Monday, May 22, 2017

Jean-Michel Basquiat Perfumed Candle

I kept eyeing this candle on Olfactif's website and when it went from $48 to $38 I knew I was hopeless on holding out any longer.

This Basquiat Blue Amber-Woods candle is 140 grams with a 40 hour burn time. It touts glass from Ligne Blanch Paris, Givaudan fragrance and artwork from Jean-Michel Basquiat. 

The notes are deceptively simple: amber and woods. However, it is much more lush and full bodied than it seems.

When I opened the box and looked into the candle I was surprised to see little wood fibers suspended in the paraffin wax. Once lit the wick held strongly and burned steadfast and slow. The wax pooled to the edges after about an hour of burn time. The scent throws medium-strong on my nightstand in the bedroom. And that scent. So eyerollingly good. Sleek drops of golden resinous amber, smooth like suede and brimming with blonde woods and white musk, this candle smells like an elfin queen's intimate bedroom bower, overflowing with sophistication and elegance under the light of a full Hunter's Moon. 

The glass is semi-transparent and etched with the stark and energetic art of Jean-Michel Baquiat. I will be saving this glass holder long after the plush amber woods scented wax is long gone.

There are two other candles that caught my eye as well... a mint one and a cinnamon caramel one. I may have to revisit Olfactif soon. Plus I really would love another Laudano Nero candle to cherish. 

Do you have any candles burning by your bedside or in your home? 

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Three Year Blogiversary Giveaway!

May 29th will mark three years of The Redolent Mermaid. Exploration of interests, creation of friendships and the sniffing of hundreds, if not thousands, of things has made for a splendid time. Some milestones: this is the 955th post, a total of 399,512 views, my most popular post is the Harry Potter Paper Piecing Tutorial, 11 vendors interviewed under the Q&A tag, and after Google and Facebook, most of my viewers enter through Deb's blog at It's Always Something

To celebrate this event I built a box full of My Favorite Things. These are products I absolutely adore and have bought and used multiple times. Staples. These products were all made FRESH for this giveaway, the only thing that personally came from my stash are the face masks. Everything else was bought or donated just for this giveaway. So let's dive in!

Some wax, of course!

A 3 ounce bag of Ten Digit Creation's Rosewood & Amber. This is one of my all time favorite sophisticated scents. The longer it cures, the better it gets. I love Amber's use of dye-free wax. It makes warmer clean up a breeze and looks simple and classic.

Vintage Chic Scent's Central Park Snowglobe Jumbo Rose provides the ultimate in vanilla peppermint goodness. The rose did turn yellow when I was storing a few items on my husband's desk in the office. Vanilla fragrance oils will do that sometimes when exposed to light, but it still smells amazing.

Rosegirls Muffin in Americana Wafers, which blends Blueberry Cobbler, Hot Apple Pie and Vanilla Wafers, remains one of my favorite fruity bakery scents. Comforting and homey.

A nice fat chunk of Glitterati's Pink Marshmallow Fireside, because I am addicted to this scent.

If you have been reading this blog for any amount of time you know of my huge love for Carol's Fresh Picked Strawberry from Candles From The Keeping Room. There are two cute piles of FPS as well as two other scent samples she gifted.

Lasting Scent Candles Aroma Mist in Serenity, a lavender spearmint blend, lends a refreshing aroma to rooms, bathrooms, cars and closets. I spray some in the girls' rooms (reptiles can get a little gamey sometimes) and others areas that may need a little aromatic sprucing. The Aroma Mists are strong and long lasting.

A scent shot of Lasting Scent Candles' Bliss since I can never get enough of Pam's lavender or her wedding cake. Seriously. It is incredible stuff. 

The Bathing Garden's Victorian Midway wax tart shape had to be included. It is fall in a bundt cake form: apples, pumpkins, spice and bakery. I always try to keep a couple on hand. 

Shannon from The Bathing Garden makes one of my favorite scrubs too. The dense consistency and fine yet effective particulate always makes for smooth skin. This 2 ounce tub of scrub is scented in Tea With The Queen of Hearts. 

My favorite vendor for all things fall would hands-down be Dessa's Homespun Scents. I had a mini sampler bag made up in a few of my favorites: Autumn Campfire, Smoky Mountain Berries, Apples & Cinnamon, Country Store, and Harvest Moon. Dessa poured them in a variety of cute molds and shapes and that just adds to the charm.

