Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Melting Basket 131

Wax from the Halloween basket that I would love to have on hand again in the future includes: TDC Haunted Soul/Pipe Tobacco/Vintage Vanilla, CFTKR Witch's Brew and Pumpkin Stew, LSC Cast a Spell, Dracula's Dungeon, Candy Corn Cookies, The Great Pumpkin and Jack O' Lantern Cookies.

CFTKR- Pumpkin Lager
CFTKR- Amish Quilt
CFTKR- Sugared Cookie Latte
CFTKR- Caramel Pumpkin Swirl
SMT- Cider Lane/Apple Cinnamon/Warm and Cozy
SMT- Peppermint/Marshmallow Fireside/Vanilla Sandalwood
VCS- Cozy Jackie O
VCS- Murder House Coven
Beezy- Country Bumpkin
Dessa- Apples & Cinnamon

Thank you for indulging me in the sub-par photo above. I literally just got home from an extra long day of work last night and wanted to get a post ready for today to go live. If there are any tart scents you would like to hear more about, just let me know. 

This past weekend I spent cleaning. After dropping a fair amount of wax into a large Rubbermaid I decided I am going on a wax no-buy for the rest of 2018 and then evaluating it from there. I squeezed in a nice fat Candles From the Keeping Room order a couple weekends ago so I will still be posting that haul but I am good. I am done for now. Time to focus on melting before I have to pack it all up in six months for a move anyway. 

Other goals for the rest of the year:
- Track food, paying attention to portions, veggies and water intake.
- Get more active, walking/working out three times a week.
- Limit myself to 4 perfumes for the remainder of the year. 
- Finish my sister's wedding quilt. 
- No wax purchases.
- Paint a pair of Toms.
- Listen to as much Christmas music as possible. 
- Pierce my ear.
- Read five more books.
- Bake those ding dang cinnamon rolls using yeast!

What are you hoping to do by the end of the year? How are your wax or perfume collections coming along? 

Monday, November 12, 2018

Good Morning

Good morning, friends. Things are a bit off kilter around these parts. We are having a nice long weekend spending time together which has meant little to no blogging until this morning. I am in the long process of decluttering our house. The girls and I do this every fall and it is time. Donation bags, trash bags and stuff strewn everywhere. 

I am also in the process of recognizing I need to make some big changes in my life in many areas. My blog may fall to the wayside during this transition. I will strive to still post a couple times a week, and maybe I can somehow include what all is going on within the blog. 

But for now I am headed back into the fray. Weeding out chaff from the wheat. Culling and purging. Wish us luck!

How was your weekend? Do you do an annual "spring cleaning?"

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Yule Scents

Vanilla Craves Gingerbread- Notes: Rich gourmand vanilla with our Gingerbread accord (luxe golden ginger, gingerbread, warm ginger cookies and delicately piped icing).

Julia utilizes the most fiery, piquant, zesty and golden ginger out there. From the vial wafts a sinfully delicious slice of gingerbread resting on a wooden platter with the knobby and papery bodies of ginger root laying alongside. Moistened on the wrists, Julia's signature ginger comes to life with lemony fire. It smells amazing. Realistic. The vanilla aspects sweeten the gingerbread, adding a mouthwatering drizzle of icing. As it settles into the skin the ginger calms into a papery wooden aroma that pairs wonderfully with the vanilla. 

Hotboxing the Gingerbread House- Notes: Odd things happen inside gingerbread houses at night. Piped vanilla icing on gingerbread, cinnamon sugar, tobacco seeds and leaves, petitgrain, uncured hemp and sweet smoke.

This one made a return last year and I could not wait to scoop it up. Julia has a knack for blending interesting scents and this one called to come home to me. From the vial wafts bitter green petitgrain and smoke. It brings to mind piles of wild sour orange trees dried and dead and stacked into burn piles then lit on fire. Alight on the flesh the hemp cigarette glows in the gloaming like a lone beacon in winter's early evening. It is smoke and naughtiness, a means to stay warm that mother would not condone. But return home you must. The succor of mom's gingerbread cookies awaits on a china plate. Flopping on the bed with a warm spiced cookie releases a puff of smoke from your sweater and the two scents mingle pleasantly in your room. Sweet and smoky. The sweetness fades into a smoked wooden haze with a breath of hemp. If you have ever tried Jasmin et Cigarette from Etat Libre d'Orange this will feel similar but more along the lines of Gingembre et Marijuana Cigarette. I love it. I will wear this often this year, but perhaps not to work. 

