Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Riddle's Tea Shop Quarterly: Deatheaters' Tea Club

Yeaaaaahhhhhh. I am way behind on this one. But whatevs. Still showing it. Riddle's Tea Shop released a Halloween and then a holiday Deatheater's Tea Club box and then one more Auror Tea Society box for Christmas. I did get all three as they are the last quarterly boxes Riddle's is doing for a little while. These boxes were $42 and included teas, art, a coaster, a candle and more. All themed around the thinning of the veil.

A decaf tea flavored in Vanilla Pumpkin Chai and named Merope's Embrace emerged from the box. Merope Gaunt, the mother of Tom Riddle, led a melancholy life so her embrace may be a despondent one. I have not sipped this one yet but I am sure it will be delish. 

An enamel pin and wooden planchette coaster both slithered from the box with spells and symbols and all sorts of reptilian alchemy imbued upon them. 

Two tin canisters housed a few bags of various flavored black teas. One was a spiced blackberry tea that tasted amazing.

What I enjoy about Riddle's teas is that they taste delicious enough that no sugar or milk is needed. 

A Voldy tarot card lurked about the box as well, along with a tiny amethyst crystal and some pyrite. 

I am coming to love these Tookish Candle Company candles. I keep stalking their store to see if they will be restocking any time soon. 

I will see if I get around to showing the Christmas boxes. The Auror one was Holiday on the Hogwart's Express with cheery reds and golds in a classic Christmas theme and the Deathearter's box was an 80's prom/formal holiday dance with teals, pinks and purples. They both contained some gems in there like hilarious pins, tea towels and even ornaments. 

Do you drink tea? What are some of your favorite tea getting places?

Monday, December 17, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Yule Deer Collection

These perfumes were sent gratis from Julia as a gift. All opinions are my own.

I purchased a few Arcana Wildcraft Yule Resurgence scents and with them Julia sent the Yule Deer Collection. I will chat about the ones I paid for in a few days but I wanted to start out with these since they are so lovely, brand spanking new and currently in stock. These scents are $28 each and draw inspiration from the Reindeer Goddesses. 

Her Antlers- Notes: A symbol of her proud countenance. A rugged blend of Moroccan Atlas cedarwood with dry, woody amber, melted honey and a chunk of rich labdanum.
Noble cedar flesh shining with citrine and yellow topaz effervescence is tempered by the dark sticky fond of my beloved labdanum when inhaled straight from the phial. Applied along the soft nap of skin the perfume speaks of the duskiness of rich labdanum. Labdanum is a resin that is birthed from the cistus, or rockrose, shrub and often appears in amber accords. Much like vanilla can smell an infinite variety of ways from boozy to wooden, milky cream to a floral orchid heart, labdanum can run the gamut of facets as well. Within Her Antlers and fresh on the skin, the labdanum manifests with leather and hearth tones. The other notes simply exist to enhance the abundant beauty of the caliginous and snuggly resin. This perfume smells like how I feel when I am enjoying solitude by candle glow in a quiet, safe and warm space. The drydown of labdanum tends to swerve a little animalic on my skin and this one does too but I enjoy a little purr in perfume. If I could persuade you to try a fragrance, it would be this.

Her Heart- Notes: Rose attar and rose geranium with sweet clove, ylang ylang, sticky blackened amber, tobacco, jasmine absolute and Mysore sandalwood.
I find as I get along in my perfume journey that I love rose but I am terribly particular about how it is presented. I like a plush shadowy rose that has a bit of darkness to it. Green, bright roses with sharp edges push me away. This is a dark rose. The burnished burgundy hue of a deep and powerful heart. Pressing my nose to the bouquet of perfume unfurling from the amber glass divulges the secret gathering of precious blossoms and sacred woods in a tenebrous glen. The sandalwood soaked rose oils gleam in umber hues. On the skin Her Heart flows like a thick salty tide of rose attar that pulses with sanguine petals and smoky sandalwood, the inner tide that ebbs and flows from the heart. Nocturnal jasmine and spiced tobacco shade the rose attar with the low susurrus of dark blood pushing along its curling and intimate trails. Eventually the rose fades and a softly smoked amber lingers pleasantly. This scent is powerful yet gentle, dark and velvety, otherworldly yet painfully familiar. I love it.