Handmade in Florida creates some of my very favorite soaps and now Zahida is pouring wax as well! Wax tarts in Summer Smoothie (mango, guava, papaya and coconut) and Sweet Serenity (confectioners sugar, lavender, eucalyptus and mint) will be included and these are pretty exclusive, as they have not been officially released yet. They smell absolutely incredible. Two full sized bar soaps are in the giveaway as well. The scents will be discussed later. Let me assure you they are lush and delicious summer fruit scent. Handmade in Florida soaps are refined, silky, easily lathered and impeccably scented. 

Beautibi has become one of my favorite places to shop for skin care. Their boxes and masks never disappoint me. This is a mini sampler of some of their best selling skin care products including: OneOSeven, L'Herboflore, and Simplistic. Just wait until you use that 107 face soap.

Holy Snails Shark Sauce serum is one of my daily skin care staples. I have almost used up my whole 30ml bottle and will be replenishing it soon. This 8ml sample (says 5ml but it was generously filled to the top!) should give at least two weeks or more worth of use.

How could this be a favorites box without my beloved Pink Peppermint from Sniff My Tarts? Are any further words needed? Enjoy this large frosted sugar cookie as you drift off to dreamland. 

Another dreamland inducer is the Urban Mysticism Mental R&R/Sleep Myst. I am on my 3rd bottle. The gentle yet cooling blend of lavender, peppermint and sweet pea extractions are enhanced by amethyst crystals in the bottle. I enjoy spraying this on the back of my neck and on my pillow if extra lavender mint goodness is required. Savanna enjoys this too for nights sleep is evading her.

Haus of Gloi is up next, but of course! I love their pumpkin butters and one of my favorite scents is Moon Dog, a blend of coconut, sandalwood and spice. A small 2 ounce tub of pumpkin butter and a sample vial of fragrance oil will be featured, as well as a Butter Bomb in Haus Amber. These butter bombs are dense, rich and heavily scented. They can even be split into two bathing experiences despite their small size. 

One of my favorite fragrance books is Fragrant by Mandy Aftel. Reading this book last summer comprised one of my most enjoyable experiences. Mandy not only discusses uses of fragrance, sourcing of ingredients but also includes simple perfume recipes for those interested in creating natural perfumes of their own. This book was purchased from The Book Outlet online and has some very minor cosmetic imperfections. I hope that is alright. That was pretty much the only way I could swing getting it for the giveaway. I did purchase mine directly through Mandy on her website and she signed it. I will be purchasing her other books through her in the future as well. She has a couple more published I am itching to push myself into.

To go along with Mandy's book is also one of my favorite products from Aftelier, her Chef's Essence Chocolate Absolute. I love it in my coffee on a daily basis (currenly on my second bottle), but it is very versatile! There are about a dozen other items I love from Aftelier I would have loved to include such as her hair and body oils, perfumes and teas.

If you read any of my perfume reviews you know I am crushing really hard on two creators right now: Laurie from Sonoma Scent Studio (well, I have always crushed on her) and Julia from Arcana Wildcraft (which I loved her soaps before but now I am in a perfume oil renaissance with her). So I am including a 3ml of Sonoma Scent Studio's Forest Walk and a full 5ml bottle of Arcana's Estella. 

Forest Walk smells of primitive evergreen forests, warm amber and earthy sweet patchouli. I wear my travel one sparingly until I can buy a full bottle.

Estella is a divine boozy amber vanilla that takes time to develop. If you get it and wear it, give it plenty of time (even an hour or so if needed) to let it stew on your flesh. Hang in there. It gets really really good. Also, as a perfume oil, let it sit after receiving it in the mail and the longer it ages the better it will get. But honestly, I love Estella just the way she is. 

I am really loving my NOHJ sheet masks. I will be including three of my favorites right now: Snail, Sleeping and 24K Gold Lifting. I bought the 10 pack boxes and I have been blowing through them.

I am obsessed with these minty heating eye masks for napping, bedtime and flying in planes, they are from KAO and I buy them on Amazon. I blame Michelle who used to blog at Waxing About. She gave me one once and I was hooked ever since. They do have that icy hot sensation and go over your eyes so if you think you will be sensitive to that, please proceed with caution. I freaking love that though. I puts me out like a light.

