Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Wylde Ivy: Fall Perfumes

I found myself yearning for a few more dulcet autumnal perfumes to grace myself with as the weather cooled and the moody afternoon rains began in earnest. How fortuitous was it then that a timely newsletter from Wylde Ivy announced several new fall perfumes? I scrolled through the scents and narrowed down my choices to a full bottle of Dark November and a sampler pack of the Solstice Faire scents. If there is one thing I can count on when I order from Ashlee, it will be beautifully blended sweet musky scents that wear like ethereal vanilla candy floss.

Dark November- Notes: Smoked vanilla pods, dried tobacco leaves, apple peels, pink peppercorns, dry grass, black currants, spiced woods, baked ginger, caramelized sugar, and clove. $30

I chose Dark November blindly based on notes alone. The only note I was unsure of was the black currant since it tends to go very sharp and tart on my skin with an almost bitter, slightly uric edge. Thankfully the other sweet and snuggly notes quickly move in to lessen the power of the black currant. Dark November does open with spritely top notes of tart black currants and the brightness of those pink peppercorns. My nose gets a soft impression of a bakery at first with some yeasty and dry tones just underneath. I have not figured out if this is the baked ginger or the dry grass yet but it is there for a lingering moment. Once Dark November moves into the warm and sweet heart, very mild spices emerge along with the tobacco and vanilla. This is where the caramelized sugar sings. Bit by bit, slender ruby peels of apples twirl and glide into this cozy heart. Rustic apples, tobacco, spice and sugary musk all brew up a potion fit for anointing scarves, sweaters and breeze tousled hair. Now that I am paying minute attention to the scent I think it is the baked ginger that contributed to the yeasty bakery edge to the opening, because I sense a touch of it here still haunting the perimeter of the scent. Dark November dries down into the vanilla sugar musk I identify with Wylde Ivy so strongly. 

The Solstice Faire collection of samples is available in this beautifully packaged gift set with a tin, scent note cards and sprayer vials for $33. They all honestly sounded right up my alley so I wanted to sample them to perhaps pick one for full sized enjoyment. There are several here so I am going to strive for a down and dirty concise review of how they play out on my skin.


The Sugar Witch- Notes: A rich warm autumn sweet cream with a whisper of spiced maple and autumn leaves. Marshmallow, cream sweetened with vanilla and muscovado sugar, tonka beans, caramelized maple, and a shot of bourbon.
Sugar Witch is enchanting. She opens with a splash of maple sweetened creamy bourbon that smells like my favorite soft maple candies or the whisky and cream sauce I made a few times to drizzle over pecan pies. As she moves into the heart the cream becomes thicker and sweeter much like sweetened condensed milk. The tonka beans reveal their dusky vanilla flavors while the maple sugar continues to float about the concoction. Sugar Witch is an excellent study in creamy maple delights. 

The Candle Maker- Notes: Warm vanilla, melted amber, carved pumpkins and hay bales, smoldering embers, whole cloves, crushed allspice, and smoked tonka beans. 
Charred pumpkins and singed hay and baked breads all fly from the sprayer like bats out of a dark hole. This one doesn't have the characteristic sweetness I associate with Wydle Ivy and its departure is wild and moody. The embers and smoke are a touch acrid and damp as if a fall fog is creeping in around the carved and lit pumpkins that surround a nocturnal bonfire. The water vapor  smothers the impish flames, sending up ghostly smoke. This is ghoulish and unique, a mixture of atmosphere, smoke and unsweet pumpkin flesh that dries down into a creamy vanilla amber with a hint of ember. The drydown is my favorite part.

The Tea Blender- Notes: Tea leaves of black, green, and red, dried apples and pears, raw sugar, fresh amber resin, vanilla beans, a whisper of spice, and blonde wood.
Iced green tea infused with sugar and fruits, an herbal brew to revive the senses. This smells just like something from Celestial Seasonings, maybe iced raspberry zinger or a lemony green tea. The pears and apples and citrus merge effortlessly with the blend of teas. Nuances of bittersweet sepia tannins flow through the perfume. It dries down into subtle fruity musk and sweet woody musk. 

