Saturday, August 18, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Patchouli Bats

Last summer Nocturne Alchemy released a collection of three Patchouli Bat perfumes. There was Amethystine Bat, Halcyon Bat and Sienna Bat. I bought Halcyon Bat at the time and ended up picking Amethystine Bat in the NAVA Marketplace on Facebook. 

Amethystine Bat- Notes: California Redwood, Japanese Hinoki wood, NA black patchouli absolute, cedar essential oil, VA Cemetery Musk accord.

Inky, almost turpentine laced, patchouli and woods seep from the bottle. I love this gummy resinous darkness. Like black fumes. Perched on the skin, the patchouli starts out much like the aroma from the bottle but a few minutes on the skin and the sweet redwood comes out to mellow the patch with its subtle fruitiness. It moves into airy cedar, black rolling musk and patchouli with just a hint of graveyard soil. It fades into a soft woody patchouli that is quite lovely.

Halcyon Bat- Notes: Vanilla bean, Crystalline, Kobalt, NA black patchouli absolute, cotton candy, sugar, cream soda, Bastet's amber, a drop of Bastet's ice cream and bergamot essential oil.

From the bottle lifts up a fizzy vanilla patchouli that is coated in sweetness. Dripped onto the flesh the sugared patchouli and cotton candy vanilla take on a bubbly buttered rum tone that must be from the cream soda. I love it. Soon the sugar melts into the background and the drydown features a soft vanilla patchouli that leans more on the herb than the pod. The vanilla is the chill gauzy vanilla of Bastet's ice cream. 

I adore patchouli and these are two great patchoulis to have in my collection. I hope they come back some day so I can pick up Sienna and perhaps some new bats will fly along too? Do you like patchouli? Or is it a "death" note for you?

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Melting Basket 125: Back to School!

Wax tarts from the last basket I would love to melt again include: TDC Garden Mint/Hippie Hippie Shake/Winter Patchouli, SMT Pink Sugar Peppermint, LSC Summer Bonfire, TBG Faded Opulence. 

Handmade in Florida- San Marcos
Handmade in Florida- Ma Cherie
Handmade in Florida- Marshmallow Delight
Handmade in Florida- Cosmic Caramel
Ten Digit Creations- He Said, She Said
Ten Digit Creations- Smoke on the Water
Ten Digit Creations- Psychedelic Dreams
Sniff My Tarts- Campfire Marshmallow
Sniff My Tarts- Marshmallow Fireside
Sniff My Tarts- Vanilla Sandalwood/Pink Sugar/Marshmallow Noel
Sniff My Tarts- Marshmallow Fireside/Blue Sugar/Marshmallow Noel
Bohemienne Life- Third Eye
Arcadian Oils- Happy Birthday

If you are curious as to how any of these perform, just let me know which ones in the comments below. 

School has started back and summer break is now a memory. I make a summertime bucket list every year so let's see how I did. 
Things we checked off:
- Dental appointments (YAY! I still have one more to schedule.)
- Aquatica trips and we even went to Typhoon Lagoon for the first time as a family.
- Savanna's Art Camp
- We hiked a state park (the photos here are from Medard State Park).
- We swam in the Weeki Wachee and Ichetucknee springs.
- A beach day at Coquina Beach and Clearwater Beach with the girls. 
- I painted with acrylics on some shoes for a friend.
- Read, quite a bit.
- Watched birds as often as I could.

Some things that I wanted to do but did not get a change to:
- A summer concert with the girls. Savanna ended up going to one with her friend. I will still try to do this soon though.
- Play in the rain. Which is strange as it rained quite a bit but I guess we never really wanted to go out in it. A shame. 
- Bake cinnamon rolls with yeast. This one I will do in the fall. 
- Finish a quilt. I started a new one for my sister and I am working on a old one when I travel but so far none are done. 
- Attend a teacher workshop. It was canceled but I am taking a Montessori Philosophy course so I think that should count. 

Even though I might not have crossed all the things off my list it was still a phenomenal summer. We saw whales and Savanna started guitar lessons. There were days of relaxing and days of adventure making. 

The new school year is bringing some exciting changes, new classes for me to teach, new technology and materials. 
The girls will have a new building at their school and they will get to be in the same class together, which they will love. 

This is going to be a good school year. 
Bring on the laughter. 
The apples.
The anticipation of fall. 

When do kids go back to school for you? How is the end of your summer going?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Multichrome Mermaid

These earring were sent free from my friend Amanda at the Multichrome Mermaid.

If you have read this blog for some time you have probably come across my friend Amanda at some point. She was the blogger behind Thrifty Polished. We often collaborated on projects and supported each other's blogs. She reviewed everything from nail polish to wax, candles to clothing. Amanda has taken a blogging hiatus but still has kept her creative side. She started making jewelry and sent me these beautiful earrings. Her company is called The Multichrome Mermaid and she can be found on Facebook.  