Her Crown- Notes: The essence of a delicate crown of flowers. Wild-harvested lavender and French lavender absolute with gardenia, ivory tuberose, jasmine sambac vies, fever grass and citron.
Liquid flowers. Creamy gardenia and tuberose and jasmine experienced beneath the chilled burble of a crystal clear stream, this is what pours from the bottle. Damp on the skin the flowers break the surface of the water and illuminate the skin with their creamy and indolic aromas. Their intimate pollen filled anthers and swollen sigmas brush against the skin and impart jolts of nectar, banana, cream, sweat and flesh within a heady white floral heart. Her Crown is lush and bountiful, dew drop riddled. A glinting of citrus sparks along the florals for a moment before the headiness subsides into a watery garden once again. As the crown of flowers settles back into its stream some grassy vetiver strands sway along the edges of the moving water. A lovely white flower perfume that smells of wild spaces.

Her Forest- Notes: Layers of velvety forest mosses and soft green lichens with wild-harvested Northern fir tips, Bourbon vetiver, black oudh and a hint of forest floor.
The notes on this one. They all speak to me. Sniffing gently from the vial the fir tips tumble out and scatter while notes of damp humus and grassy vetiver tease out between the evergreen tufts. Dappled onto the skin like sun through the leaves, the forest floor awakens and shakes itself from the winter slumber. The brackish leaves rustle like scales on a great beast, tannic and loamy. As the hide shivers and stirs the trees tremble and drop their needles and greenery in a waterfall of foliage. Papery skinned lichens and the dry curled tresses of moss float like confetti in the energized air, taking an indiscriminate path down to the earth. They possess a dried grass quality that hints at earthen romps in childhood. Her Forest burrows down into a gorgeous midnight oudh with a sweet resinous foundation. This has my heart.

Her Tribe- Notes: Her people follow the Great Herd. Powerful sandalwood, Omani frankincense, delicate neroli blossoms, wild sweet orange, 13 year aged patchouli and red dragonsblood.
From the glass rises a lively and bitter neroli that clears the mind and palate like a purifying tonic. This really is a powerful scent and intense experience once it hits the skin. The neroli flashes brilliantly then quickly makes way for the caravan of frankincense and resins much like a supernova giving birth to the elements to drift among the universe in a procession of life. Her Tribe might just be the sleeper hit of the collection. Golden incense waltzes with sugared mandarins and ruby red Dragon's Blood. The array of sunset hues sparkles on the skin. Incredibly energizing and grounding. As the twinkling resins and citrus move on into the distance, a mineral bearing patchouli rolls in. This is a beautiful patchouli that is warm and wooden but with a sliver of metal running through it. The sweet pulp of oranges continue to mingle with the patchouli to further round and warm it. A beautiful marriage of scents.

Her Fawn- Notes: The scent of innocence itself. Soft brown velvet, skin musk, reindeer milk accord, rich butter CO2 extract, copaiba balsam, white iris, beeswax, maple sap and a sliver of dry coconut.
Sweet, buttery milk. A touch of musk. This is breathtakingly beautiful and strange. From the bottle to the wrist the perfume dances around that ethereal creamy musk. A slight whiff of coconut rind and old books creeps around the edges of the milkiness and then the heart opens up to reveal a fragile iris bulb in full bloom. This fawn with a powdery soft coat and a half moon belly full of mother's milk that is fragrant with bulbs and sweet honeyed plantlings springs on impossibly dainty hooves in the golden haze of dusk. She orbits around her mother, guided by the tawny musk that pulls like gravity. Don't be scared by the butter note, it only serves to round out this scent into a well blended beauty that is more than the sum of its parts. I really do love the allusion to old books and wooden desk that I get from time to time. This one is special.