The Palm Reader- Notes: Black tea, dried bergamot, white sandalwood, incense smoke, autumn spice, caramelized sugar, and dried September apples.
Bergamot tea leaves sweep into the opening, curling and brittle, bright and slightly bitter against the crystalline autumn sun. Dry green branches, piquant bergamot and peppery tones persist into the heart. It almost smells of green bell peppers to my nose at odd times. The bitterness eventually fades into dark tea leaves that hold a breath of dried apples within. 

The Wood Carver- Notes: Cedar and oud wood spiked with clove, peppercorn, and smoked vetiver with a finish of amber resin, aged bourbon and vanilla, and a touch of sweet wood.
Lush peppercorn and sharp cedar open The Wood Carver with a chilled blast. It quickly sweetens and warms under the influence of smoky oud paired with spicy cloves. It is a lovely woodsy perfume that speaks of arid climes and tender smoky sweetness.

Solstice Faire- Notes: Ginger infused fruits, apple wood bonfires, golden hay bales, blonde sandalwood, smoked sugars, crimson tipped leaves, and spiced pumpkins. 
After smelling the ginger here I am confirmed in my thinking that this is the note contributing to the dry baked goods in Dark November. I get a whiff of that dry ginger note in the opening of Solstice Faire but there is also a creaminess present, perhaps the pumpkins and sandalwood. This is a golden aroma: fluttering leaves, slices of pumpkin pie, hayrides, and tender gilded sunsets viewed through the haze of woodsmoke and grasping branches. This is a dry (hay) and creamy (pumpkins and sandalwood) scent of musings with eyes half lidded in the autumn afternoon.

A few free samples rode along with my order and I was thrilled to see them!

Briar + Vanilla- Notes: Raw vanilla, charred amber, dried brambles warmed in the sun, white cedarwood bows, dried oakmoss dusted with crushed tonka beans, a touch of woodsmoke on frost nipped air mingled with a sugar musk.
Bracing cedar and earthen oakmoss fall into the opening to land gently upon a bed of vanilla woods and sugar frosted twigs. This a is stunning vanilla woods that morphs and sways from the sweet to delicately smoky and back again. It is gauzy and plush, brushed in soft textures.

Fireborn- Notes: Black cocoa powder, crushed tonka beans, ambrette seeds, roasted coffee, dewy vanilla beans, crystallized amber, dried orange peel, with a hint of woodsmoke.
Finely milled cocoa sifted with blonde coffee greets the nose upon spraying. This is a mild scent, nothing overpowering or artificial about it. After a few minutes a brightness pulls through and this must be the citrus and ambrette. The mild chocolate  and brun remnants of the coffee keep the scent snug and quiet, but the citrus acts like a small glowing ember amid the dark comfort. Fireborn is a unique gourmand among my collection. I rarely enjoy chocolate scents but this one is pleasant. 

Twilight Paradise- Notes: Fresh cracked coconut, crisp bergamot leaves, blue heliotrope, vanilla orchids soaked in coconut milk, night blooming jasmine petals, pink citron dust, and fresh cut sugarcane with a hint of sweet musk. 
This is a sultry and sweet tropical scent. It smells like a stroll through an upscale seaside spa in south Florida. The coconut is bright and juicy, not sunscreen, not bakery, but legit coconut. The florals only serve to highlight the coconut flesh and the citron adds a sunny zing that brings to mind tropical drinks with slices of citrus tucked into the rim. Gorgeous scent.

Annona- Notes: Sweet, slow simmered apples, mulled berries, cardamom and cinnamon, oak and peppercorn, golden wheat fields and fresh cream, caramelized raw sugar, and a hint of creamy pumpkin.
Annona is just what I want in a festive fall perfume. Spiced apples and caramel sweetness all stewed with jewel toned berries and accompanied by corn husk dolls. It is slightly reminiscent of some of my beloved fall candles and wax tarts but that does not deter me one bit. I love apple cinnamon scents and I actually have not tried one in perfume form that I love as much as I do this one. I think this might be my next full size.

