Friday, March 23, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Spring Collection

These perfumes were sent by Julia as a gift. All thoughts on the scents are my own.

Julia at Arcana Wildcraft has released her Spring Collection and many of the perfumes are based upon the "Crazy Jane" poems by William Butler Yeats. Arcana Wildcraft used to sell their items directly via the Arcana Wildcraft eBay store, but Julia has recently changed her business model and will now be selling her perfume oils at stockists such as Nui Cobalt Designs, Sihaya and Company, Femme Fatale and Pretty Indulgent. There has been a small price increase to $26 per bottle. These changes do not bother me whatsoever, and I will still be buying and growing my Arcana collection as I see fit. Heck. I already did. I picked up Tammany Hall from Sihaya and Company this past weekend. 

The grass my bed- Notes: Red rose petals, green grass, spring rain, and a bed of  soft Scots pine needles.

Wounded rose petals fallen onto tender blue blades of grass, plucked and torn by a delicate hand. Bleeding their scent. This is the aroma that lifts from the bottle, pliant and lush and a touch melancholy. Pressed into the skin, the wild rose and sweet grass emerge dew dropped, the fragrant offerings unfolding from Mother Earth's verdant hands. A pure rosebud, fresh and clean as the first inhale at sunrise, it never feels powdery or peppery and not candied at all. The grass weaves the perfect nest for the rose, creating a lovely soft spring scent. Just slightly watery at the edges. As it dries, the rose fades as its youth escapes, the grass mellows and the merest hint of woods lingers. The offering accepted and pressed into the pages of the heart. 

Her coal-black hair- Notes: Blackened oudh, dry sandalwood, a drop of orris and a faint memory of violet perfume. 

Smoky dark oudh, feathered and black like a charcoal sketch, is shadowed with the soft purple hue of aged violets. Smudged. Bruised. Tender as the skin under gleaming eyes. Painted on the wrist, tiny wild violets bloom in a dark hollow of the forest. Their leonine faces are carefully herded into a woven basket and made into a tincture for the glossy blue-black tresses of the hand who gathered them. Fanned across the muslin pillow in her humble cottage, the black vines of her hair fragrant the room with violet water and smoke from the hearth fire, inky as the hollow in a tree. As her eyes drift shut (oh those jet eyes that gleam), the delicate violets fade and the effluvia of smoldering embers, dried wood and tarry night steal in. I have never had a dark violet. This is an exquisite scent I am thrilled to have in my collection.

Cursing the Bishop- Notes: An ominous mix of dragonsblood, black pepper, crimson amber, Tahitian vanilla, brown sugar, bewitched parchment paper, and tiny hints of vetiver and kush.

A brief inhale of the elixir within the glass amber bottle reveals a musty and earthy wintergreen aroma that possesses a subtle dark sweetness. It smells of the breath that offers curses and kisses under the same moon. Anointed onto the skin, the earthy dank vetiver grass smells secretive and salacious. There is a saltiness to it, of skin and musk, but still that touch of wintergreen persists to my nose. Wintergreen obviously is not present in this perfume but the effect remains in my perception, at least for a brief moment. As the scent sinks further into the skin and shifts through its phases, the earthiness wanes and sweet amber melded with dragon's blood incense waxes full. Even more time passes and the vanilla melts off the amber and leaves a beautiful ambered sandalwood in its wake. I will be the first to admit that wintergreen conjures up some strange memories of the past that I don't always enjoy (and yes, there is no wintergreen there but the nose sniffs what the nose sniffs) but the brown sugar and amber infused dragon's blood resin at the heart and the woodsy base of this scent is worth experiencing. I will happily be slathering this on and Cursing the Bishop all the while for the invention of wintergreen Skoal. 

Side note. Just for fun I asked my daughter what she smelled from the bottle and she spun a yarn about sitting around a campfire and eating hotdogs and dessert. I am excited to read other reviews about this perfume because I have a feeling it is a real changeling and will give everyone a run for their money. I love it.

Love is like the lion's tooth- Notes: A bright mix of young honeysuckle blossoms, intense ginger, golden musk and sweet figs. 

