Friday, May 24, 2019

Nocturne Alchemy Giveaway!

Good Morning!

Today I would like to giveaway a 5 ml Nocturne Alchemy perfume of your choice from their website to two readers. In celebration of my blog turning five years old, I knew I wanted to include Nocturne Alchemy. They create some really stunning scents that personally work on my skin really well. 

To enter, please comment below with the scent you would choose if you won and what you recommend watching on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I just finished Black Mirror and am halfway through The Society. 

Two winners will be randomly drawn on May 31st. More giveaways to come from some of my other favorite brands.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Wylde Ivy: Boho Garden Part Two and Giveaway!

These perfumes were sent gratis from Wylde Ivy. All opinions are my own.

Running with Butterflies- Notes: Crushed nectarines, wild blackberries, sugared violets, star jasmine and lemon sugar. $25

Running with Butterflies is a beautiful fruity-floral that opens with candied lemon peels then falls deliciously down into juicy nectarines. Their peachy sweet aroma is made three dimensional with the addition of the tart lemons that temper the sugariness. The blackberries float lightly in the background lending a perfume of their own. These aren't dark sticky blackberries, they are diluted with the haze of plumeria and sweet pea and peony. The heart has a hint of citronella perhaps from the lemon and jasmine, and it brings some sunshine into the scent. As it dries down the blackberries become more tart with a citron hued musk. A vibrant and sunny scent that recalls butterfly nets in childhood with rays of sunshine touching cheeks, grass stains coloring knees, daisy chains as crowns and summer fruits flavoring lips.

Like Sugar and Flowers- Notes: Red raspberry, crushed strawberries, wild honeysuckle, raw sugar, pink musk and bergamot spiked white sandalwood. $25

Sparkling bergamot shines off of tiny red berries buried inside a pink sugared musk. The opening is reminiscent of Pink Sugar lightened with citrus and aldehydes. Love those top notes. The glinting effervescence fades away to sweet musky strawberries and apricot laced honeysuckle. The heart softens as it moves into a base of arid sandalwood adorned with drying oakmoss. Like Sugar and Flowers tells the story of innocence maturing into strength, youth giving way to seasons of experience and tempering. It is a beautiful scent. Sweet fruits and sugary musks falling into honeyed florals then blonde woods.

Midnight Bella- Notes: Over ripe strawberries, vanilla orchid, moonlit heliotrope, sugared violets, white amber and sugar musk. $25

Midnight Bella is a creamy orchid suspended over a sugared amber base. Crystalline berries fly from the atomizer and dance on the skin in a jubilant romp. They quickly land on creamy white and purple orchid leaves that are thick and pliant with perfume. There is a putty texture to the scent, like pollen filled custard. Murky musk and sweet amber cast a veil over the exotic flowers and wild strawberries, creating a smudged and darkened sense to the fragrance. It is a lovely scent.

My blog is turning FIVE at the end of May and to begin the celebrations I have four gifts for you today! The first is 15% off anything at Wylde Ivy with the code: MERMAID15 that is valid through May31st. The second is a Boho Garden perfume sampler that I will purchase for one reader. The third and fourth are a giveaway of two full sized perfumes: Barefoot in the Garden and Running with Butterflies. There will be three winners randomly drawn. To enter please tell me which you would rather win (the sampler, Barefoot in the Garden, or Running with Butterflies) along with your favorite summer activity or summer childhood memory.

Three random winners will be drawn on May 28th.

Monday, May 20, 2019

CBe Ceramics: Totoro Mug

My dear friends. I cannot begin to tell you how freakin' excited I am about this mug. Cate at CBe Ceramics created her two sided Totoro mugs ages ago and I have been stalking her ever since I discovered them on her IG page. She mentioned bringing them back for a pre-order and I stalked twice as hard. Alarms were set, nervous jitters ensued and I even drug a friend into the melee. Once these handsome chunky fellas hit the Etsy shelves we both managed to snag one.

Totoro is a magical Miyzaki film that features a creature of the same name. No one is quite sure what type of entity Totoro is exactly but I like to believe him a guardian forest creature. He is lovingly illustrated on this mug both in the nighttime on his favorite tree perch and during the day up to his frolicsome shenanigans.  

