Monday, June 18, 2018

Obscurus: Bath, Body and Wax Tarts from Femme Fatale

These products were sent free of charge from Femme Fatale in exchange for photographs, all opinions my own. 

Femme Fatale Cosmetics is an Australian based company that sells indie products from bath and body to nail polishes, makeup to perfumes and even wax tarts. If you are looking for a new way to explore some really talented makers Femme Fatale is a wonderful outlet to do just that. Sophie, the owner of Femme Fatale recently debuted her own in-house brand of bath, body, perfume and home fragrance via a line called Obscurus. The Obscurus line is vegan, cruelty free and handmade. It has a dark edgy styling that features the arcane and mysterious. Today I have a sampling of various products to show you. Prices are in AUD, but I will put the US price in parenthesis after the product. I want to start with the wax tarts since I was totally surprised to see these in the box I was sent. The wax is soy and comes in the clamshell format.

Superstition- Notes: Citrus, agave and lavender with woody warmth, musk and amber. ($7.37)
This scent conveys what many oceanside fragrances attempt to capture but in a more realistic and refined manner. The citrus smells of lightly aged bergamot and paired with the lavender it paints landscapes of sunsets in Tuscany or glowing coastlines off the coast of France. I think it may be the agave that lends the salt encrusted atmosphere. It is a beautifully rendered aroma. Once melted, it performs a mercurial transformation, a bit of the sweetness in the citrus comes out and plays dreamily with the lavender. The amber and musk pulls through more the whole scent becomes elevated. One cube threw medium-strong in the bathroom and two cubes threw medium in the larger kitchen and living area. We had gone grocery shopping about an hour after I put this scent in the warmers. We came back and I started cubing a cantaloup I purchased and kept catching streamers of this magnificent perfume as the A/C would kick on and off. I finally realized it wasn't me (or rather my own perfume I should day), but Superstition. I want to smell like Superstition. It has a very elegant high class style.

Astral- Notes: White florals with hidden rose crystals and musk. 
An antique hand tatted bridal veil of tiny white and palest pink roses cascades back through generations of women, each with a fluttering heart of nerves stitched next to hope, youthful eyes luminous with ancient knowledge. The effluvia of gossamer roses floating like a trail of love's musk behind them. This is a gauzy pale rose that was utterly lovely to melt in the bedroom. Two cubes gave a medium-strong throw. The rose was not cloying, too peppery or overbearing, but wonderfully blended and softly sweet. Somehow it calmed me as I would float in and out of the bedroom as I was going about my evening routine. I discovered that this wax needs some nurture time while melting. Be patient and it will bloom and unfurl. 

Out of Body Experience- Notes: Freshly baked cinnamon buns drizzled with lemon and vanilla icing and a dash of orange zest. 
Sniffing this wax tart does indeed provide my senses with an out of body experience. Experiences of the past, Christmas mornings where cinnamon and clove pricked citrus fruits in a wooden bowl grace the same table as piping hot cinnamon rolls ready to make eager fingers and lips sticky with their sweetness. The vividness of the oranges and lemons and spice really liven up the comforting bakery aspects. This is not your typical Hot Orange Danish scent. I am saving this one to kick off fall. 

These lidded tubs are about 3 ounces and hold bath bombs called Tub Transmutation. They contain moisturizing almond oil and bloom in lovely shades of color. 

Agoraphobia- Notes: Sweet citrus bubbles and ginger ale, fizzing ripe red grapes, tart blood plums and lily. ($6.14)
My mouth waters when I open the lid and inhale this effervescent fruity libation. The ginger ale is unmistakable and forms the foundation of the brew. Sliced lemons and sweet sparkling grape juice join the ginger ale to create something I want to imbibe, but even better, I get to bathe in it. I am tucking this one away for an evening bath when I need an extra little pep, but I did use the next one...

Red Moon- Notes: Warm buttermilk doughnuts rolled in sticky sugar and oozing strawberry and raspberry jam. 
This is definitely an aroma I could get down on more in a wax tart format than bath and body care, but it is still well done. Tart and tangy raspberries merge with crispy fried donuts. In the tub this bath bomb fizzed and whirled with verve, turning the waters a candied watermelon pink tint. The fruits rose up out of the water and bakery notes dappled the steam. It was a fun bath and I will be looking to pick up some of these bath bombs in other scents that would be more my bathing ritual style. It was an excellent bath bomb and I like the way these are packaged. They make for easier storage than the spheres. 

Purge Potion is a thick consistency sugar scrub made from Australian cane sugar, grapeseed oil, avocado oil and shea butter. 

Tunguska- Notes: Forest greens with lime and winter berries, floral heart blended with ozone, green apple and musk. A crisp breeze and wilderness. ($10.65)
Tunguska takes the subtle perfume of evergreen and spruce from faraway woodland tundras and entwines it with ozone pulled in from the northern pole of the Earth's atmosphere. There is a stony chill wetness in the woods, but also an ethereal sweetness. Aquatic apples and airy limes. I love this scent. It is an illuminating scent, an olfactive representation of the teals, lime greens and pulsing indigo hues of an aurora borealis skimming over the snowy evergreen needles, reflecting and refracting like magic. 