Her pieces are fun to wear and are offered at affordable prices. I am not sure of the materials, but they are listed as silver tone. These earrings were prices at $12 plus $3.50 for shipping. They arrived in a small bubble mailer. I think some type of branded cardstock would be nice for gifting purposes. I have seen some really cute handmade earring placards in the past.

If you like crystals, shimmer, holographic colors and bold pieces you will love Amanda's offerings. 

Do you like costume jewelry? 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Paintbox Soap Works

I woke the witch. And boy does she smell incredible. Paintbox Soap Works has come my way here and there over the years. It all started with The Soap Box Company several years ago and then my friend Jean. I would get a soap sample here, a scrub sample there and always enjoyed it. But ultimately it took a craftily written review for Waking The Witch on their Facebook page that got shared in a group I am a member of and then next thing I knew I had a cart full of this scent and was happily clicking "submit." And I submitted totally. No regrets. Do yourself a favor and click here, scroll down to the reviews and read it. This lady describes the scent way more masterfully that I can, but I will still have a go at it.

Waking the Witch luxury glycerin soap ($6) is full of nourishing oils and soybean oil to condition. Here is the description for Waking the Witch on the website:

"Smoldering, sticky resins, wrinkled apples drying over the fire, tea leaves & bitter berries packed in oil, & sacred jasmine & frangipani blossoms to scatter in the flames.
Waking the Witch is a blend for the night of the soul, shapeshifting from dark sticky incense to jammy fruit & dry tea, through a cloud of heady florals & back to warm coals & woodsmoke. It's the smell of gathering revelations, of plans revealed, of lines crossed & power embraced. It's deep & wild & not here to please anyone but the stars as they whirl overhead.
We have been quiet & patient & good for a very long time. Enough of that. This blend is for all of us as we dig deep & find our voices & howl into the darkness & scrape at the sky. "

This generous six ounce bar is a deep smoky hue with a smattering of silvery and icy blue glitter. I carved a slice off and it is the most incredible fall scent that has graced my shower. Petite hand-carved wooden bowls swell with wild cranberries and black raspberries in their bellies. They await the many tincture jars that line the scarred butcher's block, along with their soon-to-be-companions of herb and spice, clove and anise and nutmeg, peppercorns and patchouli sprigs. A well loved patchwork apron hangs in on a peg, decades of sage, resin and incense burning cling delicately to the fragile threads and a handpicked wildflower bouquet is tucked inside the lone pocket. The daughter inhales the scents of homecoming.

This soap not only smells amazing but it feels great too. The base is a deep smoky brown with bronze and sable mica running through it. It lathers effortlessly and rinses cleanly. The sliver in my shower is almost gone because I have been using it so much. I have one at my tub side and two more tucked away in my cabinet.

Waking the Witch Sorbetto is a thick rich sugar scrub ($12) that contains avocado and grapeseed oils, rice bran and mango butter. The texture is thick and sticky and makes for easy scooping and scrubbing. It is along the lines of The Bathing Garden but less dry and more solid. I very much like the texture. It makes fun shapes. Helpfully, it also makes for a fabulous exfoliant. I mean, that is what we are here for right? Scrubbing, not playing? Eh. I like playing. 

Everything came professionally sealed and it is encouraged to use the product up within 3 months for optimal freshness. The scent in the scrub is just like the soap.

A little goes a long way with the bath streusel ($12). I poured about 1/8 of the jar into warm running water and it fizzed and foamed and turned the water murky with its strong blackened flower scent. Nourishing golden globes of oils floated up from the warm water to the surface, to cling to legs and arms and skin. It acted as a built in lotion so that when I emerged from the bath and toweled off, there was no need to apply any. Waking the Witch is much  more moody in this version. Much more smoky and earthen.

I also threw in a wax tart clamshell into my cart. 

Kattegat- Notes: Birch, frost, cold sea water, dragon's blood. $4
Deb, if you are reading this... you knew I had to get it. VIKINGS! This smells divine. Subtly sweet spruce and birch woods stand along the water rimmed cliffs of the fjords. Resinous dragon's blood and hearth fires in the long houses keep the scent from being overly aquatic and balance it out perfectly. Two cubes threw medium-strong in the living area and kitchen. This is a scent that I will be buying more of in the future. 

I had two generous free samples in my order, both 2.5 ounce Sorbetto sugar scrubs. 

Mandinka- Notes: Spiced honey, carnation, incense and saffron.
This is gorgeous. Not sure if it is named after Sinead O'Connor or the African people but either way it smells lovely. Supremely light smoke trailing from an incense stick joins the wild honey and Balinese spices at the temple altar. Handwoven baskets of flowers, incense and spice are left as offerings and when chanced upon them, lend their sweet fragrance to the breeze. I want to bathe in this. So I will look and see if it is offered in bath products.