I have had the joy of watching Cate hand carve her art painstakingly on the mugs she throws via her IG stories in the past. Even just the lined border takes her considerable time and meticulous attention.

The inside of the mug is a desert sky blue. And the tiny tree rings in that handle tuck a tiny sliver of happiness in my heart. 

Cate finesses details in a way that takes my breath away. Little spots of art like this handle turned twig, add so much to the overall piece.

The glazing merges sea foam blue with rocky tones of slate and speckled granite that fade upward into the umber then ocre hues of golden hour. The sides, handle and Totoro are sleek and shiny while the borders and night sky are sandy textured.

This mug is the bee's knees. I will cherish it for a long time to come. Thankfully my girls love Totoro too and will be happy to share it with me.

This pre-order ran along her previous turn around times at about 6-8 weeks. I love that Cate offers pre-orders and custom pieces.

If you were to get a custom mug or planter from Cate, what would you want her to make you?

Sunday, May 19, 2019

The Long Exhale

Thank you for being present for me while I navigated one of the more challenging transitions I have had since blogging. Thank you for the words of encouragement and the well wishes. They have been a balm to my frazzled mind and worry burdened heart. Guys. I think we are almost to the other side. 

Our move to Orlando is happening in a mere fortnight. The girls are registered at their new school. I am officially fingerprinted and hired at my new school, which happens to be the same school! We will all be together at the local public Montessori school and I will be teaching a 9-12 year old class. 

Obtaining our next home had Adam and I at our wits end and ready to pull the plug. Our first home we built through a community builder so the typical home buying process was foreign to us. Buying a home in a hot market is stressful. Three-way bidding wars, realtors who enjoy radio silence and appraisals that fall about $17,000 below the offer price. We think we finally muddled through it though, after a few amendments to the contracts, and hoping to move in on June 3rd.

So here I sit, typing with light hands, a clear head and a quiet soul. Thankful.

I am softly allowing myself to daydream once again. I am plotting vegetable gardens, native plant lawns, hammocks between oaks, rockery gardens, kindling my first ever fire in a fireplace, painting rooms and decorating our new space.

I am also looking forward to blogging this summer and showing you guys my new digs. 

Thank you, again. 

You guys are the best.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Sihaya & Company: "In the Forest of Wonder" Spring Box

This box was sent free from Sihaya & Co. for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

Christina at Sihaya & Company is back from her maternity leave and her shop is open for business. She kicked off her restart with a beautiful spring box themed "In the Forest of Wonder" that held seven full sized artisan made products for $60. 

First up is a body scrub from Indie Beautique in the scent Vio'nilla which marries delicate violets with sweet, creamy vanilla. This full 4 ounce whipped soap scrub runs $7 on the Indie Beautique website. This was the only product in the box that wasn't a good fit for me. I have had wonderful experiences with the bath salts at Indie Beautique but the sugar scrub was off for me. The ingredients left my skin sticky and coated and the scent did not jive with me. It had a strange hint of moldy cardboard. The sugar crystals were sparse and not really effective. Only one dud in a slew of seasonal boxes is not a deal breaker for me. I highly recommend Indie Beautique for their bath salts and other goodies.

Parchment Nail Polish is a brand created by Latherati. These polishes are 10-free, hand blended and made in small batches. They run $8 each. The color Charmed came in the box. It is a blushing pink beauty that is highly pigmented. The pink is a medium tone and slightly dusky. Two coats level perfectly to make a beautiful manicure.

Sihaya & Co candle in Le Papillon features notes of orange blossoms, jasmine and two soft, golden ambers. Sihaya & Company candles cost $12 each. I am saving this candle for burning in our new home so no warmed reviews but I do have good luck burning my Sihaya & Co. candles. This scent is beautiful. It is an airy sweet neroli and white flower bouquet with glints of citrus and a base of gilded amber. It will make an enchanting bedroom scent for this spring and summer. Looking forward to burning it. <3

Luvmilk Bath and Body is a brand I have wanted to try for a good long while now. This box came with a 4 ounce shampoo in the scent Tremble Dance with notes of honeysuckle, lilac, jasmine, pear, greenery, vanilla bean and sweet honey nectar. This size normally costs $7 each on the Luvmilk website. These shampoos can be used as body wash or hand soap as well. This smells incredible. Candied honey drenched honeysuckle and watermelons. I want to eat it. Or at least have it in a lollipop flavor. I haven't had a chance to use it yet, so I can't speak much to how it performs but I can report back if you are interested, or more likely, if it knocks my socks off you will see me haul more and review at a later time.