I enjoyed wearing these varied scents and will be looking to perhaps sample some of the Halloween releases too from Wylde Ivy. Do you have any favorites from Ashlee for this time of year? I will be giving away some samples along with some wax and books here soon. Keep an eye out. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Melting Basket 154


Rosegirls- Pumpkin Chai Carbs
Rosegirls- Apple Pumpkin Crunch Donuts
Bohemienne Life- Palo Santo
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Palo Santo
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Red Hot Cinnamon Sticks
Blended With Love- Smoke Signals (amber, pipe smoke, vanilla creme)
Beezy- Mac Apple
Ten Digit Creations- Palo Santo/Vanilla Tobacco
Ten Digit Creations- Black Vanilla/Palo Santo/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations- Fireball Marshmallows
Ten Digit Creations- Bourbon Tobacco/Patchouli/Vintage Vanilla
Ten Digit Creations- Marshmallow Sugar Cookie
Ten Digit Creations- Caramel Apple/Marshmallows By The Fire/Sandalwood Marshmallow
Candles From The Keeping Room- Autumn Leaves type
Candles From The Keeping Room- Pumpkin Patchouli
Candles From The Keeping Room- Autumn in the Park

Some things that have been making me feel calm or have brought my snippets of joy:
- Reading All Creatures Great and Small
- Watching Gardener's World on Amazon
- Candles all over the place
- Afternoon thunderstorms
- Planting the raised beds (carrots, scallions, winter squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, beets, radishes, blackeyed peas)
- Barefoot walking in backyard
- Orders placed at The Bathing Garden, Dessa's Homespun Scents, Candles From the Keeping Room
- Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl
- Sugar Kiss cantaloupe
- Hearing Savanna daydream out loud about possibly going to college in upstate New York
- Watching Scarlette make new friends who treat each other well
- Hearing Adam laugh with his brother
- Smelling yummy perfumes from my collection

How are you finding calm moments? Can you feel fall drifting in?

Friday, September 4, 2020

Vapid Wax: It's Showtime!

 This wax tart was sent free from Vapid Wax for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

A great smelling wax tart from Vapid is going on sale today through the 7th at Polish Pickup. The theme is All Hallow's Eve and Jenn created this fabulous Beetlejuice inspired scent.

Showtime!- Notes: A Betelguese pulls himself out of his dirt covered grave, there's a warm inviting scent of cranberries, orange cloves, mandarines, bergamot and spices. $6

This bright and cheerful tart does have a zing of citrus and the energy of the wild man himself. I can picture is mold framed face and frantic hair already. The fruits are tempered by the soil that falls from his flannel covered shoulders and the cemetery at his feet. A slight suggestion of greenery hovers nearby, perhaps the memory of the dead tree at his tombstone? Or is it the lush countryside that lies right outside the attic window? Either way this is a unique blend of earth and fruits and subtle clove. I am excited to melt it and even more excited to put the sandworm pin on my tote bag. 

My sister has dressed up like a sexy Beetlejuice a couple times for Halloween and she always looks stunning. I would love to dress up like the old portly guy myself. I bet it would be fun. 

This tart will be on sale until the 7th and will be in a limited run. Grab one while you can if you like unique blends. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Ebb & Flow: August 2020

 The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Wolf Spirit

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Filthy Viking

Blood Moon Botanica Olive & Tallow Hand and Body Cream

Lip Balm:
For Strange Women Baba Yaga

Body Oil:
Aftelier Patchouli Spice

Forest & Fjord Sea Silk Face Cream

Wildroots Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Black Magic Alchemy Root Beer Soap

Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Vanilla Creme

Candles From the Keeping Room Apple Dumpling

Grapes, chocolate, trail mix

Water, Starbucks Fall coffee blend at home

Finished all the Gilmore Girls plus the new Netflix extensions, kinda taking a TV break for now.

Finishing up the Nevernight Chronicles, it is ok- silly, gory and smutty. Wouldn't re-read but don't regret reading them. 

Picked up a Bangles album and breaking it in.

Cooler weather, camping with the family in late September, bonfires.

That I will not be able to handle a lot of the paperwork side to the classroom on my own without my co-teacher to balance it with me. Nervous about not keeping up with it (record keeping for IEP, 504, MTSS, Transparent Classroom, Parent Square) while still trying to lesson plan, prep the classroom, help students one-on-one, perform progress monitoring, maintaining a clean environment, enforce social distancing- which by the way is VERY hard with preteen children. 

The new lip balms from For Strange Women. They are 100% natural, smell and feel amazing and look very stylish. 