Beach bag staple... Hawaiian Tropic SPF 45 Lip Balm. I love the scent. I love the coverage. I put it on my nose, lips and under eye area on myself and the girls when we are at the beach.

Random Japanese favorites straight from Tokyo to you: Japanese no-show socks (they work SO GREAT!!!), mini stationary, washi and cat pens. Don't scoff. Those pens are like magic. I swear. Super fine point that is oh so satisfying. I am sorely tempted to keep these for myself, but I love you guys. I can't be greedy greedy pumpkin seedy.

It has been a good long while since I ventured into nail polish territory since Rescue Beauty Lounge and Cult Nails closed shop, but Cirque Colors released some amazing high quality polishes and I wanted to add one to the giveaway. I love the coverage and glassy finish.

You all know my latest love of handmade silversmithed jewelry pieces from various ladies all around the world. By far, my favorite everyday piece is this simple moon and star necklace from Rachel at Dida Metals. I wear it alone or layered. But I wear it 5 out of 7 days a week. And now you can too. Rachel is also including a ring sizer so you can buy rings online with greater ease. A coupon code is included too! And everyone can make use of this, for 15% off any Dida Metals purchase through June 31st, use code: REDOLENTMERMAID  

I can't send a box out without something sweet. And one of my favorite finds last year was A Secret Forest Patisserie. One mermaid lollipop in champagne made just for you and a second one in a surprise flavor because it was a generous extra. These handmade beauties not only look magical but taste that way too. 

All of these products total up to over $250 in value. 

I would like to thank these vendors for generously donating product to this giveaway:
Aftelier, thank you Mandy!
Arcana Wildcraft, thank you Julia!
Beautibi, thank you!
Candles From the Keeping Room, thank you Carol!
Glitterati, thank you Janine!
Handmade in Florida, thank you Zahida!
Rosegirls, thank you Jenny!
Sniff My Tarts, thank you Amy and Donna!
Sonoma Scent Studio, thank you Laurie!

Thank you to these vendors who donated a portion of the product for this giveaway:
A Secret Forest, thank you Vanessa!
Dida Metals, thank you Rachel!
Holy Snails, thank you!
The Bathing Garden, thank you Shannon!

And thank you Ashley for the Tokyo Daiso run for me. <3

Now for how to win. Well. You see, there is not just this one box. >gulp< Nope. There are THREE boxes just like this! Well, the nail polishes are different colors, two of the CFTKR samples are different, the Handmade in Florida soaps are different scents (either Flamingo, Peachy Keen and/or Pink Grapefruit will be in the box), and the socks, stationary and washi are different patterns, and one of the lollipops will be different.... but other than that they are identical! Items will be shipped in a medium flat rate box.

This box will be given away here on this blog page, the second will be given away on Instagram and the third box will be given away on The Redolent Mermaid's Facebook page. Please follow me on both IG and FB. 

To enter here, please tell me what you are most excited to try in this giveaway AND one thing you look forward to this summer. All entries MUST have their email address included in the comment to be qualified. One qualifying entrant will be randomly drawn on May 29th. 

Thank you for sticking with me all this time. <3

Friday, May 19, 2017

Melting Basket 95

So many repurchases! So let's get this thing started: SMT Pink Sugar, Dessa's Apples & Evergreen, Fresh Raspberry Sauce, Destination: Wax Honey:Honeysuckle, TDC Pink Coconut Sandalwood Marshmallow, Scentsy Hemingway, Southbound Baja Blossom, Ramble On Bee Sting Tea, Hayden Rowe Italian Biscotti, VCS Imogene's Serendipity Pie, RG Lavender, Orchids and Violets. 

CFTKR-Tarocco Orange
CFTKR- Fresh Picked Strawberry Noel Fluff
CFTKR- Twisted Mermaid
CFTKR- Fruits & Melons & Berries
CFTKR- Blueberry Cream Type
Glitterati- Honeydew Buttercream Cake
Glitterati- Fizzy Oasis
Lasting Scent Candles- Blackberry Ren Ten
Lasting Scent Candles- Fire Roasted Strawberry
The Bathing Garden- Embellish Me (coconut lime)
Rosegirls- Posh Pristine Peach <3 gift
Rosegirls- Escape to Neverland (pineapple, raspberry, orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream)
Rosegirls- Raspberry Sauce/Mango Sorbet/Gilligan's Brew
Beezy- Mango Sorbet

If you would like any of these reviewed after melting, please let me know!