I love the styling of this brand. The lids have stickers that reflect the scent within. Tunguska revolves around the phenomenon of the largest meteoritic impact that happened in recorded history. The shooting star is quite lovely but also hints at that event. I love it. 

The consistency of the sugar scrub reminds me of a lighter, more yielding version of The Bathing Garden's sugar scrubs. I can get a nice scoopful with my finger tips and massage it into my skin easily. Its medium sized particulate exfoliates wonderfully and the oils and butters aren't too heavy but add the right amount of moisturizing. It left my skin smooth and soft. I would happily buy this product and do plan on it.

Rota Fortunae- Notes: Jasmine, lily of the valley and rosewood blends with oriental spices and sweet citrus, mellowed with musks and vanilla. The capricious nature of fate. 
Though some say she may be fickle, she smells undeniably opulent. She is shrouded in a velutinous cloak of inviting jasmine woods. This is not tropical, heady jasmine but the ghost of jasmine long ago dried, a token from a former lover that lived a past life tucked behind the curl of an ear. Musky rosewood and the lily of the valley enhance that gossamer jasmine silhouette. Capricious Rota Fortunae is always welcome on skin and in my life. This would be amazing as a bath treat or bedroom fragrance. 

Check out this art! An arcane wheel of fate. Love. 

It is hard for me to capture the lovely subtle mica shimmer in this scrub but it is very nice. Not gaudy or over the top at all. Just right. 

I am impressed with the Obscurus line from Sophie of Femme Fatale. I can tell she put a lot of thought into her scents, ingredients and brand. I have not looked into the shipping yet, but the pricing of the products is more than fair with the exception of the wax tarts, those are a touch high when looking at market prices, but in my opinion not too high for me as I would pay extra for these types of boutique scents that blow me away. The packaging is top notch. The stories behind the scents add mystery and that extra level of detail I admire. 

Tomorrow I am going to feature Obscurus' Spring 2018 perfume oil line. Come by and check it out. 

Have you ordered from Femme Fatale? What lines do they carry that you love and I need to try?

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sanari Candle Giveaway!

I have a nice surprise for you all this morning! I did a review of Sanari's all natural artisan candles out of California not too long ago (you can read it here) and now I will be giving one away to one of my readers! I am also happy to present you with a 20% discount code for anything on the site. Use code: TLC20 from now until July 17th, the website is linked above and here

To enter the giveaway of the winner's choice of candle please comment below with which Sanari scent you would choose if you won the giveaway and why a natural candle is something you enjoy or would like to try. Make sure your scent choice is correct because that will be the one you get, so go visit the site! Leave your email address so you can be contacted. One winner will be randomly drawn in one week, Sunday June 24th.

Good luck!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

23.5 N Skin Care from Beautibi

These products were sent free as a part of the Beautibi panel in exchange for honest reviews. 

Beautibi is an Asian skincare boutique that I have purchased from a few times before. I love their beauty boxes and sheet mask bundles. Through one of these boxes I sampled a few 23.5N products and quite enjoyed them, particularly the Oriental Beauty Tea Toner and the Peppermint Refreshing Facial Cleanser. I recently became a part of Beautibi's 5th Beauti Panel to test out 23.5N Rice Soothing Active Essence and Red Pearl Barley Brightening Treatment Oil.

The Rice Soothing Active Essence uses natural ingredients and is fragrance free. Rice ferment filtrate from sake production, oryza sativa (rice) extract and sodium hyaluronate are the primary active ingredients in this essence which brightens and soothes dull skin, particularly irritated skin. And mine is usually quite irritated at me. I wash my face with cleanser at night and use toner in the morning when I wake up, after performing those two rituals I applied two pumps of this product to my fingertips and massaged into my face for the past three days. It is a light liquidy gel texture and feels like soothing watery aloe going onto the face, but without the slickness or stickiness. Very hydrating feel to it. There is a calming sensation that comes from smoothing this onto my face. Three days is too soon to notice a visible difference but I have not had any adverse reactions to this essence and my skin does feel more mellow and clear without the redness I sometimes get in my cheeks and on my nose. My acne seems less angry. I took a before photo and will share it. No filter, no editing, natural light. Crazy hair. I will come back in two weeks for an after photo and share them side by side. 

For my morning routine, after applying the essence I have been massaging this Red Pearl Barley Brightening Treatment Oil onto my face. I like a brightening boost for the start of the day. Usually from here I add SPF and/or my tinted moisturizer with SPF from Nars. If I just do the SPF my face goes nude for the day and sometimes those are my favorite days. As a sufferer of acne I do feel more comfortable if my skin is as calm as possible to go without makeup, but I will regardless. The treatment oil uses red pearl barley, red quinoa, and red pomegranate to nourish the skin and is great for uneven skin tones. This feels amazing on the skin. I shake it up (as the oils separate) and squeeze a dropper full onto my fingertips and apply. The oils feel plush and soak easily into the skin, leaving it feeling and looking velvety. I don't think I have noticed any visible difference yet after three days but again, my skin is reacting well to it and it may be combining with the essence to make my skin have the results I noticed above. This smaller travel six is $10, which is a great option for giving it a test drive. The full size 30ml is $49. I quite enjoy the thoughtful products made by 23.5N. They are cruelty free, vegan, made with Halal standard and additive free.