My favorite Bearing Thorns necklace chain broke, my favorite Erra Jean handmade coffee mug broke, and I am slowly killing my favorite feathery fern. 

I am definitely riding the Struggle Bus. I can feel that my stop is approaching and that I will be disembarking in the near future but in the meantime I have been fighting some self worth issues tied to my pay (with my Master's in education and 7 years teaching experience- thought I have been technically teaching for 12 years- I am now only making $500 above starting first year teacher salary with no additional credentials), struggling with my uterus as usual, and overall concerns about my students. I know this will pass and I am set to take this one day at a time. 

I had a nice summer with my husband and girls. I had time to wake up slowly and create some fun art. I read copiously. I got a raise (that is me spinning the above "low" into a "high"). I have some raised beds to fill up with soil and seeds. I am keeping my roses alive. My hoyas are happy. I am burning fall candles.

How was your August? Are you ready for fall or wanting to extend summer? Do you have a veggie garden? What are you favorite herbs or vegetables to grow? What houseplants are you good at nourishing?

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Black Magic Alchemy: RootBeer Float and 50 Shades of Chaga Soaps


My friend Julia sent me some amazing soaps from Black Magic Alchemy last week and I wanted to share them with you since you guys know I love my bar soaps. After browsing about their website I found some incredible sounding chaga elixir and chaga tea to try out when I reorder these soaps. Yep. Reorder. Spoiler: this soap is fantastic.

50 Shades of Chaga- "Surrender into an activating soap blend of wild harvested chaga mushroom, black spruce, and coconut oil to sexify skin, clear your mind, purify your lungs, and stimulate your senses." $14.95

This an exfoliating and detoxifying soap that not only boasts chaga mushrooms and activate charcoal but also coconut, cocoa and shea butters along with cedarwood and benzoin to accompany the black spruce. Made with 100% organic of sustainably wild harvested ingredients that provide lung therapy and clarity of the mind. I was anxious to get this one in the shower and once I did it was awesome. 

I enjoyed the buffing and exfoliation that the soap provided but what really grabbed my attention was the scent and the lather. The aroma of bracing cedarwood, lightly mentholated charcoal and spruce made for an invigorating perfume. And the bubbles? Let me say, with our well water and water softening system I rarely have trouble getting a lather up on a bar of soap but this was insane, it was a blizzard of bubbles. At one point in my latherings I looked down and noticed that within the ring of my arms I held a giant single bubble framed by hundreds of frothy friends. The chaga soap felt wonderful on the skin and left behind a soft and nourished canvas for the evening.

Wild Chaga Root Beer Float Soap- "This ain't your grandpapi's root beer. We synthesized ancient forest resins, our wildharvested chaga mushroom and aromatic plants into a purifying soap." $14.95

This soap is composed of coconut, cocoa and shea butters along with benzoin, wintergreen and bergamot oils. It is comprised of 100% organic or sustainably wild harvested ingredients that can heal the skin, ease inflammation and sooth pain. After some extra time spent in the yard this past weekend I was ready to take this one for a test spin in the shower. Am I the only one who gets cramps and pulled muscles super easy nowadays?

I cut a nice chunky hunk from this soap and used it a few nights ago. I love the scent on this one. It reminded me of the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" with its old fashioned hard vanilla candy paired with trees and earth. A quaint river of burbling cream soda flows through a stand of oaks where mushrooms colonize on the edge of the banks, capturing stray scoops of vanilla ice cream as they bob down the stream. Sweet and earthy. Deliciously scented. This one is a mad bubble generator too but without the extra exfoliation. The Root Beer Float soap possesses a firm yet silky texture that feels buttery soft running through the hands. Wonderful soap.

I am so thankful to have been gifted these soaps and will be ordering from Black Magic Alchemy very soon. I have a mind to try their elixir and tea as well as grabbing a back up of these soaps. Have you found any mushroomy treasures? I am loving the Four Sigmatic reishi cocoa. It is yummy in coffee and chai tea. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Melting Bakset 153: Full On Fall


I think have been stress melting. Is that a thing? Just constantly craving comforting scents to waft and wrap about the house and nose? I have a friend called The Fall Slut who would give me a solid rap on the wrist if she knew I was already decorated for Halloween and melting apples and pumpkins in the house. It is hilariously early to be in fall mode here in Florida but my girls and I were salivating to decorate so we did.

