Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy: Book of Halloween Pumpkins

Nocturne Alchemy is unique among perfume houses in that their perfumers enjoy doing collaborations with other artists such as authors, musicians and visual artists. The House of Nocturne Alchemy has teamed up with Chris Raimo in the past. He has created exclusive art for their labels, especially Halloween releases. Last year Chris did a Kickstarter for his new Halloween book and pledging a certain amount enabled the purchaser to not only get a signed copy of his book but also two limited edition NA perfumes. I was quick to pledge.

Incense Pumpkin- Notes: Pumpkin accord, pumpkin skin, black fig, nutmeg, clove, butter accord, NA Kashmir incense, frankincense, myrrh, amber, nag champa and black amber.

Robust blood red Kashmir musk spools out of an incense stick, almost berry like in its texture and hue, from the orange bottle. Smoothed onto the skin the red musk resins continue to smolder along with amber thick with labdanum and cistus. In the heart, myrrh smokes upon a bed of straw and wooden nuggets with nag champa threads weaving through the haze. A warm spiced pumpkin rind like a ribbed harvest moon rises from the midnight patch where a multitude of these incensed offerings  wend their smoke to the stars. 

Vanilla Pumpkin- Notes: Pumpkin accord, pumpkin skin, black fig, nutmeg, clove, NA Crystalline, Bourbon vanilla, French vanilla, Tahitian vanilla, Ember vanilla, ember burning woods accord.

From the pumpkin hued vial arises a sweetly intoxicating vanilla that is shot through with veins of almond. This vanilla almond sugar rests in the womb of a russet roasted pumpkin. Basted on the skin, softly spiced pumpkin pie puree is layered with vanilla custard and drizzled with thin ribbons of golden caramel. The heart casts out a velvety and plummy darkness that appears to stem from the fig. This is not overly sweet but more fuzzy and furred like the skin of figs rather than their sticky flesh. The vanilla, fig and pumpkin are shrouded in cauldron smoke until the deep dry down when the Boubon vanilla comes out of hiding. 

I am very happy with not only the Book of Halloween by Chris Raimo but I am also happy with my Nocturne Alchemy pumpkin perfumes. These will be worn for many falls to come. Though they are not currently available for purchase they may come available from time to time on the Facebook indie perfume groups. 

Do you like the smell of pumpkins in perfume or are you more of an apple person? Or perhaps woodsmoke and crunchy leaves? 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Melting Basket 144

Autumnal wax from the last basket I melted and rolled my eyes over because it was simply so good: The Bathing Garden Cardamom Apple Pie, Beezy Apple Clove Butter, TDC Witches Brew/Patchouli/Cabin in the Smokies, and CFTKR Apples N Spice (super spicy apple cinnamon but doesn't last more than 3-4 hours), Noels of Autumn (for a creamy take on fall), Country Gift Shop (throws strong and smells amazing), Nights of Autumn.

Vintage Chic Scents Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Vintage Chic Scents The Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Vintage Chic Scents Cozy Jackie O
Bohemienne Life Zsadist
The Bathing Garden Cinnamon Cream Apple
Lasting Scent Candles Autumn Evening Hay Ride
CFTKR Apple Dumpling
CFTKR Cinnamon Apple Cider
CFTKR Cinna Bits
CFTKR Olde Town Bake Shop
CFTKR Farmhouse Kitchen

If you are curious about any of these scents please just let me know!

Hey. Guess what? I put some things up in my house. For fall. And it felt frustrating at first then it felt good. The best part was that the girls helped me. Savanna decorated my bedroom for me and I love it. Little black crows, bats and lanterns perched about the nightstands and dresser.

In an effort to minimize clutter I tired to cull some things from the collection. I don't have my home organized and decorated how I want it yet but this will be a nice way to document how it changes from year to year until I get situated. In the living room is where most of the decorations went. I love my Family Dollar light up pumpkin and I fit in where ever I can squeeze it. Right now he lives in a small house with a large bat flying overhead.