Dirty Nog- Notes: Eggnog, yellow cake, rum, fresh milk, nutmeg, toasty caramel, roasted Venezuelan coffee and a glug of Holy Terror.

Julia's yellow cake accord tickles my nosebuds. CakeLust is one of my favorites, a yellow cake and tobacco blend, but Dirty Nog plays with extra vanilla and a dash of coffee and incense along with the cake. From the bottle the Holy Terror incense curls around that thick vanilla cake like a heady, devilish treat. Freshly flavoring the skin, Dirty Nog warms up into a creamy cafe latte with eggnog creamer. The cup of coffee comes with a generous slice of buttery vanilla cake, but the Holy Terror incense keeps it from being a foodie experience. Perfect for fall and winter wearing. This one should be dabbed at first, don't slather right away. It is pretty potent.

Nog AF- Notes: Eggnog, yellow cake accord, rum, fresh milk, nutmeg and toasty caramel.

If Holy Terror and the darkness of the coffee is something you might would like to do without, then Nog AF would be more up your alley. This is a foodie experience, but a most delicious one indeed. Viscous eggnog pools in a chilled mug, spiked with a dash of rum and spice. Nog thickens even further with the addition of caramel cake. This toothsome fragrance is not too sweet despite the notes. There is a chewy caramel flavor but it is tempered by the eggnog and milk. Despite not being overly sweet, it does carry some weight to it.

Krampusnacht- Notes: Old leather, infernal smoke, vintage patchouli, cubeb, ho wood, a drop of fir oil and a touch of brisk Alpine night air. 

I love this brimstone black beauty. A leathery shadow slinks from the bottle, tarry and ancient. A harbinger of wintery darkness and nocturnal retribution. Creeping along the skin, Krampussnacht howls with a fuming breath that arises from the bowels of a leathery gullet. The black rawhide creature carries a dusting of snow on its shoulders and an aura of deep forest and gasoline trailing behind. Woodsmoke spools out in long reaching fingers as the creature fades into the night.

Schnaps Mit Krampus- Notes: A boozy, rummy blend of apple, tangerine and pear schnaps over woodsmoke, labdanum and Arcana's Growl blend (caramel, chandan, tiger maple, burnt vanilla, smoky musk and vetiver).

Dark fruits stewed into a compote and soaked in brandy lift up from the bottle. There is a bit of resin and black stickiness from the labdanum peeking through. On the skin the harvest fruits snugly buss the senses. The fruity schnaps linger in the foreground with just a hint of gingery flavor while the earthy vetiver darkens under the penumbra of the labdanum resin. This scent is drinking a hot toddy laced with schnaps in a dark cabin with only a small Yule fire to gild the sepia scene. 

Even though these are holiday scents that sometimes re-emerge during the winter time and are not currently available, I decided to feature them so you can be prepared once that time comes back around. Julia operates from her own website now, found here. I like to stuff these away and much like my wax tarts, bring them back out once the season hits to bring me cheer and warmth and festivity. Do you change your personal fragrances to align with the seasons? What scent best suits the winter holidays for you?

Friday, November 9, 2018

Wick & Fable: Gryffindor Candle

Wick & Fable Gryffindor- Notes: Cozy fire, warm spices and golden amber.

Beautifully burning candle. Strong wicks, steady flame, no tunneling. Medium-light throw in large areas and medium-strong throw in bedrooms. Aroma of warm resinous amber with wooden tones and soft incense. An enjoyable candle I would purchase again. 

An 8 ounce soy, vegan candle for $18.00, purchased during BOGO 1/2 off sale. 