How does Julia craft a scent that appears intensely sunny and innocent but leaves a subtle foreshadowing at the edges? Sniffing from the bottle is much like the urge to gaze at the brilliant sun as a thin veil of clouds temporarily mutes it... the brilliance beckons to be witnessed but there is risk involved. Bright can be dangerous. Dangerously beautiful. Lemony tart ginger and the barest heady whiff of honeysuckle dazzle the senses, but behind the golden duo lurks the sultry stickiness of suggestive figs and their womb-like shape. Ripe. Full of sweetness. This same scent briefly makes its appearance on the wrist, then in the blink of an eye the lemon hearted honeysuckle cascades off the skin like a waterfall of scent, the balmy breath of a Floridian summer night. An exhale of humid honeysuckle, at first indolic and creamy and redolent of jasmine but then more mellow with citrus nectar, stimulates the senses like the first flush of love. As the scent ages on the flesh, the ginger's heat adds spice to the honeysuckle's nectar and ripe maroon figs add depth. Much like love, what started as lighthearted shifts into a deeper intimacy and then you are in the mouth of the lion before you realize it. This fragrance is hypnotizing. A beautifully crafted honeysuckle that is perfect for spring and summer. It will bloom in the heat. 

Wild Jack for a lover- Notes: Whiskey, red ale, woodsmoke, worn alder wood and dry, manly musk.

Jack is indeed wild. That man. That man. He is drinking and rambling and the rolling stone that gathers no moss. He enjoys his whisky warm from the flask by the campfire while his horse nickers behind him in the woods. Is this Josey Wales at the fire? His craggy jaw and capable form are silhouetted in the flames, silhouetted in the fumes that rise from the bottle. Amber whiskey, arid woods and musk. Branded onto the wrist, the silhouette morphs into a ghost of peat smoke that is soon imbued with the yeasty sweetness of whiskey that was aged in birch caskets. Wild Jack's kiss tastes of grains and woods, firewater and rebellion. Risk and rye. Sin and spirits. The whiskey is never cloying or overwhelming, but blended smoothly and tempered with oak and birch, woods and musky leather. Gauzy woodsmoke lingers in his beard, his only familiar and constant in his labyrinthine life. Wild Jack smells dead sexy and I am just as content to be called Wild Julie when I wear it.

Eye under eyelids did so gleam- Notes: Lacrima water, ivory tuberose, gardenia, Tiare flowers, blushing narcissus, sea salt and dulse.

Tropical flowers, intoxicating and awash in the scents of the sea, ebb and flow, opening and closing their blossoms under the influence of the seasons like the anemones in a reef. These undulating flowers sway from the lip of the bottle ever so tantalizing under my nose. Washed onto the flesh the perfume froths with a sea foam composed of white florals. Tuberose and gardenias with their thick white petals dripping honeyed beeswax and cream, dripping tears of milk and nectar and their own unique golden perfume fall and float in the eddies of warm tropical waters that lap at the shore. The saline pools on the shore of a fluttering crescent of eye, thickly lashed with coal black shadows. My how those pools did gleam. The dulse, which is a variety of seaweed, lends just a subtle salty greenness to the flowers so their headiness doesn't overflow in exceeding abundance. The base is fragrant with the salty green dulse and perhaps a nod to oakmoss and driftwood. A beautifully rendered white floral fragrance that wears effortlessly, much like plucked flowers adorned in the hair. Natural beauty. 

Vanilla Craves Sugar Cookies- Notes: Warm sugar cookies infused with three gourmand vanillas and a hint of vanilla musk.

The aroma wafting out the vial is mouth watering. Chewy vanilla laden sugar cookies and sweetened condensed milk. Drizzled onto the wrists, the thick sticky dulcet tones of sweetened condensed milk remain. Please don't misinterpret me. This is not a colorless canned scent of milk and sugar. This fragrance swells with nuances of caramel and sugared vanilla, sweet cream and vanilla beans. As the scent mixes and combines and folds into the skin, a whiff more of the cookie aroma arises, but just a whiff of that chewy rich sugar cookie. This is a delectable vanilla scent that falls more into the gourmand territory with its belly full of  caramel and cream and warm thickness.

Strawberries Crave Ice Cream- Notes: Pink strawberries crushed with Mexican vanilla beans and blended into vegan accords of fresh milk, sugar and cream.

A sniff of the perfume in the bottle does remind me of the fresh strawberry milkshakes that my husband, girls and I love to buy at Parksdale Farms while strawberry season is in full swing. Deep red berries suspended in dark pink ice cream that is heavy with cream and sugar and milky wholesomeness. Dabbed onto the skin, the image of heart shaped strawberries swells to fill my senses, the plump ripeness, jammy and bright. The berries are sliced and piled in a small ceramic bowl then drenched in sugared milk. As it settles in its sweetness the milky hues drift on and the strawberries return as preserves freshly set. The longer the fragrance wears on the skin, the ruby berries evanesce into a blissful pale pink strawberry musk. 