I will report back in two weeks for an update. 

If you decide you would like to give some new skincare a whirl from the many high quality brands offered at Beautibi, you can do so from now until June 30th for 15% off with the code: JULIE15

Friday, June 15, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: Part 5 Samples

When you get an order from Candles From The Keeping Room, you not only get highly scented adorable wax, you also get Carol's generosity. She takes her time to double bag, tie and wrap in paper, each of her creations. She also graciously includes tons of sample. I love the way Carol makes samples in new scents that will be debuting the next opening or two. It allows you test out her news scents and decide if a bag will be joining your collection on the next ordering day. Given the sheer quantity of the samples I got with my ginormous order I am going to simply give brief impressions if that is ok. 

Sweet & Sassy reminds me of Bite Me. It is an effervescent cherry lime pop and smells sunny and vibrant. 

Mint Mojito smells exactly like the drink tastes. Fresh pulverized mint leaves with sparkling soda and white dry woods. I miss having a mojito from time to time and this is a great substitute. 

You Crack The Whip Type smells of creamy vanilla berries and a touch of floral perfume on the edges. Quite yummy.

Solar Power comes in the sunny flip flops and reminds me of mild melons and sweet fruits. A tropical melon based scent.

Scandal has that fruity floral aroma that reminds me of something I would spray in Bath & Body Works or Victoria's Secret. 

Hedonic Tonic, boy this sounds naughty. It is a citrusy concoction that has some bergamot in it. Brings to mind Lush type scents. 

Cucumber Lavender is a surprise favorite. Again, I normally don't care for the watery cloying aspects of cucumber but here they smooth out the lavender and are barely detectable. It smells refreshing and airy. 

Raw Sugar and Mint is instant true love. I said it. Bracing mint with just a hint of sweetness. The pinnacle of mint scents. 

Bourbon Rice Pudding pulls boozy with whiskey with a hint of powdery tapioca pudding to add milkiness. It works. I like it in a strange way.

Homespun Sugar Cookie is another cookie classic from Carol. Sugar cookies with vanilla mixed with extra sugar. It smells lovely. 

Suede and Lace just might be the most well blended leather I have sniffed to date. It is very soft and supple and barely there. The musk and vanilla amber tones are allowed to play star over the suede and it is perfection.

Grilled Peaches and Pecans are easily the cutest wee tarts ever. This is a nutty peach with nary a spoonful of sugar. Quite interesting indeed. I swear I can smell the grill marks without it being smoky or like a bonfire, but that hesitant charcoal presence is there. 

Gorgeous Grey Votive Type has a grapefruit presence with woods, amber and rose to support it. The tartness is just a hair too powdery candy tarts to my nose to let me enjoy it. 

Sorrel and Lemon Jo Malone Type formed into yellow flip flops is quite fun! This is a strongly herbal aroma with thyme, rosemary, green geranium and mosses tempered by zesty unsweet lemons and petitgrain. Very refreshing change of pace from all the sweet scents I tend towards.

Tiffany's Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes comes in two vibrant mini bundt cakes and smells straight up delicious. Concentrated pumpkin flavors with thickly whipped vanilla frosted cupcakes. Doubly good.

Apple Martini, though I love Strawberry Martini, is not my jam. The apple is nice and plump with a watery green aroma but a touch too much. 

Black Code Armani Type is pure sexy man. A classic cologne scent with bergamot and a touch of dark guaiacwood. I will enjoy melting this one.

Hot Orange Bear Claw brings to mind the Hot Orange Danish that used to be so popular ages ago and mixes it with a stronger bakery note. 

Rose Cognac Sugar is a beautiful sugared rose aroma. Light on the cognac and smooth in execution. 

Deviant is another fruity floral perfume that features peony as the strongest player. 

Silk American Cream is a dupe for Lush's American Cream, a light powdery cream and strawberry musk that I used to adore. It is nice to have it on hand once again. 

Mandarin Tiki features the juiciest technicolor mandarin I have ever smelled. This one is an electrical summer scent.

Grapefruit and Mint is a pleasant combination to my nose. Quite unexpected. I like the uplifting aroma of this marriage of pink grapefruit and crystal clear peppermint.

Hugs and Kisses pulls pineapple and citrus along with flowers into another pretty fruity floral aroma. 

Teakwood and Coconut smells bloody brilliant. I love this scent. Chill coconut sunscreen merges with musky teakwood to make a divine beach house aroma. I need to melt this today. 

Queen B, sadly, possesses that cucumber version I do not care for. It does have a spicy sweet kick, reminding me of my beloved tamarind candy, but that aloe-ish cucumber is killing it for me. 