Her Shaman- Notes: A spiritual medicine bag filled with golden chamomile, wild cannabis, mugwort and patchouli leaf rests on a bed of Canadian black spruce and silver pine branches. 
Unscrewing the cap is like loosening the strings on the small leather medicine pouch, a rattling and papery collection of dried chamomile heads, lavender sprigs (must be the silver pine that is making me things of this herb) and various greenery, seeds, roots and buds that live also with a stone or two and a bone and feather. Smudged onto the inner arms a lemony tincture of chamomile acts as aromatherapy of the very best sort. This is inhaling the steam from a hot mug of chamomile tea with a drizzle of honey and a squeeze of lemon to erase the hectic from the day, to sooth the hackles and induce placid thoughts. Once the chamomile vapor diffuses the shaman pinches the verdant spruce and pine needles from the pouch and grinds them between weathered fingers, releasing their fragrant sticky life blood to mingle with the gentle herbs that have been pinched and harvested with intention and permission with the very same hands. Visions of grasses, brush and saplings mix their vibrating chloroplasts with the microscopic life that teems in the soil unseen but as abundant in one teaspoon as the peoples that populate the entire planet. This is the scent of life. Of healing medicines. 

I just love the artwork on these bottles. The names are brilliant. The scents are brilliant. Julia has been tucking awesome stickers into each order and I love those too. I have been putting them on my planner to remind me of my year's olfactory experiences.

I am head over heels for this Yule Deer Collection. Normally I can easily picked two or three standouts but these all are so varied and individually lovely that I simply cannot. I will be wearing and enjoying these all for a long time to come.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sawdust & Embers: Texas Cedar Candle

This candle was sent gratis from Sawdust & Embers. All opinions my own.

I love this Texas Cedar woodwick candle from Sawdust and Embers. It blends essential oils of cedarwood, fir needle, bay leaf and bergamot with musk and tobacco. It is easily my favorite so far. 

I really like the travel tins. They are the perfect size for bedside burning. They are 7.5 ounces and run $18. The coconut wax blend and the essential oils make for a quality experience. 

Texas Cedar burns beautifully. The throw is medium-strong and the scent is stunning. It is a sophisticated spin on cedar with the bright addition of bergamot and the smooth musk and golden tobacco. No hamster cage shavings here. Just fragrant airy woods and a sexy lumberjack vibe. After all, he is the one wearing the spiced bergamot with a bit of the outdoors clinging to him. Please don't think this is a cologne fragrance though, it is much more balanced and natural than that. 

The cutest sample of Muir Woods arrived with the candles as well. This tiny tin fits perfectly in my tea light holders and gives the most amazing crackle. It is a fresh dewy morning in the woods with greenery and meadow flowers scattered among the feet of the trees. Quite lovely.

Sawdust and Embers will be visited by me more frequently in the new year. I will be back for more of Texas Cedar and I will be begging John to sell his minis. 

If you are curious about Sawdust and Embers and want 10% off your purchase use the code: REDOLENT at check out. 

Do you like woodwicks? What is your favorite woodsy note?

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Melting Basket 133: Holiday Home Decor

Wax from the last basket that I would purchase again: Bohemienne Life Pacific Forest, Book Scents The Gathering, Beezy Apple Clove Butter and Country Bumpkin, SMT Banana Nut Bread/Celtic Moonspice/ Honey Gingerbread, CFTKR Maple Buttercream Cookies.

Handmade in Florida- Peppermint Place
Handmade in Florida- Welcome Winter
Handmade in Florida- Wonderland
Lasting Scent Candles- Cranberry Citrus Balsam
Lasting Scent Candles- Sugared Berry Clove
Lasting Scent Candles-Holiday Hearth
Candles From The Keeping Room- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy
Candles From The Keeping Room- Noels of Christmas Past
Candles From The Keeping Room- Plumberry Spice
Candles From The Keeping Room- Frosted Pine Noel
Vintage Chic Scents- Fezziwig's Christmas Party
Vintage Chic Scents- Smoky Mountain Christmas
Vintage Chic Scents- Christmas Time is Here
The Bathing Garden- Ghost os Christmas Yet to Come
Candy Panda- Wonderful Christmastime
Sniff My Tarts- Enchanted Forest/Frasier Fir/Vanilla Snowflakes
Bohemienne Life- Pacific Forest
MoonaLisa- Kris Kringle
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Santa's Pipe

I think this is it! This is my Christmastime basket of holiday scents to make my home comfy cozy during the festivities.