I have enjoyed my experiences with all these lovely fragrances. I have to admit that Savanna snuck off with Strawberries Crave Ice Cream. She opened the package when it arrived and immediately was drawn to it. After patiently waiting all week for me to write about it, she is thrilled to finally claim it. Though I did make her promise I could wear it if I had the hankering for it (and I am sure I will). Black hair, Lion's tooth, Eyes gleam and Wild Jack are the stand outs for me. Lion's tooth and Eyes gleaming are just the scents I am craving for spring. If you could have a perfume created from a poem what poem would it be? I have to say mine would be "Goblin Feet" by J. R. R. Tolkien. 

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Scrimshaw Pottery: Skull Mug

I featured Ben's incredibly detailed artwork and pottery back in November when I ordered a scrimshaw inspired pirate ship and kraken mug from Scrimshaw Pottery. I love that mug. 

Ben recently came out with this tough looking scrimshaw mug design and the first time my eyes laid upon it, they lit up with hearts and this became the booty which my nautical heart desired. 

Since my November order I quickly discovered that knowledge of Ben's talent had spread and ordering was no longer a leisurely stroll about his Etsy shop. I missed his first several skull mug sales, which made me become more determined. I followed him more closely on IG and set my alarm for his next opening and pounced on the first teal skull mug I set eyes on. Ain't she a beaut?! 

I love the drippy back edged in white. Very reminiscent of aqua waves lapping at a black sand shore. 

This mug is a fierce way to start out a morning. 

I have been enjoying watching Ben create his mystical wizard by the sea and raging vikings on the water artworks, both subjects I appreciate. I hope he makes them for sale in the future. What is on your favorite coffee or tea mug?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Urban Mysticism: Mental R&R Sleep Myst

This is the third time I have featured this particular item, Urban Mysticism's Mental R&R Sleep Myst. I am still in love with it. I think this is my third (fourth?) bottle. As part of my night time routine I like to spray this on the back of my neck and on my pillowcase. It cools my body and soothes my mind, it imparts a beautiful scent of sweet lavender and peppermint. It is a blend of sweet pea flower essence, peppermint and lavender essential oil in a base of pure spring water with 20% brandy as a stabilizer along with an infusion of charged stones of Stilbite, Blue Argonite, Scolecite, Blue Smithsonite and Herkimer Diamond. Actual charged Moonstone crystals clink and chime in the bottom of bottle. $20

Do you have a bedtime staple? 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Melting Basket 118

Wax that I melted from the last basket that I would buy again: LSC Insanity, Beezy Vanilla Custard and TDC Pink Candy Canes/Marshmallow Sugar Cookies/Toasted Marshmallows. I think I was being overly picky but I have also not been as focused on what I smell, so it had to really hit a chord for me to notice.

Handmade in Florida- Enchanted Woods
Handmade in Florida- Meditate
Handmade in Florida- Tea for Two
Handmade in Florida- Ritual Lavender
CFTKR- Peppermint & Cypress
CFTKR- Mahogany Coconut
Vintage Chic Scents- All I Do Is Dream Of You
Ten Digit Creations- Blackberry Frankincense
Candy Panda-The Other Woman
Beezy- Peppermint Meringue
The Bathing Garden- Starlight Soda Pop
Sniff My Tarts- Pine Forest/Marshmallow Fireside
FuturePrimitive- Cut Throat Barbershop

If you are curious about any of these scents, let me know and I will review them. 

The girls love their chicken friends. These are my step-dad's chickens and the girls always ask to hold and feed them and gather their eggs. 

We also spent time feeding the cows and checking out the new calves this weekend. 

It was nice to spend time walking slowly about the pasture. Savanna was delighted to watch a group of robins bobbing about the grass. 

How was your weekend? 

Friday, March 16, 2018

Spring Musings

Hey there. So things are getting a little busy for me at work and as this is the first year I have both blogged and taught as a full-time lead teacher, I am a bit stretched. In fact, the last time I was a solid classroom teacher was in 2008. You could say I am re-adjusting. Report cards are being worked on, standardized testing is fast approaching and the constant of lessons and conferences and meetings is ever present. I am eyeing Spring Break with a wistful sigh while I think of all the things at home I need to catch up on: the garden (just picked our first yield- radishes!), a quilt for my sister's wedding, cleaning the house and getting some posts up for the blog. Of course I want to fit in some fun with my girls and read and do about a million other things too. I feel like I am in a chaotic state right now. My body is rebelling, my will power is next to nil and I am just gosh darn tired. Yes. I know how to fix it. Yes, I need to take care of my daily food choices and activity. Yes, I am struggling with it. I am trying to budget better, build up my savings. It is hard. I want to do it all but then all the plates I am trying to spin fall down.