Twenty-Nine High Street Type has finally come across my nose!!! This is a Lush dupe, and I have not even sniffed the actual Twenty-Nine High Street, but Carol gets some of the best dupes so this is close enough for me. I have heard this is close to the scent of walking into a Lush Store and I agree with that. A hint of citrus, a hint of cotton candy and soft pillow florals and candies. 

Snowkissed Sugar Type is my favorite of the fruity floral perfume fragrances this round. It is very sweet and plush and pink smelling. 

Bamboo and Coconut punches my nose with heavy greenery. I swear when I first open the bag I smell freshly sliced green bell peppers but then it fades a bit and I get that bamboo and herbs. This one needs to be melted soon so I can get a better handle on it. 

Waikiki Beach Coconut Type sends images of summery tropical islands to my mind. A wonderful blend of coconut and tropical fruits and blossoms. 

Warm Vanilla Sugar and Cookies is quite yummy. I forgot how much I missed the musky beauty of Warm Vanilla Sugar and to mix it with cookies is quite genius. 

Wild Fig is simply lovely. A refined fig along the lines of a high end perfume house. Blended masterfully with amber and musk and plums and coconut. A gorgeous fig. 

Blackberry Ombre Popsicle is a pretty creamy fruity dark berry scent with a hint of coconut. 

My fingers hurt. But my nose is happy. So out of this bounty the ones I plan on seeking out in a full bag include: Mandarin Tiki, Teakwood and Coconut, Tiffany's Sweet Pumpkin Cupcakes, Sorrel and Lemon Jo Malone Type, Warm Vanilla Sugar and Cookies, Grapefruit and Mint, Wild Fig, Suede and Lace, Homespun Sugar Cookies, Cucumber Lavender and last but not least, Raw Sugar and Mint. See? See how many new scents Carol enabled me on! 

Which ones ring your chimes?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: Part 4 Woodsy, Herbal, Earthy

Happy Thursday and welcome to a day of outdoorsy aromas from Candles From The Keeping Room here on the blog. What is more earthy and outdoorsy than the wafting scent of patchouli? I believe these next three scents are all new to me from CFTKR. 

Vanilla Patchouli is a very mild mannered patchouli scent. It smells more of dusty vanilla woods and ambery musk rather than earthy patchouli. It is a pretty scent that gives a wonderful atmosphere to the home. It threw at about a medium in the living area and kitchen. Savanna commented on how pretty it smelled and pretty is the word we are going with here. 

Patchouli Chocolate gets the word mmmmmmmmmmm... because it is gooooood. This one strangely reminds me of a man. It is totally a burnished wooden chocolate with whispers of oak and tobacco and paired with the earthy salty tang of patchouli it is downright smoking. I will be getting this blend much more often. I swear I have sampled this before but it will not be passing under my radar neglected any longer. 

Patchouli Musk definitely smells fresh and clean for patchouli scent. In fact, if it wasn't in the name I don't think I would have pegged it for a patch. It smells of fresh air and powdery amber musk along the same lines of vanilla patchouli but less sweet and less earthy. I would say it is a nice white musk fragrance. It throws at about a medium-light in the living room and kitchen. I like it but I probably would not buy it again, which is just as well as I can't be buying everything again. 

Blue Cedar Lavender always clears my mind and brings me peace and calm. The lavender is velvety and softly herbal, the cedar is stately yet delicate. It is brilliant. And it throws nicely too. I simply love it. 

Woodland Festival captured my attention this opening. I am always trolling for scents with woods. This particular one touts patchouli, citrus, clove, mint, lavender, jasmine and pine. The scent is well blended despite all the heavy hitting notes. It actually has a sweet roundness to it that belies all the sharp, herbal and often times strong notes. The orange and jasmine meld effortlessly with the softwoods and remind me of a more Mediterranean woodland of the shore. It is a lovely fragrance. 

White Cedar Forest was one of my scent requests. I think it is really cool that Carol does that. And most times she will make just about everything that is requested if she is able to. White Cedar Forest, despite being one of my top wax scents, actually doesn't smell anything like it's name. It smells of cardamom sweetened coconut and vanilla musk. The woods are creamy sandalwood. This throws strong and smells fantastic. 

Swedish Dream Salt attributes its new life in my home, once again, due to the power of Carol's samples. With notes of cucumber, lavender, balsam, lime and salty ocean breezes, I probably would have passed it by (cucumber and I are on tepid terms). But I got the chance to melt this when Carol was sampling it and I fell in love with this fresh scent. Fresh and clean in a genre I am terribly picky about, much like fruits. This one lacks any artificial or harsh suggestions. It smells exactly like a seaside spa. The salty sea air does have threads of herbs and pines embroidered within it. 

Cedar Sage and Blackberry was another scent I requested. The blackberries are dark and plump but not overly sweet or juicy. They temper the green sage and cedar. It throws strong and smells even better once melted. Repurchase every time. 