I have the bane of the fragrance blogger's existence... a head cold. I cannot smell anything and I have so much stuff here to review! I will get busy taking photos this weekend and starting the write ups but the sniffing and huffing and testing will have to wait until I can breathe and smell things again. 

So what am I doing with my down time? My pj's and bed resting? Reading Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews and watching Tudors endlessly. I don't know if it is a combination of being sick, and the end of the school year or what but I am straight knackered. But hey. Only 10 school days left or something ridiculously short like that. My first school year in this new job has been great fun. I loved it and I look forward to my time spent at Magnolia Montessori in the future. 

So what kinds of things are sitting here waiting for me to smell them? How about a nice high end candle, incense, Possets perfume, Sixteen92, Alkemia, Arcana (you're surprised aren't you? I can tell.), For Strange Women and my Cosmic Cleanse order. I broke one of my cardinal blogging rules and tore into one of my Cosmic Cleanse products and used it before photographing it. I know. I know. Almost unforgivable. But I needed to try that infused peppermint oil. 

What do you like doing when sick in bed? Have anything in the mail arriving?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Arcana: Two Finger Ballet and Holy Terror

So I warned you this post was coming, that my obsession with Arcana Wildcraft is still running strong. I follow Julia along on Facebook and Instagram and she posted about a 15 ml bottle of Two Finger Ballet. A 15 ml bottle?! I wanted one. I had never even smelled Two Finger Ballet. And then I saw Holy Terror came in a 15 ml bottle. I had never smelled that one either. Want to know my level of crazy? I bought both. Blind. Based on notes alone. I am a rebel. And...

And did my roll of the dice pay off? At $54 a pop... it certainly was no small thing to sneeze at.

But it did pay off. 

Because I am smitten.

Holy Terror- Notes: Burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh, and dusty beeswax candles.

Smoldering euphoria. Fragrant offering. Just opening this amber flask of fragrance releases a honeyed plume of burning resins and woods that take flight and rise like the fuliginous spirits of ravens passing into the next realm. Dabbed fresh onto the wrists and crooks of the arms, sandalwood incense warm and thready weaves itself under my nose. Honeyed plumes of smoke cling to this corporeal being, absorbing prayers then lifting them skywards. Stygian smoke and resins are balanced by the antique burnished glow of the beeswax candles and powdery myrrh and honey. Mysterious, ancient, sweet smoke and incensed woods. This morphling shifts and undulates like a dancing flame. 

Entranced by this potion. A stellar blind buy.

Two Finger Ballet- Notes: French vanilla creme, white amber, sugared vanilla beans, caramel, and the smallest dab of opium. 

This name. Ooooooh this name. And OH! That dance. What a delicious tribute, that is just as drippingly sweet. In the vessel an enticing aphrodisiac of dulcet caramel and frothy vanilla cream pour forth in a stream of warm sticky sweetness. Just underneath lurks the hint that something darker may be in store. Caressed into the skin, moist and damp, the scent makes my mouth water. Caramel cupcakes, dense and rich and gooey, crowned with mounds of whipped cream frosting and a sprinkle of toasted cinnamon. As this tantalizing scent settles, it grows darker with cozy tonka beans and deep golden honey. Almost narcotic. The sultry ambered honey and vanilla creme turns innocently sweet at the tail end of its time. Bite and kiss. The last kiss smells of marshmallow vanilla.

Thrilled to have a big bottle of this vanilla laden dream.

Free samples in Breakfast in Hollywood (reviewed previously here) and Swashbuckler.