But spring is for growth right? Renewal? Digging in the soil, getting dirty, making sacrifices to nurture something into life. What helps you to refocus? How do you stop a backslide? Or do I just need more grace? 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Bookish Jay & The Reading Mermaid: Book Challenge Update

Hello my beauties! I am updating the Bookish Jay and Reading Mermaid Challenge today. Jay from The Scented Library and I created a reading challenge in the beginning of the year and I think it is about time for a check-in. The original challenge can be found here if you still want to join in. Never too late! I am not including all the categories in this post but rather only the ones I have read and checked off. 

My rating system is pretty straightforward * = meh, ** = good, *** = please go read it. 

2. Adventure awaits! Choose a rather adventurous read.
Jackaroo by Cynthia Voigt- I picked this up for sale at the library years ago for a dime. I finally got around to reading it and let me tell you, that was the best way to spend a dime on the planet. I forgot I read a novel by Cynthia Voigt several years ago when Savanna was a baby (A Solitary Blue) and it fled my mind how deep she writes. This novel is that way too. It takes place in the medieval times and revolves around Gwyn, a young Innkeeper's daughter, who bucks the two choices she has in life: get married or be a spinster. This story is steeped in adventure but can also be very meaningful if one chooses to see. I loved it so much I quickly bought the other three in The Kingdom series. ***

5. A memoir.
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King- I borrowed this from a co-worker and I am very happy I did. It was insightful reading a bit about King's past and how he approaches writing. I took away some great lessons and even taught a few to my students in the writing class I teach. If you are a Stephen King fan I recommend it. We will be headed to Maine this summer and I am thinking about visiting his hometown. ***

6. A story set in a forest or mountains, or depicting either on the cover.
Gap Creek by Robert Morgan- This story is set in the Appalachian mountains during a time when there is no electricity or running water (other than the creeks of course) and life is very much lived on the land and by the work of the hand. The story follows the life of Julie (nice name!) from the moment she leaves her own family to cleave to that of her husband's. This book is brilliant in the sense that you get a true grasp of how difficult life could be, and at times it made me squirm when she made those naive choices every young adult makes at some point and suffered the consequences. Though at times it was utterly heartbreaking, I still enjoyed it. ***

7. An epistolary novel, told in letters or journal entries.
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell- This probably isn't a true epistolary novel in the sense that it is not entirely told via letters or entries but of the two main characters, one is told solely via emails she sends to her BBF while the other character is narrated in a more traditional style. It is a humorous love story and I cackled out loud numerous times. Rainbow Rowell knows how to hit me in the heart and the funny bone. ***

9. Pick up one of those neglected TBR books you have lurking about. I know you do.
Caraval by Stephanie Garber- This book was recommended to me by a Facebook friend ages and ages ago. He desperately wanted me to read it and I had heard that it was good so it was promptly put on my TBR list on GoodReads where it languished. Apparently I let it stew long enough that it turned up on deep discount at Books-A-Million where I snapped it up for less than $5. It is a maze of a YA book that chronicles two sisters and their quest to escape their abusive father and his overbearing reign by attending and participating in a circus that performs once a year. It was a fun read, although predictable at times. I did want a touch more steam between the one sister and her "guide" for the performance but maybe that comes in later books? **

14. Non-fiction to tickle the brain cells.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt- Whoa. Nelly. Where has this book been all my life (other than sitting on my bookshelf for a few years...doh)? My sister and I are taking our family vacation in Savannah, GA this summer and this book is a great gateway to that mysterious and secretive southern town. Darby began reading it in preparation for our vacation and quickly told me to crack open my copy. It is the true tale of a New Yorker's love affair with the town and his experience befriending a fellow who would soon be accused of murder. I cannot wait to watch the movie. ***

15. A book from the library.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood- Margaret never lets me down. This story follows the life of a young servant who is accused of murder but loses her memory of the event. An up and coming doctor who studies amnesia begins a relationship with Grace, trying to solve the mystery of her missing memory. I immediately watched the series on Netflix after reading the book and it was flipping amazing. It followed along perfectly and I loved it. ***

18. A book with a bird, on the cover or in the plot.
The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton- The tale of a young Dutch woman who is married off to a virtual stranger who is a rich merchant in Amsterdam that travels the world for the East India Trading Company. There are many mysteries that surround his household, himself and the miniaturist the young lady hired to fill her curio cabinet. Will she be able to make the house her home? I found it interesting enough to keep turning the pages but I am not sure how I felt about it in the end. **