Mulberry Home Interiors caught my eye because it reminded me of my mom. In fact, I bought this just for her. She used to have Home Interiors parties and PartyLight parties. She loved Mulberry and always liked to order Mulberry scented candles. This one is tart and sweet and smells like cranberries and mixed berries with sprigs of greenery for garnish. I hope she likes it. 

Smoked Vanilla somehow got past me for a good long while, I think. I saw someone mention it in a scent request list and my heart speed up! It is a dupe of one of my adored Bath & Body Works candles, Smoked Vanilla. I had this a winter or two ago and absolutely loved it. This one smells dead on. Smoky vanilla woods with a tonka bean warmth. Mama is getting another bag of this gem.

Pink Sugared Watermelon in a woodsy, herbal, earthy post? I know, I know. It totally "which one of these is not like the other" but I only have this one fruit scent so I had to stick it somewhere. This one is for Savanna as she is my watermelon girl. She LOVES watermelon wax tarts. This one brims with melon goodness and has the added pinkness of sweet cotton candy caramel sugar. Good enough to eat and perfect for summer. 

Of course, as usual, I would raid the Designer/Earthy/Floral category until my wallet ran dry but needs must. Smoked Vanilla and Chocolate Patchouli are two new top contenders and will become regulars in the line up. What are some of your favorite tart scents from Carol in this genre? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: Part 3 Holiday & Spice

Good Morning, friends! We are day three of Candles From The Keeping Room. Despite the fact I am mostly a seasonal melter I do try and pick up a few goodies from Carol's fall and holiday collection every time I order. Spices, adorable pumpkins and corn, great throw, all things I absolutely treasure in wax. The pumpkin shaped tarts run $6.25 a bag, which includes six pumpkin shapes and an ear of corn. 

Butternut Pumpkin, one of my very favorite pumpkin scents and a constant repurchase, is heavy on the spice but sweet with caramel, fruits and mellow almond along with the pumpkin. It throws strong and smells cozy.

Caramel Pumpkin Swirl possesses huge amounts of caramelized vanilla sugar and a tiny pinch of spice. This is one I buy from many vendors, but Carol's is one of the best. This was a repurchase. 

Pumpkin Wreath, another repurchase, speaks more to fall outdoors at apple orchards and pumpkin patches. The green tints of leaves and landscapes are sweetened by fresh ripe apples and cinnamon laced sweet pumpkins. A brilliant fall scent.

Pumpkin at the Fair is a first time purchase for me as I didn't look at the scent description before buying it. Turns out it is a great dupe for BBW's Pumpkin Pecan Waffles. I haven't had this scent in ages. It always smells of extra buttery butterscotch and pumpkin to me. Very decadent.

Apple Dumpling just might be my favorite apple cinnamon blend. It is highly juicy and with that tiny drizzle of pear nectar it smells even more vibrant. The spice is sweet and rich and fiery without being dry or cloying. 

Country Charm boasts notes of cinnamon, orange, clove, cranberries, green apples, raspberries, vanilla nutmeg and cashmere. It is an airy rendition of the spiced fruit aroma of a country gift shop. The cashmere gives it a veil of musk that keeps it from being too bold. I quite like it and would buy it again. 

Winter Wonderland holds notes of mint and pine. Why am I just now getting this one?? This will be a new winter go-to scent in those January months. It smells of sweet sugared spruce and snowy peppermint candies. It's perfect for my nose. 

Warm and Cozy sounded like how I would love my home to smell, so why not? It doesn't have much in the way of notes in the description but I smell sweet cinnamon and a touch of vanilla. It reminds me a little of Celtic Moonspice and Amish Quilt. Just a great cinnamon sugar staple. I look forward to trying this one out soon. 

Frosted Pine Noel is another new one for my melting pleasure. The pine is strong and a touch astringent but mixes wonderfully with the Vanilla Bean Noel. This is another winter winner. 

Country Christmas features that woodsy eucalyptus and camphor bearing bayberry. It really does smell like the woodland surrounding a cabin at Christmastime. A dash of spice and fruits adds a festivity to the fragrance. I don't think I have tried this one before but I would again. 

Peppermint & Cypress, yep, once again. I think this is the third or fourth bag and I seriously love it. It is a minty woods and greenery aroma that really opens my senses and makes me feel calm and my home feel clean and airy. I hope Carol carries this one for a good long time. 

That is my collection of holiday and spice scents from this most recent order. Do you see any that you love? What do you look to have on hand come fall or winter? 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: Part 2 Bakery

Welcome to the kitchen! Today I will be serving up cookies, waffles, cupcakes and cobblers from Candles From The Keeping Room. Each 6 ounce bag of tarts is $5.95. Since I already set up the order last post I am just going to jump right in. 

Ultimate Waffle Cone is one that I was sold on earlier in the year. This was one of Carol's infamous free samples that hooked me in. She mixed her intense Ultimate Bakery with waffle cone and extra frosting. The vanilla cakes and cookies and waffle cones all merge into a bakery bliss with a tiny hint of sweet almond. Caramel and merest tiniest pinch of spice, just for warmth, adds to the nirvana. I would buy this every time I see it if I could. 