I promise this is not done. Not even really attempted. The bookcase is wobbly and needs to be secured to the wall and Adam left his drill at work so this will be completed later. When it is I will recapture it.

Even though the mantel is cluttered I like it. I do want to get some type of bunting to hang down to merge the gap between the mantel and the fireplace. I think. What do you think?

I love the pumpkin wizard but not sure if I will keep the other stuff the way it is. 


Had to throw this in. Savanna was trying to sketch, but the minute she does Toddles likes to remind her what she really should be doing.

I am happy I found a place for my "thankful" banner. I did try it over the fireplace but the colors didn't sit well. But I like it here in the dining room. It fits there anyway. Especially with the bright mums.

I have these old lanterns from my Pop-Pop. I put some candles in there previously but they were kind of messy as they melted. I found some battery powered short candlesticks on Amazon and they work perfectly. Strangely I like the remnants of the soot left behind by the previous wax candlesticks so I am keeping the glass lanterns sooty.

Not very Halloween or fall-like but I did add a few knick knacks to the kitchen shelf. The bird art to the right is made of feathers. I love it.

I finally got around to hanging some things in the sunroom. This little corner is pretty much finished. It is my record area with some art and plants thrown in. I want to keep it as simple as possible. The girls added the crows and tombstone.

Nothing too fancy or elaborate but there is officially some fall in the house. Once I get my bookstand and my mountain sign decorated I will post more photos. Maybe it won't be Christmas by then.

Are you fall ready? Do you merge fall and Halloween or keep it pretty separate? Does my Halloween/fall/Thanksgiving mish mash drive you bonkers? 

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sihaya & Company: Butterbeer Candle

Christina at Sihaya & Company pours beautifully blended and wonderfully scented candles. I have burned many of her creations but certainly have not touted them nearly as often as I should have. After ordering well over a dozen this past year I am currently making sure to remedy that. With fall upon us and the season of Harry Potter approaching, I present one of Christina's newest candles from the Wizarding Collection: Butterbeer.

Butterbeer- Notes: A delicious butterscotch concoction with marshmallowy foam and the slightest hint of rum. $12

Sihaya & Co. candles come in 8 ounce travel tins with a shimmer of beautiful glitter atop. The key with these candles is to keep the wicks trimmed and to burn as long as you can with the first burn. However, I will say that oftentimes I have not been able to burn for a hour or so and even though it seems like the candle will tunnel, if you keep burning at later times the heat from the tin will cause the wax to pool down into the bottom and it will level out mid-burn. I love these candles for my nightstand since they are smaller but I have been burning one in my kitchen and one in the living room too with nice results. I enjoy using the lids to snuff the candle out.

Butterbeer is a deep caramel laden dream with those sticky sweet butterscotch morsels tempered by that tiny hint of rum. I adore a butter rum scent and this is a tasty one. It throws strong in the kitchen. I have burned over half of it and I am seriously contemplating ordering another. It complements the spiced apple scents I have been melting in my wax tart warmer.

Of course I ordered the Pumpkin Juice candle as well and will feature it next. I also have several of the Halloween and Fall candles to discuss too. 

And the Harry Potter lipbalms. Yep, she made those too.

What candles are you burning?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

BranchOff Skin Care

These skin care items were sent gratis from BranchOff for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Sarah at BranchOff reached out to me and asked if I was interested in trying out her skin care and after looking into her story and at her products I was excited to accept. Sarah and her husband work together to create nature-based skin care with an emphasis on being environmentally friendly and giving back to nature as well. They do this through planting trees with every purchase and as of July this year they have planted over 10,000 trees through their "pay it forward" donations made possible through their customers' purchases.