27.  A book that was gifted to you.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr- A heartbreakingly beautiful story of a blind girl and a genius soldier during World War II. Their stories weave and intertwine so poignantly. All I can say is that you won't regret reading it. ***

28. A book by a debuted author.
Sea Change by S. M. Wheeler- A girl forms a bond with a kraken, and once he is captured against his will by pirates, she sets out to find and free him but she must complete various quests in order to unlock his cage. At times brutal and both heart and gut wrenching, this tale does touch upon the value of love and friendship and determining one's own identity. I found it a compelling read. *** 

I am beyond happy with my progress so far. I have read more interesting books than I have in most years. I did pick up a couple and put them down since they were not my cuppas so that may be why most I have read I have truly enjoyed. I am currently reading Holes because my daughter picked it out at a used bookstore and read it in one day and declared I needed to read it as well. I think it will be my "thrift shop find" on the challenge. I also have Outsiders waiting in the wings. 

What have been some of your favorite books of 2018? Have we read any in common? Am I crazy to not have fallen head over heels for Caraval

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Pastel Collection

These lovely perfumes are part of Nocturne Alchemy's Valentine's Resurgence collection that will be coming down March 30th. When I took these photos and began jotting down my experiences wearing these scents, all four where in stock. As the days have passed, one after another has gone out of stock. As of this current writing there is only Nag Champa Seahorse left. I have seen a few of these for sale in the NAVA Marketplace on Facebook so a few can be sought out. As usual, I am going to talk about them anyway. There are a few more scents in this particular collection like Buttercream Butterfly and others, they run $24 for each 5ml bottle. 

Nag Champa Seahorse- Notes: Nag Champa incense smoke, patchouli, sandalwood, dragon's blood and Crystalline vanilla.

I actually purchased this scent a while back, maybe last summer? It is one of my favorite nag champa scents. This is a light and airy incense with the clarity of salty sea breezes. On the skin it feels wispy and white, pure incense. The tones are are more dried flowers rather than earthiness. It makes for a stunning spring and summer time fragrance as the sun warms the earth and heats the skin. 

Amber Beetle- Notes: Amber resin, rock rose, sandalwood, patchouli, Vanilla-Myrrh, Crystalline and Egyptian musk.

From the bottle the scent of dark amber and sticky rose rose, otherwise known as cistus, arises resinous and warm. Rock rose is a flower but not a rose in the traditional sense. It actually composes quite a dark aroma and makes the resin from which labdnaum derives. I love labdanum. Once on the skin this scent reminds me quite a bit of Eternal Ankh Anniversary (which is another NA scent I own and have yet to bestow a proper review upon). It has a sweet pink amber fragrance, like vanilla amber and the tender opalescent pastels inside a seashell. Amber Beetle darkens as it settles into the skin, becoming a sepia brew of amber, labdanum and myrrh. The vanilla sweetness of Crystalline offer a candied musk throughout the experience.

Coconut Cockatoo- Notes: Coconut husk, coconut milk, coconut sugar and Crystalline vanilla.

My childhood emerges from the bottle, sweet coconuts, a dash of Hawaiian Tropic lip balm and my mom sipping tropical coladas at the Adam's Mark hotel on Clearwater Beach. On the skin the same beachy vibe laps at the senses. A perfect summer scent for coconut lovers. The coconut it candied with that Crystalline vanilla while toes wriggle in fine sugar white sand and gulls shriek overhead. As it dries down a touch it becomes more woody like the brown rough husk of a coconut bobbing in the teal gulf. Ultimately it settles into a divine vanilla coconut scent that I am thrilled to have for this summer. I am sad to say I don't think this bottle will last me very long. 

Lavender Dolphin- Notes: Lavender, Crystalline, white sandalwood and snow musk. 

Lavender buds on clean white linen floats to the surface of the oil when the lid lifts. Rubbed into the skin, the scent of sappy sticky lavender buds and leaves being rubbed and pressed between the fingertips emerges. Organic and realistic, herbal and freshly picked. Soon a bleached musk washes the lavender to purity. It morphs into lavender sachets that lend freshness to lacy unmentionables and linen closets. Or is it a sandalwood hope chest that the sachets reside within? For the sandalwood chest is faded and pale, dried to white bones. This is a white lavender and woods fragrance that is gauzy and austere.