Buttercream and Snickerdoodle has a bunch of delicious notes like nutmeg and pralines, cocoa and vanilla, but it pretty much smells like a delicious chewy cookie. It kind of reminds me of molasses cookies. I don't get any spice if you are wary of cinnamon, which I think is normally in a snickerdoodle cookie, but it does have some nice golden vanilla depth. I am happy to have this new-to-me scent as an everyday cozy vanilla bakery. 

Olde Town Bake Shop blends buttery vanilla, fresh dough, gooey batter and sugared almonds. This is another newbie for my nose but the name caught my eye (it is spelled Old Town Bake Shoppe on the scent list- I think I would like a mash up of both, Olde Town Bake Shoppe... yez). The sugared almonds are not overly potent but I do think they lend a slight brightness to the scent. It almost smells like a cream pastry with some lemon zest and slivered almonds sprinkled on top and muted by a cloud of powdered sugar. It is a lovely bakery scent that is not overly bakery if that makes any sense at all. 

Sugar Cookie Latte is a repurchase and is my favorite coffee scent ever. Ever. Most of the time I find coffee in wax to be overly strong and somewhat bitter, but Sugar Cookie Latte is a nice balance of both sugar cookies and creamy coffee. This sugared coffee is flavored with mocha hazelnut and the cookie adds a bakery flair, like walking into a small cafe' to order some morning treats. The throw is nice and strong but not obnoxious. 

Spiced Sugar Cookie is a first for me and I quite like it. It is a different kind of sugar cookie. It has a stronger sweetness and less bready aspect. The sugared cinnamon is very low key and only adds a gentle warmth, no fire. The vanilla in this sugar cookie is strong and along the lines of royal icing. I cannot wait to melt this one soon. Maybe on the next rainy day.

Cookies and Cupcakes definitely has that crunchy sugar cookie and strong bakery vibe to it. My first time with this scent, but definitely not my last. Another great basic crowd pleasing vanilla bakery but with more cake shot through this one. 

Cookie Cottage aims to capture a weekend at grandma's cottage baking cookies with notes of ginger, cinnamon, molasses, vanilla, clove and lemon zest. Mmmmm... yes. Cookie Cottage does have a nice cinnamon kick and the ginger is peppy too. This is pretty much a killer gingerbread cookie aroma. Perfect for the holidays. 

Apple Cobbler Delight has been purchased and repurchased by me as often as I can. It is a spiced caramel apple scent that throws well and makes my home comfy cozy any time of year. To have it in these adorable apple shapes is just the cherry on top. <3

Vanilla Sugar Waffle Cone features wafer cookies and vanilla buttercream. This is my first time with this scent and it is yummy, plus those waffle shapes! I find it possesses a similar sugar cookie vibe as Spiced Sugar Cookie but less spice and way more creamy vanilla. Almost a marshmallowy vanilla. A winner.

Prairie Cake is a house blend Carol created that melds "old world fruits, sugars, creams, brown sugar and nuts." Those old world fruits have hints of tart cherry and are smoothed with buttery sweetness. It almost reminds me of a cherry cobbler but more cobbler and more stewed fruits than cherry. It is a unique tasty blend in my collection and I am happy I finally got around to adding it to my order. 

These were the majority of my bakery scents. A couple more might pop in the fall/spice/holiday post to come. I am really happy with these comforting scents. Ultimate Waffle Cone, Vanilla Sugar Waffle Cone, Cookie Cottage and Spiced Sugar Cookie are some of my new found favorites. 

What are some of your favorite bakery scents from Candles From The Keeping Room?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: Part 1 Strawberries

Ladies and gentlemen... I am here to announce that I restocked my wax drawers. And I did it in style. And I did it whole hog. It has been a good long spell since I have ordered from Carol but this time I made up for it. My order was so big I have to break it up into various posts. Carol opened for orders June 2nd at 10am. She had the most stock I had seen in a long while. She had about 20 different strawberry blends alone. But I will get to some of those in a minute, because...

Welcome to Candles From The Keeping Room week here at The Redolent Mermaid! 

I will be breaking the posts up into: strawberries, bakery, holiday/spice and fresh/woodsy and samples. Yep. A whole post just for samples. Monday through Friday CFTKR shenanigans commencing today. 

Let's start off with the classic, Fresh Picked Strawberry. 
I have talked about Fresh Picked Strawberry  for about four years now. If I can, I pick a bag up in every order I place with Carol. I gift them to my sisters, friends and loved ones. I try and throw a berry in the swap boxes I engage in. They usually end up in RAOks too. Not sharing this scent is a crime. It is a ripe, realistic strawberry that is sweet and sugary, tart and juicy. It always reminds me of the flats of strawberries fresh from the fields at Parksdale Farm. It is a strong thrower and heady with summery plumpness. It is my favorite strawberry in wax. I love how Carol uses it to blend up all her delectable strawberry fragrances ($6.25 for six berries about 7 ounces in total).