I was sent two facial soaps, a facial scrub and a facial serum. I also have a soap and a mini jar of scrub to giveaway to you guys. <3

Lux Face Oil is on sale for $35 for 15 grams and acts as a rejuvenating and anti-aging serum. The ingredients are mostly organic and include: carrot seed oil, wheat germ oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, black cumin seed oil, frankincense, lavender and sandalwood essential oils and rosemary extract. It smells amazing and it feels beautiful on the skin. It nourished my skin and absorbed quickly. I will keep wearing until it runs out to see if I would purchase but as of right now, I would.

Salt of the Earth Himalayan Face Scrub is 4.2 ounces and is on sale for $24. The combination of fine grain salt and clays with emollient oils makes for a decadent facial exfoliation. I will say my face breaks out on the regular, especially around my cycle and so the salt does sting my acne but when my face is clear (and it was once or twice when using this) it feels wonderful. My skin is left pink, smooth and soft and if I need moisturizing I leave the oils on, but if I don't want the extra oils I just towel my face off and my skin is left feeling supple and velvety.

These face soaps are 1.5 ounces and are $5.50 each. The Activated Charcoal soap is formulated for blemish prone skin and is recommend to be used at night. I have used it and it cleans easily and rinses to a silky finish. Obviously, with my blemish prone skin this is tailor made for me. The other soap is suited for normal to dry skin and is a Moroccan Red Clay and Lavender bar, meant for morning face washing. This bar is also touted for winter washing when faces tend to be more dry. I don't personally wash my face twice a day but I have been alternating these soaps. They both lather well and do an excellent job cleaning the skin.

This mini facial scrub and Moroccan Red Clay bar are up for grabs. I will also be throwing in some wax and perfume and other goodies. If you would like to try BranchOff and enter the give away comment below with a movie you love to watch in the fall. 

All of my readers can get 15% off of a $20 purchase or more by using the code: MERMAID
Code expires October 11th. 

Monday, September 9, 2019

Vintage Chic Scents: August Restock

I placed a healthy order from Vintage Chic Scents a few weeks ago, grabbing several fall fragrances and a tiny handful of everyday scents for the bedroom. Kirby really has a wonderful things going with her current business model and her growth has only made ordering from her easier and easier. Pretty much any time I pop over to her website I can find plenty to covet. I also love that she has more and more of the smaller sizes available to purchase to take new scents out for a spin. I took advantage of those smaller options this last order but I also grabbed two loaves.

The Bourbon Orleans Hotel- Notes: Rich vanilla bean topped with whipped marshmallows, pumpkin cupcakes and Cider Lane. $19
I always forget how much I enjoy a good Cider Lane blend around fall time so I picked this loaf up figuring I couldn't go wrong... and I didn't. The creamy apple goodness of Cider Lane features in the spotlight with extra vanilla sweetness. The pumpkin cupcakes are mellow on cold sniff but they might comes out later when melting. Either way, I am thrilled with this one and it will be in the next melting basket. 

This is Halloween- Notes: Just like walking into a bakery filled with all things pumpkin, Jack Skellington approves! $19
Most certainly a pumpkin forward aroma with minimal spice but loads of bakery goodness to back it up. Pretty much like a fresh baked pumpkin cake. I might blend this with some spice forward scents like Celtic Moonspice or Amish Quilt because you guys know I am a spice fiend. But if you are spice adverse, check this scent out. 

Edward Scissorhands- Notes: Spooky citrus Halloween punch filled with mulled fruits, sugared berries and garnished with spun sugar. $6.30
This is called a Plain Jane Souffle and is a hefty size, probably at least 4-5 ounces. The scent is definitely punchy and tart, filled with cranberries and citrus and harvest fruits. I was hoping for a touch of those mulled spices but this is pretty peppy and fruity. Almost summery in its vibrance which suits back yard BBQs with Edward on his Florida lawn. I love that movie. It was filmed in Lakeland at an iconic strip mall. I thought of this movie every time I drove past it.