Nag Champa Seahorse is still around and if you enjoy incense fragrances I think you might enjoy it. What notes do you like to have on hand during the summer time?

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Theeth Jewelry

Theeth Jewelry is a Portland, Oregon based hand forged jewelry company run by Kimi Kaplowitz who collects specimens from nature and creates molds and castings from them. Critters like flies and scorpions and even wee mushrooms. Her pieces are quite fantastical. Her mushroom pieces in particular have been on my radar for ages. 

Kimi celebrated her birthday and in that honor, Theeth Jewelry had a sale. She also happened to be running a pre-order (and still is) for these mushroom rings. There were many stone choices, labradorite, moonstone, sunstone, moss agate and ocean jasper, but my eye landed on the tabasco geode and fell in love. I don't own any geode pieces and I thought it looked like the earth was wrapping itself around a hidden gem that was even hidden within itself. 

My new ring wears very comfortably with two thin but sturdy hammered bands to anchor the crop of mushrooms (which have intricate detail... I mean look at those gills!) and a sparkling geode that features lime green dappling on the outside of the rock and rusty red striations around the heart of the crystals. 

Do you like geodes? Do mushrooms fascinate you? I am digging the mushroom trio lapel pin too. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Nui Cobalt Designs: Collection of Bees

Nui Cobalt Designs debuted a perfume oil collection that revolved around bees in January. I scooped up three that claimed my attention based on their notes. These scents cost $19 each.

Buzzed- Notes: Spiced mead, honey, bourbon, red mahogany, maple wood, brown sugar and crystallized ginger.
From the bottle arises the sweet and hearty aroma of maple and brown sugar with a slip of thinly sliced banana. Drenched on the skin, my nose experiences daybreak greeting me with a nourishing oatmeal breakfast topped with brown sugar, maple syrup and banana slices. Is there banana in here? No, probably not, but this is just how my senses translate it. A little bit of sharp greenery cuts into the sweet parritch, must be the ginger igniting this green flame. Soon more barley and grains join the harvest and a noontide mead is imbibed and the ginger burns off as a buzz sets in. The debauchery beings in earnest with several fingers of aged bourbon that pools in tumblers. No ice. The warm fumes dance with russet polished woods before the eyes droop closed at the end of the day. 
Buzzed is quite the journey! It reminds me a bit of Jamie Fraser's typical Scottish day in the form of food and drink.

When The Woods Awaken- Notes: Budding teakwood, turned earth, smoky sweet amber resin, birch bark, black pepper and a trace of crushed cardamom.
Silvery woods and duff strewn about the forest floor, harboring microcosms of life in a single teaspoon. This fecund yet austere scent fills the nose when I take the lid off. The teakwood in this is sun bleached and lovely. Applied onto the skin, this same aroma initially takes on a fresh pureness of forest atmosphere and gentle winds. The calming aroma of peeling curls of papery birch bark and the soft cedar tones of teak drift in on the breeze. This is a lovely airy and crisp scent that will wear beautifully during Florida' sweltering summer heat.  

Queen Bee- Notes: Creamy white gardenia and fluffy whipped honey.
The vibrant blue bottle issues forth a cascade of candied flower petals, sweet and tangy like a pastel rainbow of SweetTarts. Dabbed onto the skin, tiny white flowers unfold amid a dreamy Candyland. The blooms grow and grow, morphing from Baby's Breath to lush gardenias, magnolias and jasmine. As it dries down the heady florals mellow into a sweet and charming bouquet of wildflowers that flutter among the SweetTarts once again. 

I love how creative and inspired Forest is with her scents. She has a Tryptophan fragrance I am honing in on next. I think I could use a new bedtime perfume. Do you have a bedtime fragrance? What do you wear to lull yourself off to dreamland?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Kelsey's Star Stuff Pottery

I hope you don't mind doing some mug gazing this morning with me. I picked up two new coffee mugs from Kelsey's Star Stuff on Etsy. Kelsey Stoddard takes ethically sourced natural items such as butterflies, beetles, small skulls, moss, seashells and crystals and builds magical mini curios inside of hand thrown pottery pieces. To top it off an already magical experience, she glazes her pieces with blooming crystalline glazes that shimmer with pearlescent and golden auras. I love the crackling crystal feathering effects. 

I picked up this butterfly mug and a beetle mug. I was gunning for a bat skull but I was on my phone and we were on the road (hubby was driving!) headed out to dinner when these released so I missed it. I am not bothered one bit because I love the ones I chose. She said she will release more skullies this month so I will try again if the timing is right.