Swashbuckler- West Indies bay rum, scurvy-preventing limes, and a dark blend of spices.
Lurking in the vial, 
Damp in the crooks of my arms and resting on my wrists, this swashbuckling pirate is redolent of dried lime peels and the burning black licorice and clove cigarette perched between his salt encrusted beard and hard edged upper lip. I could feel the cinnamon and clove warming and tingling my tender skin in the crook and I enjoy it. That sensation only lasted minutes. As the spicy spartan pirate mellowed on the skin, the vintage Bay Rum he used for his morning ablutions drifted forth in a virile, yet familiar, mist of Jamaican rum, bay leaves and spice. A subtle current of grassy vetiver and old wooden curls of cinnamon bark whorl on the trade wind pushing into my senses. The last token of his presence before he evanesced into the briny brume was a solitary scent trail of Bay Rum.

I really love Swashbuckler. I could totally see a full bottle being purchased with no regrets at all. 

And I did purchase two more bottle, regular 5ml size this time... but you will have to wait and see what I picked up. Julia did have a buy 4 get a bottle of This Is Not The Carnival for free. I wanted to buy 4 at the time but I ended up talking myself down from the ledge and just picked up two bottles I was eyeing hard. Do you have any new fragrance additions in your home? Tried Arcana yet? 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Warmed Wax: Everything Under the Sun

I will try to keep these as concise as possible... whole lotta reviewing going on...

Ramble On Wax Bee Sting Tea- I have no idea about the notes on this one but it threw a medium strength honeyed tea scent in my bedroom. It almost had a woodsy tone to it. Lovely. Would repurchase.

Sassy Girl Aroma Fall Yoga Pants by the Fireside- I am sure there is a whole lot going on here in the notes but I mainly picked up some apples, caramel, pumpkin and a bready note at a medium throw. Now that I look at my old blog posts I see that it is Pumpkin Pecan Waffle. I think I have gone off PPW a little or maybe because I melted it during 90 degree weather... either way, it would probably not be a repurchase for me at the moment.

Sassy Girl Aroma Blue Sugar Shaving Cream- Super strong throw! It flowed way out of my bedroom. Woods and anise filled Blue Sugar with Barbasol shaving cream. Great scent. A little goes a long way. Repurchase. 

Destination: Wax Honey:Honeysuckle- Strong throw. A pot full of honey, powdery sweet and a little lemony. Add in the sweet and almost jamine leaning honeysuckle and a summer night is made. Repurchase.

Destination: Wax Black+Black-  Strong throw. Powdery masculine. A cross between Stetson and Emeraude is what it smells like to me. It is a black pepper and black vanilla blend. Unique but probably not a repurchase for me.

Destination: Wax Lavender:Rosemary- Medium-strong scent that smelled mostly of a sweet perfumy lavender to my nose. I didn't pick up much rosemary or sage. Not herbal to me but definitely musky sweet and floral. Again, unique but not sure if I would buy it. 

Hayden Rowe Italian Biscotti- A deliciously strong vanilla crunch type of scent. Repurchase.

Purple Fox Pillow Mint- Medium-light throw of soft spearmint and mint leaves. Powdery clean and airy. Not sure if I would repurchase... on the fence with this one. 

Candy Panda Cinnamon Styx- Light throwing, sweet cinnamon with a bit of vanilla. Probably better for a smaller space. Not a repurchase.

House of Phoebe Forest Fairy- Medium-light scent of woods and greenery and oakmoss with bergamot. I have no idea at all if these notes are in there as I cannot find much online, but that is what it smells like to me. An elegant scent but probably not a repurchase. Too light and a little sharp. 

House of Phoebe Ygritte- Medium scent of sweet musk and blonde woods. A cashmere and sweet amber type of scent. Would probably repurchase. 

Based on melting all these motley scents, I would love to look into trying more Purple Fox, House of Phoebe, Ramble On Wax and Hayden Rowe. Destination:Wax has some great blends but I just wish the ordering was more intuitive. I will have to browse around a bit on there and see how I want to approach it. 

Guys. I am ready for summer. Summer melting too. I think I will make my next basket full of fruity scents. It has been a while since I went that route. I still have a few more scents to go through in this basket but wanted to go ahead and get some of these up. What scents are you craving? 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Rosegirls: Pie Nirvana

It had been a good long while since I have been able to create a custom pie from Rosegirls, but Jenny is opening up her new website and needed some help so we traded. Bartering is business and work was exchanged and I know I left feeling happy and I hope she did too. 