Gardensong- Notes: Sun warmed herbs, tomato leaf, pimento and yuzu.
The sweet grapefruit tang of yuzu features prominently then is backed up by the subtle greenery of the herblings. A summery scent that I am going to use up in the bath right now. 

I am head over heels for my Paintbox Soap Works order. I would kick myself for not ordering sooner but now I know I have time to catch up. Can't change the past. 

Do you enjoy Paintbox Soap Works? Favorite scents? What are you favorite products?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

My Backyard Birds

I have been tracking birds I have spied in my backyard since the beginning of the year, some have photos and some I will mention that I wasn't able to grab pictures of. Here they are in no particular order.

- Mourning Dove

- Blue Jay

- Cardinal

- Yellow-Rumped Warbler (I think... I am sketchy on this one as he was so quick I never got a good look).

- Yellow-Throated Warbler

- Tufted Titmouse: One of my favorites, when this one flies to visit us Savanna hollers "Hey Mom! Your Mouse Tit bird is here!" and it cracks me out.

- Red-Bellied Woodpecker: We have two of these, I think one is the male (this one?) and one is the female (less red on the head I think).

- Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

- American Robin

- House Finch: A male and a female used to visit the wreaths at our front door and chirped up a storm but lately he visits the bird feeder.

- Brown-Headed Cow Birds

- Indigo Bunting

- Sandhill Cranes: This family of two adults and two juveniles has been visiting us multiple times a day for bird seed, water from the bird bath and shade from the oak tree. I am tempted to name them. I like picking up the feathers they leave behind. 

I have seen Mockingbirds and white ibis, hawks and vultures in the backyard as well as:
-Boat-tailed Grackle
- Tyrant Flycatcher
- Black and White Warbler
- Yellow-Bellied Flycatcher
- Black Capped Chickadee

I think I will be able to spy even more this winter when all the birds fly back down south again. I will have my bird seed ready. What backyard birds are you favorite? Are there any of these you think I got wrong? Are you a bird watcher?

I love my birbs.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Prehistoria Collection

Dinosaurs are cool. 

And smelling like a dinosaur is even better than you might expect. This is not the carrion coated, urine soaked tongue of a T-Rex like Michael Crichton described in his novel, but a line of perfectly glorious amber based fragrances. 

Nocturne Alchemy currently has the Prehistoria Collection in the Limited section of the web-store under both the Summer ($25) and Summer Resurgence ($26) Collections. Seth is the nose behind the dinosaurs and he created them for layering purposes. He recommends dabbing a dinosaur on your wrist or inner elbow and allowing it to mellow a few seconds, feel free to huff it in at this time, and then adding some other lovely Nocturne Alchemy scents on top of it for the dino egg to "hatch." I do layer with these but I also wear them alone and feel that they are powerful and beautiful enough to stand on their own. 

Iguanodon- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, Siam balsam, Egyptian white jasmine, sandalwood, white sandalwood absolute, Australian sandalwood, frankincense, cedar, black amber and a drop of ylang ylang absolute.

Amber and sandalwood dominate with a liquid golden hue from the ylang ylang gilding the edges with its tropical banana nectar when sniffed from the vial. On the skin, the narcotic ylang ylang and now jasmine too, open up more widely and bestow their perfume generously. These heady flowers drift seamlessly into the limestone amber which has a porous mineral quality to it. The balsam lends just a whiff of fresh evergreen winds, very subtle but perfectly right. This settles into a light floaty sandalwood and amber that possesses a touch of sweetness. Just a touch. Beautiful.

Tyrannosaurus- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, a drop of cacao, Dracaena Draco of Morocco and Sangre de Grado Dragon's Blood. 

The King of Tyrant Lizards thunders out of the bottle in a red resin haze of dragon's blood and amber. Upon landing on the skin it reveals the more gentle side of dragon's blood, the carnations and florals. This is fleeting though, soon the scarlet spice of the resin pulls deeper and almost holds tones of cinnamon and red clay earth in its heart. It dries down into earthy smooth incense and smells like a most excellent dragon's blood with the clarity of amber to heighten it. I am tempted to create an Andominous Rex hybrid myself and layer the musky Velociraptor with the dragon's blood T-Rex for a bitey spiced musk. You can read about Velociraptor next...sorry for the spoiler.

Velociraptor- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, black musk absolute, black amber and a drop of aged viscous Velociraptor Kashmir red musk.

Claws of musk and amber scratch their way out of the bottle and tease the nose with yumminess to come. Grazed onto the skin the deep red and black musks leave grooves of spiced resins and full bodied velvet along the skin. These musks and ambers are exquisite. This one wears easily on its own but would layer with just about anything but in particular the EA color line I think. The sweetness would make the musks all the more cuddly, would retract the claws a touch. But the claws are nice. Verrrrry very nice. 