These mugs hold quite a bit. I was able to pour a 15 ounce ice coffee in this one. 

I had a hard time capturing the glowing red-brown hues in the beetle's carapace. He is a handsome fella.

These magical elements are encased using resin. It is recommended to hand-wash and not freeze the mugs. They can be used with hot and cold beverages though. 

See that glaze?! Enchanting. Like ice crystals blooming and growing in the purest blue glacier. 

The mugs arrived packaged well and accompanied by a small collection of whimsical trinkets that my daughters immediately took ownership of such as the vials filled with flower petals, gemstones and moss, a crystal point in what looks to be smoky quartz and more moss and glazed stones. A hand written thank you came too and that touch meant a lot to me. 

Will I ever have enough mugs? Not if they look as magical as these.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Soap Box Company: Arcana, Alkemia and Sixteen92

The Soap Box Company is a vendor who sells a variety of artisan products mostly of the bath and body and perfume varieties. I purchased some natural deodorants and odds and ends from The Soap Box years ago and enjoyed the experience. As I got to know which vendors I enjoyed most I drifted to purchasing directly from the source. I have stayed on the mailing list of The Soap Box and a recent sale announcement caught my attention. I ended up browsing a bit and threw a few things in my cart that were highly discounted.

Magwitch from Arcana Wildcraft- Notes: Rich pipe tobacco, sea water, tobacco flowers and black roses.
Sea salt crusted like crystals growing on the velvet skin of blood red rose petals unfurl from the vial. Pressed into the skin, a pungent and seafaring salty dog emerges, slightly stiff and crude with perceived malice flashing green and sharp in his eye. He may come off as brutal and standoffish but really he harbors good intentions. The stark greenness of the sea water and sharp tang of bitter herbs hover over the scent like a fog. Underneath the scent thorny vines slither and curl, pushing their peppery rose breath against the body. This is no sweet golden tobacco of indulgence but the bitter dregs of the last puffs on an old cigar. This is a man who has come from nothing and been forced to use his every last resource. He must smoke until the final bitter end of the stogie. His coin demands it so. A harrowing tale indeed but a scent unlike any other. Pungent, sharp, dark and intense. 

Witch's Tit from Alkemia- Notes: Two chilly sweater puppies warming by the blazing fireplace of the Candy House. Cold mint, skin musk, hot tea, slowly toasting vanilla treats and sugared woodsmoke.
Sweet peppermint discs twisted in cello and sitting in grandma's crystal candy dish. This is the scent in the bottle. Graced in the crook of the arm the sweet mint gets a vanilla creaminess and reminds me of after dinner buttermints. After a bit, some hazy smoke creeps in and the buttermints morph into sweet peppermint tea. Now I crave some Sleepy Time tea, which is exactly what this smells like. Even though a little cold front has blown through over the weekend, it is not quite as cold as a witch's tit, but some hot tea wouldn't hurt nonetheless. 

Salem from Sixteen92- Notes: Damp leaves, incense, leather, birch and smoke.
A balmy summer evening unravels the end of the day. Sun warmed garden soil and leaf litter gently decaying underfoot, while the soon-to-be harvest is tended under the orange glow of sunset. Mild, dusty top notes set into an earthy and leaf strewn heart. Silver pillars of birch wood and black crumbling patchouli echo in the drydown. The late summer sun setting on a day spent outdoors tending the garden and watching the woods rustle with life. 

These scents were a steal. The perfume oils were $8 each and the EDP was around $15. This reminds me I need to pop around in various stores such at The Soap Box Co and see what's about. 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Ten Digit Creations: Anniversary Winnings

After I placed that initial Ten Digit Creations order in early January, I had won a $25 store credit. Amber had several prizes from $10 to $50 in store credit that was randomly awarded to several customers who ordered during the sale. I picked up three scents with my winnings at the end of January. 

The first scent blend I created was Winter Patchouli/Lavender Woods/Peppermint Twist in the 6-pack of medallions for $7.25 for about 7.5 ounces of wax. I am very pleased with this earthy, minty woods creation. It is soothing and beautiful in my bedroom and throws at a medium strength. The fragrance smells of purple and grey woods at dusk with just a breath of minty coolness. A dark, cool woods.

I chose the 40 pack of runts which is $16.25 and about 18 ounces worth of wax in the scent combination of Cherry Tobacco/Gypsy Magic/Clove, and I am loving every minute of it. The cherry tobacco warmly snuggles up to the wooden clove buds and Gypsy Magic, which brims with cedar, rosewood, spice, herbs and frankincense and myrrh, wraps the other two into its warm bosom. It smells insanely divine to my nose, the tobacco, spice and woods work magic. I want to melt it down and dab it behind my ears to carry it around with me all day. Very plush. Very elegant yet approachable. I will be making this blend again. By the way... it threw strong.