Fact: I still have my list of all the blends I wanted to make at the next Rosegirls custom, about 50 or so blends, that never came. So what blends did I choose after years of Rosegirls blending famine? This first one is a sinus clearing masterpiece:

Peppermint/Gilligan's Brew/Shaving Cream- This blue and white beauty is intense. Arctic menthol blasts of pure peppermint, made dapper and refreshing with shaving cream cleanliness with that soft touch of coconut sweetness to balance it. This is one I will melt sparingly. Crossing fingers Jenny adds it to a pre-order because I am in love. I think shaving cream is the scent for 2017.

Raspberry Sauce/Mango Sorbet/Gilligan's Brew- Fruity nirvana. Sandra sold me on Mango Sorbet, that vivacious and bold peachy mango treat. Pair it with that tartly sweet signature Raspberry Sauce and an overpour of Gilligan's Brew, and one killer fruity pie is born. This will be my summer go-to scent.

Americana Wafers (Hot Apple Pie/Blueberry Cobbler/Vanilla Wafers)- An original Rosegirls house blend that stands as one of my favorite fruity-bakery scents. And I am picky about my fruity-bakery. Blueberry pulls up first with some of that spiced apple underneath and all of it is smoothed out nicely by strong vanilla cookies. Delish. Divine. And comforting.

Lavender/Violet/Swizzle Sticks- This was a shot in the dark but I am happy to have made it. The violets are freshly bloomed with a bit of lavender freshness and Swizzle Sticks sweetness folded in. I cannot decide if it is more of a clean scent, a soft floral or a candied floral. I am going to let this one sit and meld for a while before melting it and seeing how it unfolds when warmed.

Rosegirls pies. One of the landmark vendor wax experiences out there. I appreciate that Jenny and her team are offering these gems in the pre-orders now. What blends would you love see made into pies from Rosegirls?

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Tony Moly: Magic Food Strawberry Mushroom Sugar Scrub

This was a sweet gift from my friend, Jay. It is a Tony Moly Strawberry Mushroom Sugar Scrub. When I unpacked it, Savanna was sitting with me and immediately asked if she could have the mushroom once I used up the stuff inside. We have a bit of a mushroom infatuation in our home. This scrub is 2.36 ounces and runs at $16.50 on Ulta's website, linked above. 

Now, I neglected to do my research before I dove into this product. I assumed it was a sugar scrub, as in body sugar scrub. So at bath time I scooped out a fair amount and went to town on my freshly shaven legs. I knew something was amiss when I felt how soft it was. This is not a grainy sugar scrub but rather a sweet strawberry seed scrub. Once I applied it to my face, where it belonged, I knew right away that it was a fruit acid exfoliant more than anything. It started warming on the skin, my delicate face skin felt it but my legs didn't. I do like fruit enzyme exfoliants. The consistency is sticky and gummy. It rubs easily into the skin and rinses clean.

It smells flipping amazing. Like the best strawberry jam ever. 

It is an affordable and adorable face scrub and I will totally be getting it again. Thank you, Jay!

And Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, be it teachers who are moms to students, fur baby moms, and moms who mother the planet. Thank you for your nurturing and care! May your day be full of love and appreciation. 

Love you mom.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Underarm Shenanigans: Probiotic Deodorant Battle

Probiotic deodorant keeps catching my eye both on Instagram and on blogs I enjoy reading. Especially this review of The Dirty Goat Soap Company by my friend Jay at The Candle Enthusiast. There was a Black Chamomile scent I kept trying to catch from The Dirty Goat but was never quick enough to ensnare. Lack of success lead me to search out other probiotic deodorants crafted by small business owners. Of course, Etsy was a brilliant place to start. I landed on the Handcrafted Honey Bee Smartypits (Natural Probiotic-Infused and Aluminum Free Deodorant) and Nora Pearson: Natural Beauty Vitamin Sea Deodorant Spray. I have worn both now for weeks and decided I can now talk a bit about my experience.

The Handcrafted Honey Bee Smarty Pits Deodorant cost $5.00 for a 0.35 ounce travel size, and a full sized 2.65 ounce runs $12.00. This is a solid deodorant that you have the option for choosing baking soda free, or original formula. I went with original. Ingredients: Arrowroot powder, sodium bicarbonate, beeswax, fractionated coconut oil, avocado butter, coconut oil, fragrance, vitamin E and probiotics.
The scent is more like soft herbal lavender. It does not interfere with my perfume choices and is pleasantly mellow. 