Diplodocus- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, a drop of cacao, Boswellia carterii frankincese from the United Arab Emirates and a drop of steam distilled Oman frankincense tears, hand harvested by the perfumers. 

Cocoa powder and frankincense waft from the bottle in a heady mixture. Fresh on the skin the lemony resin of frankincense pushes against the powdery chocolate, making for a headstrong fragrance. At first I wasn't crazy about the chocolate but I very much enjoy layering this with vanilla centric perfumes and pumpkin scents. Diplodocus is brilliant for adding a strong depth to a fragrance. I purchased this one last year so it has aged nicely and is already half gone. Sadly, this one did not resurge but I wanted to review it for the sake of thoroughness. 

Utahraptor- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, Kashmir and black musk absolutes, Egyptian musk and a drop of Crimson and Sri Lankan black peppercorn eo. 

Dark musks with a touch of woody pepper emerge from the amber glass. The black silken musks are undeniably smooth and a touch sweet. The ambers pull in dark and resinous with the musk to drape about them. This one is not as "red" or spiced or bold as Velociraptor, more sweet and dark and amber focused. More slinky.

Dimetrodon- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, UNRELEASED Studio Limited Cinder Vanilla (fire smoked caramelized vanilla), smoked oudh, Egyptian lilac, cypress and creamy wood undertones.

From the bottle a tendril of gray smoke unwinds. Once lit upon the skin the smoke curls about the flesh like an undulating coal snake. It slithers into sugared territory with blackened vanilla in the top of the heart then it veers into the lilac patch. The lilac bleaches the smoke into a pale nimbus that has an almost metallic electrical headspace. Like smoke and heat lightening under a veil of lilacs. The slightest aquatic greenery wriggles into the scent from the cypress as it starts to dry down but then fades into warmer tones once the amber and oudh burrow into the base. It finishes as a woodsy oudh and amber that I am thrilled to have in my collection.

I love the colors and artwork on these dinosaurs. Dimetrodon was one of my favorite dinosaurs when Savanna went through a rigorous dino phase in her toddlerhood. She had a dinosaur party for her 3rd birthday and her 5th birthday. The rest were dragons or Pokemon. She never strayed far from the reptiles. 

Maiasaura- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, white amber absolute, amaranthus, pink peppercorn, honeysuckle nectar and tuberose extract.

Blossoming flowers that drip with dulcet nectar and juicy amber tears unfurl from the bottle. Dabbed onto the flesh a creamy tropical amber emerges. Subtle glimmers of honeysuckle and tuberose shine with antique gold. I love how elegant this scent is. The flowers add a whipped softness to the amber. 

Deinonychus- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, VA Cemetery Musk accord, Sri Lanka sandalwood, Hungarian white cedarwood, Kobalt SL and a drop of Egyptian Temple oudh.

I love the aroma that comes out of this vial. It is pretty much the most amazing resin. It brings to mind copal a little bit, a buttery smooth dark amber. On the wrist a glorious taupe musk and polished sandalwood swirl about. The sandalwood gets creamier with vanilla and that is what the dry down feels like, a warm vanilla sandalwood with a touch of amber.

Plesiosaurus- Notes: Resinous amber accord, limestone amber, Bastet's Ice Cream accord.

In the bottle a gooey vanilla emerges with caramel tones. Glazed onto the skin Bastet's Ice Cream accord does what it always does on my skin and acquires a brief period of ozonic refrigerated air. After a few minutes that wears away and reveals a dark maple hued amber vanilla. There is almost a lemony brightness to the scent in the heart. The vanilla in this scent reminds me of Ember Vanilla in the viscous strength that it exudes. I wore this on my inner arm and Plesiosaurus' paddle like arm kept reaching up and bopping me on the nose for attention. I enjoy this scent and will apply it lightly as it has quite the projection. In fact the longevity is tremendous as well, I put it on around 3pm, went to bed, took a shower and then around noon the next day I could smell the most exquisite pillowy vanilla in the crook of my arm still. I plan to layer it with Bastet's Amber or Ozymandias or a Santalum based blend, something arid, woody or dry. 

Most of these are available for purchase except for Diplodocus which did not resurge and Plesiosaurus which sold out. I picked up Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor for Savanna, as she asked for them, so I might go back and get them for myself too. I am also eyeing up Compsognathus (musk, dragon's blood and coffee), Archaeopteryx (spices, labdanum and vanilla) and Cryolophosaurus (patchouli to the max) for potential homing. 

Bastet's Bazaar will be debuting very soon, where Nocturne Alchemy will release limited editions of perfume, bath and body and who knows what all kinds of excitement! 

What is your favorite dinosaur? If you had to pick one which dino would you bring home as a pet?