Chef Wendell's Cinnamon Squares- Notes: Your favorite cinnamon swirled cereal with ice cold milk. $2.75
I love Kirby's leaves. They are usually over 2 ounces of wax and I get two melts out of them. Plus I appreciate the shape. This smells exactly like a chilled bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Kudos to Kirby. 

Hot Patootie- Notes: Cinnamon Vanilla Glazed Old Fashioned Pumpkin Donuts. $2.75
Yes! Now here is my spice. Warm cake donuts flecked with cinnamon and baked with pumpkin puree in the batter. Divine.

The Munsters- Notes: Pumpkin salted caramel eggnog. $2.75
I had to try it. And it is pretty good. It comes off more as a caramel drizzled pumpkin milk shake but I dig that too. 

Cream Cheese Spindle Curse- Notes: Cinnamon glazed snickerdoodle donuts atop vanilla bean cream cheese cake with marshmallow filling. $2.75
The white wax with the black glitter is really effective at a Halloween aesthetic. It smells great too. Heavy vanilla with chewy bakery and a small pinch of cinnamon. I will be melting this one very very soon.

Carnival of Souls- Notes: Cider donuts, pumpkin cheesecake and Marshmallow Fireside. $6.30.
You know I had to add to cart when I saw Marshmallow Fireside in there. And it is mostly a Marshmallow Fireside scent with a sweet spiced treat baked right inside. The apples pop out more than the pumpkin but I like that. Very yummy. I will have the urge to hoard this one until I can obtain more.

Red Lips- Notes: Juicy plum and vanilla lace. $3.10
These roses are a little over 2 ounces of wax each. Red Lips is another tart and juicy fruit scent, almost like black currants and sour grape candy. The vanilla lace is quiet in this one. 

Sugar Milk Mania- Notes: Caramelized sugar blended with vanilla extract and sweet milk. $3.10
I totally get the crisp burnt sugar aspect that reminds me of the top of a good creme brulee, but there is a dryness to the milk portion that throws it off for me. It is almost like baby cereal. This is no knock on Kirby's blending. I have never been a fan of milk scents but figured I would try again since it had been so long. This will get passed onto a friend.

The Green Fairy- Notes: Absinthe with caramelized sugar. $3.10
Heck yes. This is fantastic. Woodsy anise and creamy caramel chews. I love absinthe scents.

Abbey Road- Notes: Tobacco leaf, shaving cream, teakwood, amber and cedar. $3.10
Another brilliant blend. This smells incredibly sexy and a touch masculine. I love the squeaky clean shaving cream that fluffs out into clouds of woods and amber. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving- Notes: Sweet potato, gooey marshmallow, sugar cookies and caramel cupcakes. $2.75
I have had this long ago and liked it a lot. The sweet potato is thick and starchy but the additional sweets make it creamy and delicious.

Superstition- Notes: Sweet cinnamon glazed  apple fritter funnel cake. $3.10
Hm. The apples here are very puckerish. They remind me of drinking in clubs in the beginning of the new millennium. I was hoping for more of an apple pie meets extra cinnamon. But I am sure I will find someone to love it. 

Black Swan- Notes: Patchouli, vetiver, citrus and sandalwood. $3.05
Oooo! A lovely Lord of Misrule dupe. I missed this fella.

Gold Dust Woman- Notes: Patchouli and vanilla. $3.05
A pretty blend of feathery light patch and cottony, almost honeyed, vanilla.

A Wink and a Smile- Notes: Buttercream frosted sugar cookies. $3.05
Can't argue with a classic. Crispy yet chewy wholesome vanilla sugar cookies. 

I had so much fun placing this order and pawing through these goodies. It has been far too long since I had a nice VCS splurge. 

Do you have any favorite VCS scents? Are you excited to try any of Kirby's new Halloween blends? I seriously need to get my hands on some more Carnival of Souls. It is so good. And I seriously need to decorate my house. What is wrong with me?