The second one that struck me as interesting was the Nora Pearson: Natural Beauty Vitamin Sea Deodorant Spray. I chose No. 9 in "Fresh," a full 60 ml spray bottle cost $14.99. Ingredients: Witch hazel, magnesium, distilled water, propanediol (propylene glycol for skin conditioning), Lactobacillus ferment, coconut fruit extract, arnica extract (in sunflower family), chamomile extract, Dead Sea salts, essential oil and fragrance blend.  
The "Fresh" scent is a woodsy lavender with pine and cedar tones and herbal qualities. I love it. It does come on strong at first but then fades and contains itself to the pits nicely. 

Handcrafted Honeybee Smartypits

- Great branding and packaging
- Solid goes on easily, no pilling, not dry and brittle but smooth and nourishing
- Is a workhorse, helps reduce some sweating and prevents odor even after a long day of work indoors and outside in the Florida heat
- Long lasting product, the small size has been worn quite a bit with plenty still left
- Reliable, can be ordered anytime
- A curated scent selection of: Lavender Rose, Unscented, Tweed and Spice, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Mango Coconut and maybe another one? 
- Great customer service

- A tad pricy at $12 for a full size, but I admit, I plan on swinging it
- White reside if not careful when putting on black shirts... just like any white solid deodorant

Nora Pearson Vitamin Sea Deodorant

- Great list of beneficial ingredients
- The spray doesn't leave a white residue
- Great packaging
- Stellar scent selection, I want to say close to a dozen scents at least
- Feels refreshing, if a little tingly in the pits
- Price is high but fair for such a large amount of product, I feel like with only using 2-3 sprays per pit, it will last ages
- Ease of ordering and availability 

- Does not lessen sweating
- Allows for body odor to come through after a few hours, won't hold up through a whole work day or in heat/exertion
- Not great for immediately after shaving pits, will sting

Nora Pearson does offer solids too. 

Between the two I would repurchase the Smartypits without hesitation. And I will, for both Savanna and myself. I do like the Vitamin Sea Deodorant for summer time cooling, refreshing the pit area and for night time application. I do plan on repurchasing this product too. Just in a different capacity. I like the scent and beneficial ingredients. 

So yeah, not much of a battle when I would and will buy both again, but for hands-down pit protection... go with the Smartypits.

*** Hey guys! Guess what?! Colleen alerted me to the fact that Smartypits can be tried for free (with only the cost of shipping) if you sign up for their newsletter. They will then send you a link to try a travel size in each formula for FREE! (plus the cost of shipping) Go check it out! Link here. Scroll to bottom to sign up.***

Friday, May 12, 2017

Japan Crate: Umai Crate

My friend Marie on FB (used to run a fabulous blog called Nails&Noms) posted a photo of some kick butt looking ramen and I had to know where it came from... ended up being a subscription box called the Umai Crate, run by the Japan Crate crew. I placed my order on February 28th and I got this April box the first week of May. It does take a bit to kick in and then get the order since it does ship from Japan. I got worried at week 5 after getting the shipping notice but it came the next day. And it was pretty darn big. It is $25 per month and includes 7-8 noodle meals plus an extra surprise gift. 

I got 7 various noodle meals, many of which were large enough to share with another person (that other person being Savanna as she is my Asian food lover). This month featured a few vegetarian ramen meals, a super cute bowl featuring Japan's unofficial mascot, , an S&B white pepper packet and a pink stretchy lid man who keeps the ramen lid down for you so your soup doesn't get cold. 

I have had a great time embellishing my ramen meals with homemade momofuku eggs (recipe here), nori, enoki mushrooms, seasame seeds and oil and more. I have consumed 3 of the noodle packages so far and loved them all. I do have next month's crate coming but I canceled after that because I wanted to try the Japan Crate Premium that sends candies and snacks. But I would not hesitate to sign up for this crate again. It give me a nice variety for my lunches and quick dinners.