Adam, the girls and I will be spending the weekend in Orlando and some of that time will be spent sipping some Butterbeers. My sisters and I have already been texting and planning Christmas celebrations. Plotting Thanksgiving get togethers. Plus my mom and Darby have a shared birthday coming up and mine just around the corner too. This year's holidays will be bittersweet as they will be the last ones in this home of ours that we have nested in for the past 14 years. 

Are you looking forward to some good food and friends or family for Thanksgiving? What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Wick & Fable: Hogwarts Box

I mentioned getting this September Hogwarts box from Wick & Fable a little while ago. I enjoyed the fantasy box from August so much that I knew I simply needed the Hogwarts box that was to follow. It did not disappoint. I picked up the Deluxe Box for $49.99. It contained four 2 ounce candles and one 4 ounce candle that magically transforms into a house color, sorting you by the flame of House Pride. The wand pencil was quickly put to use at school.

Studying at the Library- Notes: Old books and warm crackling woods.
Not a fan of this one on cold. It smells like glue but not in a good way. There is some kinda funk to it. Like the first day of wearing new leather shoes without socks and a sprinkling of plastic. 

Hogsmeade Weekends- Notes: Butterbeer, creamy vanilla and bourbon spice.
Aaahhhh... much better. This one smells delish. Creamy caramel and butterscotch with a touch of vanilla whiskey. 

Mischief Managed- Notes: Cold air breezes, peppermint and sugar crystals.
My favorite candle of the bunch. A cool vanilla mint with a touch of crisp ozone that takes it through the crunching snowy day into Hogsmeade. The vanilla possesses a drop of coconut. 

Detention with Umbridge- Notes: Vanilla orchid, pink floral and cozy fire. 
Unique indeed. A smoky fireside floral with hints of tea and something that almost smells like Pink Sands. A near perfect rendition of what Umbridge's office would be redolent of. 

House Pride- Notes: Pumpkin juice, cookie crunch and maple sugar.
I was sorted into Ravenclaw! But I think perhaps this was meant for Savanna as she is a Ravenclaw and I am truly a Hufflepuff. But it was cool to see the blue hue melt and swirl up to the surface. And the candle smells amazing. Like a chewy pumpkin cookie with a drizzle of caramel on top. This one throws nicely in smaller areas and is my new bedside candle. 

A large zip tote meant for holding books, along the lines of a book sleeve, was in the box. I don't think I will use it for that purpose given the dimensions but I will happily use it for travel purposes. It does sport one of my favorite quotes from Ron about Hermione. I think it will be a great makeup bag or sewing pouch.

The Hogwarts professors featured as magnetic bookmarks are adorable and will keep watch over my book learning. Kawaii anime images of Snape and McGonagall, Sprout and Flitwick all pose with some of their signature magical tools.

A wooden art card of Snape's patronus makes for a lovely bookmark. I currently have mine hanging up on my bulletin board at work above my desk. The wood is thin and can warp but it is quite beautiful.

This box also came with a Luna Lovegood cork coaster that can be paired with other coasters from other boxes I believe, but not sure. A postcard art with the magical trio depicted in a cozy warm Gryffindor common room came in the box, that also hangs on my cork board. 

Lastly, a Hogwarts Express wallet was tucked into the box. It is nice! Initially, I had not planned on using it but it is growing on me. I bet before the week is out I will have switched all my cards and such over to it. 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Bathing Garden: Fall Scents

The last Bathing Garden order I placed was about one year ago. It seems I make a habit of October Bathing Garden ordering. I kept it neat and tidy with a few clamshells, a couple shapes and a couple scrubs. I did go big on the lavender sampler jumbo clamshell. Shannon's scrubs are still some of my most favorite. 

A scent I adore that Shannon blends is Cardamom Apple Pie. This whole pie was $5.95. It smells incredibly life like. From the crust to the baked apples laced with cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. There is a deep richness here that keeps this from being county gift shop. 

Charred Jack-O-Lantern ($4.50) wafts about with ghostly bonfire warmth and spiced pumpkin. It is a touch earthen and dense. I will save this one for January when it is colder outside. 