Friday, September 6, 2019

Indie Pickup September: Obscurus Wax

This wax tart was given free by Femme Fatale Cosmetics. All opinions are my own.

The Indie Pickup theme for September is Magic & Alchemy. Obscurus wax will be featuring this wax tart in the scent Witch Runes and will be for sale September 7th-10th via Indie Pickup

Witch Runes- Notes: Plums, berries, cinnamon, orange spice, cherry glaze, vanilla, juniper and spruce.
Witch Runes is one of those forbidden fruit scents that reels me in every time. Sanguine berries vibrate with plumpness, their dark sticky juice trickles ruby sweetness throughout the scent. As it melts the purple fruits are joined by tiny sprigs of evergreen needles. Despite the notes, this is not a Christmas or holiday aroma, but more of a bountiful gathering of wild harvested berries. It is lovely and a perfect transition from summer to fall. Two cubes threw medium-strong in the kitchen.

I love this scent. 

Are you a fan of dark berry scents?

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Melting Basket 143: First Fall Basket of the Year

Wax from the last basket I would happily buy and melt again: Handmade in Florida  Lavender Ice, CFTKR FPS, Strawberry Cotton Candy Sugar Cookie, Grapefruit and Mint, Tonka and Vetiver and Silver Birch and Vetiver.

The Bathing Garden Cardamom Apple Pie
The Bathing Garden Fantasy Punch
Beezy Country Bumpkin
Beezy Apple Clove Butter
Ten Digit Creations Witches Brew/Patchouli/Cabin in the Smokies
CFTKR Apple N Spice
CFTKR Noels of Autumn
CFTKR Country Gift Shop
CFTKR Nights of Autumn

I did end up melting a few of these prematurely waiting on the hurricane and all. Savanna got so excited to smell apple cinnamon in the house. Country Gift Shop is amazingly strong and wonderful as well as Cardamom Apple Pie. I am looking forward to melting the TDC loaf and the Nights of Autumn. I recently placed a tidy TDC order. There I go ordering wax again. <3

The hurricane passed us by a thin margin and I am ever so thankful about that. Dorian was a beast and many only a couple hundred miles from me are devastated with destruction. Today Orange County schools are back up and running so the girls and I head back to our works. I wish I could say the days off were a relaxing holiday extended weekend but that under current of anxiety that runs through the hurricane wait is always intense.

I did get a lot of reading done. I tried to go outside as often as I could since the heat wasn't blazing and the sky often overcast.

It was a weekend of books for sure though. Friday my friend Tricia and I attended a romance authors social and I got to listen to Solani Dev talk about why she writes. It was very inspiring. We met about half a dozen authors and left with a few autographed books. I also applied for my Orange County Library System card. 

Saturday Savanna, Scarlette and I checked out The Book Rack which is a used book store in Ocoee. It was packed to the gills with books and Savanna left with about a dozen Dean Koontz and a few Michael Crichton. I made Scarlette pick one out. I left with about four. Some were a quarter and one was to fulfill the reading prompt about having the same initials. 

Yesterday I got a nice fat delivery from the Book Outlet and Thrift Books. I also pre-ordered the new Maggie Stiefvater that is releasing in November. In between all that I finished Dean Koontz's Phantoms and began The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal and Hysteria in 1692 Salem by Stacy Schiff. So books were definitely my medication of choice.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of the plants that are growing in my yard right now. The camphor thicket runs along the back edge of our yard. My friend Nancy named her new home not too long ago and I am charmed by the idea of naming my house now. I am not quite sure what it would be but I do like the idea of it having a nod to either the camphor trees in the back yard, the abundant oaks or the four magnolia trees I have on the side. But I am leaning towards the camphors or oaks since they were here before the house was built. What do you think: Camphor Cottage, Southern Oak Rambler, Camphorwood House, Live Oak Homestead? Feel free to chime in!

How is your September unfurling? Have you decorated for fall yet? I have not and I think I need to.