Beezy Amish Quilt
Beezy Pumpkin Apple Strudel
Handmade in Florida Caramel Apple
Handmade in Florida Fallen Leaves
Vintage Chic Scents Cream Cheese Spindle Curse
Vintage Chic Scents Bourbon Orleans Hotel (Marshmallow Vanilla Cake with Pumpkin Cupcakes and Cider Lane)
CFTKR Honey Apple
CFTKR Buttercream and Snickerdoodle
CFTKR Apple Dumpling
CFTKR Lumberjack
CFTKR Vanilla Sugar Waffle Cone
CFTKR Noels of Autumn
CFTKR Pilgrims Pie (<3 gift)
CFTKR Apple Brown Sugar
CFTKR Cookie Snacks (<3 gift)

I think the afternoon thunder showers and copious amounts of Gilmore Girls has inspired the fall feels. Plus day dreams of doing my fall planting soon. Adam and I finally upgraded our creaky wooden boxsprings and old spring mattress for those new fangled metal box frames and the kind of mattress that comes delivered in a long skinny box. I got it in my head that we could turn the old box springs into raised bed gardens. Adam was kind enough (after a birthday gift of sawhorses and a circular saw >cough< >cough<) to fashion me two raised beds by enclosing the sides of the old box springs. 

Now I am on a mission to slowly fill the boxes with soil. I think it will take me about 10 trips or so to Walmart. But the beds should be ready by September for planting. I am hoping the squirrels will leave some goodies for me once they get growing.

In the meantime I am still puttering about the yard weeding and trying to figure out how I want some of the landscape beds to look. I had a nice roll of waking up and doodling but now that I am back to work I have not had a chance to do that and I miss it. I did brew up some more lemongrass though and it made me feel better. 

I have some cool soaps and some new BPALs to chat about. I took some photos and hope to get sniffing in the evenings this week. I have also been reading the Nevernight series. It is gratuitous skanky gory candy fluff but it is entertaining enough for my needs at the moment. I plan on trying to read The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury this fall and maybe start The Witcher books so I can watch the show. What are you reading or watching? Any recs? Are you ready for fall? It's because we want to get this year over with isn't it?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Melting Basket 152: Summer's End


It has been so long since my last basket pot (May!!!) that I am just going to list what I stuck in this most recent one. I have emptied two or so baskets since then... meaning to post about them, however, it has been a strange summer. 

Vapid Wax Autumn Harvest
Beezy Honey Clementine
Rosegirls Coconut Pumpkin Marshmallow Cupcakes
Dessa's Charred Oud Vanilla
Dessa's Fall Foliage
Ten Digit Creations Fireball Marshmallow
Ten Digit Creations Marshmallow Sugar Cookie
Ten Digit Creations Black Vanilla/Palo Santo/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations Apple Butter/Caramel/Creme Brulee
Ten Digit Creations Black Raspberry Vanilla/Marshmallow Sugar Cookie/Pink Sugar
CFTKR Welcome Home
CFTKR Gooseberry Pie
CFTKR Pumpkin and Pine
CFTKR Pumpkin Ginger and Apple
CFTKR Merlin's Forest
CFTKR Apple Fritter
CFTKR Powdered Donuts
CFTKR Spearmint Cake

If you are curious about how any of these melt just let me know and I will review them.
Normally summer is my time to catch up on the blog, go on adventures with the girls and lay back and relax. This summer didn't quite pan out like that given our current worries and realities. I did strive to spend time out in the yard or with my nose in a book. 

The girls and I did go on a few trails, found a new coffee shop or two and watched tons of TV recklessly.
I worried about coming back to school. What that would look like for my students, my own kids and myself. I spent the last week prepping with my two co-workers for our first two virtual weeks (that start Monday) and then the transition into the building on the 24th. Out of the 4 upper elementary classes we are the only class going back into brick and mortar. The rest will be online. I will get to teach my own daughter for the first time ever. That will be an adventure. :-)
I hope if you and yours are headed off into this fraught school year that you all will be protected and safe, healthy and whole. 

I think I will bring out the fall decorations this weekend to bring some cheer in the house. And maybe even bake an apple crisp. 

What are your plans for the weekend?