Strawberry Cotton Candy Sugar Cookie blends FPS with cotton candy frosting and sugar cookies. Those sugar cookies are divine and feature strongly. I need to tell you something. Carol has the most amazing cookie scents. You should try out her Frosted Sugar Cookie, her Ultimate Sugar Cookie, her Sugar Cookie Latte. Here in this tart, that rich chewy vanilla bean sugar cookie is topped with strawberry frosting, extra sweet and garnished with candy floss. This blend is brilliant. 

Strawberry Noel is the bee's knees. I first got a sample of it from my friend Lynda ages and ages ago and managed to get a bag finally about a year or so later and melted through it. This is my second bag and I adore it. Fresh picked berries with that comforting vanilla cookie musk lurking beneath. I can't get enough.

Strawberry Martini is an effervescent bomb shell. It smells like a Rose' Champagne. A bubbling Moscato. The aldehydes and fir and citrus and ginger all mesh with the strawberries beautifully. I am stoked I took a chance on this. I have missed having truly bubbly scents in my stash.

Strawberry Margarita has a tart salty lime that sidles wonderfully along with the berry.  This might be the perfect summer berry, like a strawberry daiquiri and margarita frozen concoction that Jimmy Buffett would be proud of. 

Strawberry Soda Pop really does have a cola lean to it. The peaches and raspberries are slightly overripe and give the syrupy brown tang that characterizes cola. It is a very realistic scent but I find I am not a fan of rootbeer or coke in wax. I think I would prefer the Strawberry Cream Soda. I shall try for it next opening. If anyone would be interested in trying this Strawberry Soda Pop, just holler. The first one to comment they would like it may have it. <3

Strawberry Woods sounded like it would be a "Julie" scent and yes ma'am it is. The woods are comprised of sandalwood and vanilla bean and have an ambery musk yumminess. The strawberry goes surprisingly well with the vanilla sandalwood. I would wear this in a perfume. I would bathe in it. I am so glad I picked up two bags. 

Strawberry Preserves is a new one for me but I love strawberry preserves in real life so tucked it into my cart. This has the candy sweetness of preserves but a soft floral edge and creaminess that reminds me of the Strawberry Shortcake dolls. It is a fun scent that will be nice to melt in springtime. 

Strawberry Buttercream is rich and thick and full of cream. It does have a soft putty undertone on cold sniff. I will melt it soon to see how it develops. I try not to judge the 100% paraffin wax on cold sniff alone. 

Strawberry Filled Vanilla Wafer pairs that fresh picked strawberry with crisp crumbly vanilla wafers. There is a touch of bread to the wafer. This will be a great fall and winter strawberry to melt. 

Out of this bounty of berries I love the classic FPS, the Strawberry Martini, Strawberry Noel, Strawberry Woods and the Strawberry Cotton Candy Sugar Cookie, oh and the Strawberry Margarita, the most. I would buy all those again in a heart beat. What strawberry blend is your favorite?

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Ten Digit Creations: Small Haul

I placed a small order with Ten Digit Creations a month or so ago and wanted to show you the wee bit I picked up before I show you the bigger order I placed this past week. Amber's new wax formula is really great. Strong throwing and a nice consistency for molds. Her RTS section is fun to paw through. And it ships lightening fast. 

Hippie Hippie Shake/Amber Rose Tobacco/Cherry Tobacco ($1.65 each scent shot) this is a boozy tobacco scent that has a cognac vibe and a subtle dusting of rose sugar. Pretty seductive once its melted, it becomes more concentrated and the cherry tobacco comes out a touch more. It melted strong in my large living area and kitchen. I would buy it again.

Strawberry Shortcake/Raspberry Buttercream/Cookie Monster ($3.85 each at 3.5 oz) was a surprise purchase for me. I normally don't do fruity bakery but I wanted to give this one a try. On cold it smells of happy sweet berry candies with a heavy dose of vanilla cream and a touch of sugar cookie. It threw medium-strong in the living area and kitchen and was enjoyable. Probably not one I would gravitate towards or mix on my own, but I liked it enough to keep it going. 

Lavender Patchouli/Angel's Blood/Vintage Vanilla ($2.65 each at 2.5 oz) is a dark herbal dream. It smells like laundry a witch has brewed and agitated in her cauldron with copious sprigs of dried lavender and brittle patchouli, carnation petals and incense. I love it. 

Bamboo Teak/Dragon's Blood/Teakwood & Coconut ($2.75 for a pack of four at 2.5 oz total) fits my summer vibes. A hippy mermaid with long wild curls who burns dragon's blood resin in her hollowed out coconut shells and uses fan coral to waft it all over her rocky island. Gosh darn this is amazing. I put one in my bathroom and it gave off a wonderfully strong throw that left it smelling fabulous. I would make this scent again in a CYO blend. 

Vanilla Ice Cream/Sandalwood Marshmallow ($1.65 each at 1.5 oz) a creamy vanilla scent with a faint musky sandalwood haze that smells delish. It melts to a medium throw and smells simple and comforting.