I was excited to decorate for Christmas this year. I think it is because I know it will be the last one in the home that started it all. Adam and I were newly weds when we built our simple, small home back in 2005. We briefly had a "man cave" for Adam before news of a baby arrived. Soon it was painted green and yellow since we did not wish to know the gender. Christmas soon took on more magic under the watchful eyes of toddlers.  

I still have the watchful eyes of one believer in the home and I think this may be the last, which is fitting.

The girls ask if we will still do the advent calendar and carry on our traditions. Of course we will. They will still get emails from Santa and tacky Christmas socks even if they don't end up in a Montessori school. (Because in Montessori the kids take their shoes off in the classroom and socks are the coolest form of individual expression.) 

I think we will have a lovely holiday. I cannot believe Christmas is already less than to weeks away. 
 Are you traveling to see family or friends? What are your holiday plans?

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sihaya & Co: The Art of Hygge

Sihaya & Co. sent this box gratis in exchange for photographs. All opinions my own.

Sihaya and Company's winter box is themed around The Art of Hygge, which even though I haven't read any of the books concerns hygge I am familiar with the term and comfort is always something I can embrace wholeheartedly. The traditional full sized winter boxes were $67 while a petite version, that lacked the perfume and whipped soap, was offered for $42.

Latherati contributed a 4 ounce body lotion in Cozy Winter ($8). "Imagine being wrapped in a cashmere blanket with a hot peppermint mocha warming your hands, a comforting vanilla dessert, the soft glow from a smoky fire in the corner and snow covered pines through frost covered windows." 
I mentioned my enjoyment of Latherati body lotions a couple times in the past and this one is just as enjoyable. A light, easily absorbed formula that doesn't feel greasy or oily is scented in what predominately smells of peppermint hot cocoa. There may be other notes at play but these two feature as the stars. I love minty scents and this is a nice one to wear before bedtime.

Lumina Noctis Hygge Lip Butter ($8.50) arrived in a dainty glass jar and holds notes of spiced winter clove, herbal lavender, dark cocoa and bourbon vanilla. I quickly fell in love with this creamy thick lip butter. It indeed feels like a gourmand butter on the lips. The notes unfold in a beautiful but unexpected ways. The herbal metallic coolness of the lavender pushes nicely into the bittersweet chocolate while the clove is warm and woody. The vanilla lies like a current of cream that all the sharper tones sink into. If this was a candle I would be in heaven. The lip butter imparts a mellow shimmer coming from its golden base. It is nourishing and luxe. If you enjoy a slippery, soft and oil based lip balm (rather than a waxy one) this one is for you. I already know I am in love. I picked some up as gifts and one more for myself. A little goes a long way so it should last a good long while.

When I saw a bar of chocolate I knew this was a true hygge box. All it needed was a quilt and a steaming cup of lansang souchong to be complete. I have not really explored the world of artisan chocolate like I have wanted to so this bar is very much welcome.

Immortal Mountain Chocolates handcrafted chocolate bar in First Frost Cacao ($5.25) nestled inside the box with its blue foil wrapper gleaming like a grown up Wonka treat. This vegan bar of chocolate is composed of Ecuadorian cacao, Vermont maple syrup, vanilla beans, black lava salt and peppermint oil. The dark chocolate bar breaks with a satisfying snap and smells of dark, bittersweet cocoa. There is a velvety grain to the chocolate that is quite lovely. It melts easily on the tongue and hints at the faintest sweetness. The peppermint imparts a coolness but never comes right out and speaks of candy canes or minty disc candies. Once in a while a tingle of salt reaches the tongue to highlight the dark chocolate. This is first and foremost a dark chocolate bar and everything else serves to lift that up. It is delicious and I already picked up a forest version.