As for that third blend... it was a gift for my friend Ashley. Does anyone reading this post remember Enchanted Candle Company?? Years ago she had a blend called Graveyard Rose or something along those lines and it was a Rose Jam and dirt blend and my friend Ashley LOVED it and was not able to get more before ECC closed. I took the 12-pack of roses ($8.50) and blended Rose Colored Glasses (Rose Jam dupe) with Potting Soil and Ashley says it works! She even melted it the other day and featured it on her IG account so I think she is happy with it. I did sniff it myself before I mailed it off to her and it really is a nice soil and sweet rose scent. It goes together surprisingly well!

Free Samples!
Papa's Cabin- Gah! Yes! I forget how much I love this one!! It is another brilliant tobacco centric scent but it smells really mellow and smooth and more like tobacco and vanilla amber with polished wood from Papa's whittling. I need to get more of this and blend it.

Silver Birch and Vetiver- This is quite lovely. It reminds me of a silvered sweet balsam tree. If you took the citrus out of the Citrus and Balsam scent and plated it in silver starlight. 

Garden Mint/Hippie Hippie Shake/Winter Patchouli- I love smelling others' blends! I would never have blended this in a million years but it works. It smells like my herb box right outside the front door. Not only fresh green sprigs of mint but also the collection of all the herbs: parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme. The soil that the herbs live within and fresh air. It makes me want to garden.

I love my order and will happily melt through these over the spring and summer and into fall and winter. What unexpected blends have turned out to work for you?? I want to use Papa's Cabin in a blend. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Melting Basket 117

Happy First of March! March is a good month. March and April in Florida no doubt begin to feel like summer but there are wonderful breezes and all of a sudden flying kites sounds like a really great idea. Especially on the beach. 

Well guys. It has been a long time since I posted a melting basket! Twenty days! I think it is about time I cobble one together. But before I tell you what all is going to be melted I do want to say that every last wax tart in the last basket I would happily buy again. If you are curious what was in there check out this post

Candles From The Keeping Room- Cinnamon Broom
Candles From The Keeping Room- Gretel's Treats
Candles From The Keeping Room- Ultimate Bakery Noel
Lasting Scent Candles- Cinnamon Vanilla Waffle Cone
Lasting Scent Candles- Insanity
Lasting Scent Candles- Blueberry Fritters
Lasting Scent Candles- Peppermint Snow Cookies
Beezy- Vanilla Custard
Handmade in Florida- Frosted Gingerbread
The Bathing Garden- Mrs. Cratchit's Christmas Pudding
Ten Digit Creations- Birthday Cake Waffles
Ten Digit Creations- Pink Candy Canes/Marshmallow Sugar Cookies/Toasted Marshmallow

If you are curious how any of these melt and would like a warmed review please holler down below.

After over ten years of saying I wanted to plant a garden... I have finally planted a garden. Scarlette was my little buddy on this project and together we plotted out a 6 foot by 6 foot garden. We planted a row of sweet corn, two mounds of watermelon, two mounds of cucumbers, three rows of radishes, a row of beets, a row of okra, a row of beans, three rows of carrots, a row of lettuce and a row of tomatoes. The wee garden with the white picket fence to the left is a wildflower plot. I am hoping to attract some butterflies and hummingbirds over there. Ripping up the grass and digging out the soil left me sore and tender but vitalized. Dumping and spreading topsoil, worm castings and garden soil for days felt exhilarating!  Planting the seeds, some minuscule, some knobby and wrinkled like old gnome noses, some long and thin as needles or shiny like the tear drops of pearls, felt life giving. Scarlette cooed over them and I cooed over them and we cooed in tandem while we stuck finger tips into the dark loamy earth and dropped the seeds into their hatcheries.

And behold! They are sprouting!!! Even if the yield is nil and bugs swarm in or squirrels attack... the girls and I are thrilled that things are growing.

Just to see this take place has been an experience full of pleasure and joy.

I will keep y'all abreast of the garden. The birbs. Ya know... the Herbs 'n Birbs. 

My husband is getting a kick out of me developing into a little old lady. He jokes about having to live in a home full of gnomes and plants and cats once the girls go to college and we have an empty nest. He isn't too far off. 

What would your ideal retirement home look like? What hobbies would you have to indulge in?