will join me. And I sincerely wish all the best for you in 2017.