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab brewed up an exclusive concoction just for the winter box, a scent called Black Cherry Apricot Glogg and Sweet Incense ($26). "Both celebratory and cozy, this is the scent of a warm mug of muscatel, dry red wine, brandy, akvavit and bitters steeped in orange peel, cloves, fresh ginger, cinnamon, sugar, star anise, dried apricot, Luxardo Maraschino cherries, and cardamom embraced by a thick shawl of myrrh and red benzoin. 
I did not wear this one as I sent it off as a gift to a friend who simply adores cherries but from my brief experience sniffing the vial this one is a stout dark cherry with soft mulled spices and a thread of wooden incense and resins laced throughout. I have a feeling it would be a beauty for those who enjoy holiday fruits.

I was stoked to see this Whipped Soap from Haus of Gloi in the aroma Cozy Sweater ($8) since I have not been frequenting Haus of Gloi as often and I know I love Cozy Sweater. "Pale skin musk, faded perfume, Egyptian amber, softly burning nag champa incense and a fine aged vanilla."
This is lovely. The nag champa floats tenderly like the petals of delicate flowers rather than earthy and pungent like it can sometimes be portrayed. Musk feathers out the incense even further, blending it out beautifully. The whipped soap feels tacky with an emollient base that is easy to grasp and lathers into a creamy white silk. The scent is wonderfully strong and it rinses clean but still leaves the skin feeling baby smooth. It is almost like a cross between whipped soap and body cream.

Sydney Grace is a fabulous high quality artisan cosmetics creator. They were lined up to contribute an exclusive taupe shade of cream eyeshadow for the Hygge box but the California wildfires hugely impacted their production. Sydney Grace sent out various shades instead and I landed a color in Boardwalk ($8) which is a stunning metallic copper. A tiny bead of the cream applied perfectly to both eye lids. I used my finger and blended it onto my lid all over. No primer was used and it lasted all day. Granted it was a lazy day with no sweating, running around or being exposed to the elements but the lasting power was great. It didn't crease and the pigmentation pay off was stellar. 

Sihaya and Company candles are always welcome in my home. I love the scents, the label art, the burn quality and the shimmery glitter.

Courage, Comfort & Joy- Notes: Glad tidings of warmth and hope. Ligonberry, mulberry, red apple, balsam fir and cozy wintery spices. ($12)
I love the robust fruitiness of this candle. The mulberries and apples and bright red ligonberries swell with sugary tartness and crimson juices. The spices flicker like warm diffuse candlelight to warm the aroma and the fir needles translate into a melodious sugared spruce that barely breaks the surface but adds cheer.

This candle burned beautifully with a medium strong throw in the bedroom on my nightstand.

The wintery shimmer in the candle is stunning. Like a frosted winter scene. 

Sihaya & Company's owner, Chris, is currently on maternity leave as her baby is due any day now. The store is still open but she will only be shipping once a week. I believe she will eventually get back to making candles and boxes and such but right now it is time to nest. Time for comfort and finding hygge during the holidays. 

My hygge: 
- Toddles in my lap purring.
- Warm spiced tea under a quilt I made from scraps.
- Winter nights snuggled in bed with a good book, usually Adam watching videos on his phone beside me.
- Evening movies with the girls piled up on the couch.
- Twinkling lights abound both inside and outside.
- Woodwick candle crackle.
- Patchouli.
- Bubble baths with milk bath and some reading material, candles and quiet.
- Thunderstorms.

What is your hygge?

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Hoping you have a nice day today. 

I started my morning out on a cheery note. I just opened up a box of wonderful from a friend and it included a National Geographic  Song and Garden Birds of North America. I am petting it and basking in the birdy glow. 

What is one of your favorite collector's books? What is your favorite bird?

Monday, December 10, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Arrok Hand Necklace

I know I just featured Nicole from Arrok last week, but hey. She rocks. Plus she is restocking several of these dainty hands necklaces in her shop today so I wanted you to see them. I don't recall the exact price on these since I purchased mine privately but I do remember that it was a hair under $100. 

It is a mixed metal creation with silver and a tiny glowing garnet. I simply love how easy it is to wear and the meaning that can be applied to it.

I wear mine at least once a week, it has become a fast favorite. Nicole is releasing a simpler version with a moonstone and without the crescent moon as well as a burning heart hand that is lovely. 

Do you wear necklaces? If you do, do you like dainty or statement?