Pink Sand Beaches/Blackberry Frankincense ($1.65 each at 1.5 oz) reminds me that Blackberry Frankincense can and should be blended with EVERYTHING! Somehow the sweetness of the Pink Sand Beaches makes the blackberry even sweeter and juicier and more vivid. Boy howdy this is good stuff. 

I am happy with this tiny order. Amber has $5 flat rate shipping which is fabulous. The $10 flat rate is a tad high for me but I will pay it if left no choice, however, $5 is great for when I want to make small orders. 

Have you ordered any wax lately? How do you feel about a whole week's worth of wax blogging starting tomorrow? 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Sam Ryde Jewllery

I am getting all the spooky fall feels when I look at this.

  Sam Ryde is a very talented UK based silversmith that I have featured a few times before on here. I have several of her pieces and they quickly fit right into the wearing rotation. She has revamped her website and it looks amazing. She has debuted a British Curio collection and a Botanical collection and still maintains her everyday wear pieces. She created a charming animal collection not too long ago with rabbits, foxes and bats. The bats. I had to have the bat. 

This batty beauty is about the size of a silver dollar and features a cast twig and succulent, stamped leaves and a bat silhouette dancing beneath a crescent moon. He is utterly charming indeed. 

If you like imaginative and magical pieces you should totally check out Sam's work. What creature would you like housed in this twiggy circle?

Friday, June 8, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Art of Love

Some more Nocturne Alchemy? Why yes, I did warn you after all. Nocturne Alchemy is taking down their Spring collections on June 22nd and I wanted to be a nice blogger, a forward thinking blogger, and get you these reviews so you can be an informed consumer. These scents are from the Art of Love collection within the Spring collection. I did tack on Holy Grail at the last minute but not in time for me to include it in this set of reviews. I may get to it at a later date. These perfumes are created using classic artwork as muses. I love the aesthetic of art included on the bottles and the scents are lovely.

Hygieia- Notes: French vanilla, Eternal Ankh vanilla, labdanum-honey, vanilla-infused-French benzoin, black sugar, Santalum White and Crystalline. Resurgence Art of Love $26

The amber glass bottle reveals Hygieia in feathery strokes of gilded honey and that undeniable vanillic amber of Eternal Ankh. A nimbus of golden vanilla and honey with faint sandy resins underlying it all. Brushed onto the skin the honey  pools warm and mingles with cream. The faint duksy aroma of tonka beans shadows the honey to give it depth and a soft texture, but this may be the Eternal Ankh because that is what it is starting to remind me of. Or it could be the black sugar. Either way it smells heavenly. It smells of a deep, dark vanilla infused honey with a foundation of airy resins. It almost has a blonde tobacco plushness in the base. I am very happy with this. 

Joan d'Arc- Notes: Black honey and rosewood, temple incense, Crystal, vanilla buttercream, Kashmir and a whole Georgian vanilla bean. Resurgence Art of Love $26

This is another one that cannot be judged from a bottle sniff. In the bottle there is a touch of sourness, perhaps from the buttercream or Kashmir musk or even the honey. But it mostly smells of sour honey. Get past that and drizzle it all over your wrist because a lovely transformation takes place. On the skin, Joan starts her life with arid cedary tones of rosewood then pulls in the smoky haze of incense to its heart. Kashmir musk, a touch animalic and with a breath of rouged rose, rises up along with cream. The cream doesn't seem to jive very well with the Kashmir but the musk burns off the cream pretty quickly and takes center stage. It settles into a vanilla woods with a deep burgundy musk. I think a little age will smooth out some of the rougher spots but it has great promise for sure. Tucking this one away.

The Symbol- Notes: Black vanilla, Crystal musk, amber resin, coconut milk, Tahitian/Kobalt/French/Crystalline vanilla, Sandalwood Ice Cream accord and black sugar. Spring Limited Art of Love collection $24

The Symbol is a delicious vanilla coconut with creamy sandalwood undertones threading through it. From the glass emerges coconut milk with a touch of mellow vanilla. Smoothed onto the wrists the coconut milk becomes richer and frothier, creamy and thick and takes on a dark sugary flavor. The dry down is my favorite part of this scent, when it matures and the sandalwood, black sugar, coconut and vanilla all meld into a warm shallow pool of sepia sweetness. The dark coconut woods smell tranquil. I think the black sugar reminds me a bit of Pink Sugar but heavy on the tonka bean and perhaps some labdanum to darken it up. I am really enjoying it and think this will wear exceptionally well in the rigorous Florida summer heat. 

I am thrilled with The Symbol and Hygieia and I think Joan d'Arc will come with time. 

Like I said, I added Holy Grail to a second recent order, along with Wisteria Creme. I have enjoyed the Spring Collection. Don't forget it comes down June 22nd. I must say though that I am quite anticipating the summer release. Savanna and I are awaiting the dinosaurs and I hope there will be some new bats too. 

If you could have a perfume that evolved from art what art would you choose? I bet a Starry Night perfume would be ethereal and moving. I think Dali's Port of Cadaques might be my pick though... an indigo midnight on salty waters with lights reflected up from the sea.