Do you have a subscription box you are loving? Do you enjoy Japanese goodies?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Glitterati: Mystery Box

Janine does have the true unicorn wax and with a name like Glitterati, I felt the deep desire to host a glitter fest of a photoshoot. If you are a member of the wax community on Facebook or Instagram, chances are you have seen or heard of Glitterati. You can only purchase the wax via Customs List (which Janine projects to be finished in late 2018), Mystery Boxes, or Flash Sales. I am still kicking myself for missing the last custom's sign up, but I did pop onto the Mystery Box list. Though these tarts came in exchange for photography. You know... will work for tarts kinda thing. Also, some special ones came in the box for the Big Blog Giveaway. <3

These chunks are mostly overpours from Janine making the custom orders. I love smelling Janine's house blends and what her customers pick out and dream up. I usually cut these super creamy and soft chunks into fourths for melting but I often hear people go even smaller with great results. They hover around 2.5 ounces or more. For the scent descriptions, some I found notes for and listed, and others I simply wrote what I smelled. 

This one contains one of my favorite scents... Pink Marshmallow Fireside... so I indulgently took two photos of this spread. It's the pink one in the foreground. Yum. 

Pink Marshmallow Fireside- Gosh darn it. Just to have one more chunk of this beauty in my possession thrills me. I used up all my chunks that a sweet friends gifted me so I was pining. But I pine no more. The fireside is cozy and smoky, a lovely BBW type of version. Add to that gooey marshmallows and musky cotton candy caramel filled Pink Sugar and a sweet and smoldering scent is born. 

Monkey Bread- An amazingly gooey and spicy home baked cinnamon roll cake. Cinnamon and bakery spices meet fresh baked dough spirals, liberally brushed with caramel and maple glaze.  I will be writing this one down for my 2020 customs if I can hop on the next list. >crossing fingers<

Country Fair- This is one of Janine's most popular scents, I believe. Cotton candy, funnel cakes, ice cream and donuts. I love her version due to no kettle corn or apples. Just sweet tooth cakes and vanilla and sugar floss. The donuts and funnel cakes figure foremost with the vanilla cream of soft serve baking them up. Great blend. And I love that she pours it pink and blue chunks with yellow overpour every time. So festive.

Tahiti Treat- A blend of tropical fruits and berries with a slight musk base note. I love it. Smells like mangos and peaches, plumeria and oranges and raspberries and all things juicy and tartly sweet. The musk is very, very mellow and only lends a little depth, not overly perfumy at all. At least to me. 

Fizzy Oasis- Zesty and almost a touch salty, lime pulp and lemon soda mixed with island nectar, coconut leaves and orchids. A brilliant summer scent. 

Tropical Soda- This one is sweeter with more nectarine juice and jasmine flowers. Not as much of a bubbling fizz as Fizzy Oasis. If you aren't an effervescent fan, you may still enjoy this one. Sultry and full of Miami flare. 

Pearberry- The green and pink in front, smells just like the classic Bath & Body Works fruity scent with the same moniker. Sour and tangy berries, juicy pears and soft florals and musk that bring to mind hazy summer moments and the 90's red and white gingham check pattern of the old Bath & Body Works stores. 

Blue Water Orchid- A lovely sweet aquatic fragrance full of watery green bamboo, blue lotus and purple orchids full of nectar. Beautiful, serene and atmospheric. 

Honeydew Buttercream Cake- I would never have thought to combine these scents but I am here to tell you... it works. Sugared honeydew melons, angel food cake and whipped cream trifle, layered to perfection. It almost reminds me of the yummy Honeydew Marshmallow scent Carol does at Candles From The Keeping Room but more rich and cakey. 

Lemon Biscotti Black Raspberry Vanilla- What a bright and vibrant scent, but a little strange too. The lemon in the biscotti is delish and curd-ish but the biscotti is there too... a little like shortbread. Then the black raspberry vanilla with it sweet juicy but slightly floral tone is present, butting up against the bakery. Interesting to smell but probably not one that will stay around here. I will share this one. 

Pink Pistachio- I mostly get the cherry almond strength of the pistachio, with just a little bit of the Pink Sugar wafting around the edges, unsure about approaching. Pistachio doesn't tend to linger in my home either. But there are some who may enjoy this one too. 

Out of the eleven scents, I am hard in love with 9 of them, which is pretty great odds on a mystery box. 

Have you had any Glitterati lately? Any of these stick out to you?