I picked up three clamshells for $3.95 each. 

Evernight is a Lush Twilight dupe that I have been faithful to for several years.

Cinnamon Cream Apple is new to me. It is a delicious blend of spiced cinnamon with green apples and vanilla cream. The spice is strong. It smells amazing.

Deadly Sleeping Draught is a lavender blend I have been dying to have come back. It brews white tea and thyme with heady lavender. It is softly sweet and the white tea is fruity and floral. 

An Evernight scrub ($9.50) was a must. I only have one Bathing Garden scrub left so it was time to restock. This one and Sleepy are my favorites.

I am traditionally a chocolate hater when it comes to fragrance (other than real chocolate bars to smell and then proceed to eat). But this parfait that blends pumpkins and brownies into a soapy rich scrub under the name of Colossal Pumpkin Lantern ($12.50) is one of my favorites. This is the power of a free sample. I used it once and that was all it took. I enjoy the decadent duality of Shannon's parfaits. Her whipped soaps are notoriously thick and her scrubs too, they scoop out and lather up in an extremely satisfying manner. 

Check out this jumbo clamshell, Lavender Medley ($12.95) that is perfect for gift giving. It comes trimmed and with a blank card. 

Five lavenders round out this mini collection: Dreaming of Dreams (lavender, camphor, bergamot, sage), Alice in Lavenderland (lavender, vanilla, marshmallow), Deadly Sleeping Draught (described above), Pillow Fight (lavender, woods, Love Spell) and Evernight (Lush Twilight).

Dreaming of Dreams is new to me. It smells amazing, but I love camphorous scents. It is almost like medicinal lavender and pine and menthol. Verra good. I do not care for Pillow Fight as it mostly smells of Love Spell and I cannot abide that perfume.

But look how gorgeous?! The tiny lavender sprigs are adorable. 

I had a nice collection of samples but I didn't get around to taking pictures and gifted some away. I will say I got a sample size scrub in Woodland Apple and I am stoked about trying it.

Have you ordered from The Bathing Garden lately? I was hoping to behave on wax for a while but some of her Christmas offerings sound good. I might pick up one or two clams. Maybe as a birthday gift to myself. <3

Monday, November 5, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Leaves Falling Like Rain

Arcana Wildcraft Leaves Falling Like Rain- Notes: A comforting base of brown sugar, caramel, gingersnaps and cappuccino is sparked off with hints of patchouli, hyssop, mullein and white pepper.

This perfume is discontinued but I picked it up a few months ago in a buy/sell/swap perfume group on Facebook. My friend Jean gifted me a sample of this scent ages and ages ago and I wore it and enjoyed it tremendously. I just happened to spy this one up for sale so I brought it home to live with me. 

In the bottle this one has a dark green herbal aroma with sticky brown undertones. Almost like a medicinal tincture the herb-woman would have brewed up to cure what ails you. Once on the skin, the gingerbread comes to life and it possesses dark sticky molasses undertones. Roasted coffee beans transformed into coffee liqueur tantalize the nosebuds and pair beautifully with the gingerbread. However, as gourmand as this sounds, these aromas derive from a small town cafe in the Pacific Northwest. Perhaps Cafe Mundo in Newport, Oregon where you can eat outdoors with brun soil beneath your boots and ivy and vines framing windows and forming bowers above your head as you enjoy your morning breaking of the fast. 

Photo Credit:

While you drink your cappuccino and nosh your gingerbread loaf slice in the chill of November, the leaves do fall like rain upon your shoulders and skim the table. 

This is a wonderful scent for fall and winter wearing. It warms and delights with its earthen portrayal of coffee and leaves. Slight spice and patchouli. I am happy to announce that Julia has opened her own website for direct buying now. You can visit her here.

I dream of visiting the Pacific Northwest. I want to hike in Washington and Oregon. I want to experience the lush greenery and primitive forests. Hot springs. Quaint cafes and artistic dwellings. Have you been? What places would you recommend for lodgings? What towns or National Parks are musts? What time of year is best to go?