A bar of luxury glycerin soap from Paintbox Soap Works in Elysian Woods holds the scent of cedar woods, ice cold streams and tender woodland flowers shaking off the last chill of winter, basking in the warmth of golden amber, bergamot and honeycomb. These soaps run $6 each and are quite awesome.

Elysian Woods is pretty brilliant. I cut a thick sliver off to bathe with and it lathered thickly and easily, rinsed cleanly and the fragrance lingered on my skin until I drifted off to sleep. My daughters were mesmerized by the decoration. I admit, I was too. Hayley's use of mica hypnotizes me. The scent does too. It is a lush, almost green, mildly amber scent, perhaps the ephemeral trees in the Elysian Fields themselves leaking golden sap from their lush leaves like tears for the lost. Naturally, it is my kind of fragrance.

An exclusive, beautiful perfume from Nui Cobalt Designs in Glen Echo in Spring was included.

Glen Echo in Spring- Notes: Budding dogwood, forget-me-nots, sunlight on spring water, cotton flower and smoky birch. $19

This is a beautiful scent. Forest is a talented perfumer and possess a deft hand at blending. Glen Echo in the Spring shows that. It is a cottony clean perfume with a natural musk and sweet floral bouquet that wears like gauzy white linen. In the bottle the smoky birch emerges alongside the cotton flower and it reminds me of chilly bonfires on a beach built of driftwood. On the skin the cotton flowers bloom first amid a clean musk, creating a veil of imagery where brooks burble and lace-like flowers bloom in prolific displays under a canopy of trees. This scent smells fresh and renewed, just like springtime. The drydown is a beautiful creamy woods, hinting at an airy vanilla sandalwood. From start to finish this is a scent I will wear again and again. 

Three stunning lollipops from Pamplemousse Sucre were the crowning trio of the box. Seven lollipops cost $18 in her Etsy shop.  So about $7.75 for three of them. These came in the flavors: Ginger Lime Prosecco, Peeps and Lychee, Raspberry & Rose. The Peeps was dusted in sugar crystals and tasted just like the puffy marshmallow treats. the other two I am saving for our summer vacation which calls for a lengthy 9-10 hour road trip. These will be the ideal pick-me-up while on that long ride.

The total product value is roughly $67 so a savings of $7 if purchased in this carefully curated box. I always find these seasonal boxes a joy to open. These would make awesome gifts too. 

Are you subscribing to or indulging in any one-time curated boxes? 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

B. Perry Studios: Body Scrubs

Brooke Perry, the original founder and nose behind Villainess Soaps, has been hard at work creating beautiful smells and products to adorn the body with as of late. She opened a new shop in Etsy called B. Perry Studios. I reviewed some of her fabulous soaps that she made in collaboration with Julia of Arcana Wildcraft not too long ago. Brooke mentioned she was making a killer Abalone face oil so while I was busy pre-ordering that I also added some other goodies to my cart. I will be sharing those with you as I get to use them. The first things I could not wait to open up were the two scrubs. 

Cinnabar- Notes: Honeyed buttercream veined with streaks of cinnamon bark and nutmeg and pools of oppoponax and opium.
Cinnabar Cocoa Butter Body Scrub comes in an 8 ounce jar for $15 and is full of nourishing cocoa butter, olive oil and coconut oil. I love the texture of this scrub. It is a little loose and easy to stir with the finger but also scoop out and apply. It doesn't crumble and fall everywhere and applies like a loose cream. The sugar is fine grained but definitely has exfoliating power. The scrub takes on a milky quality when buffed into the skin, feeling like a lotion. My skin is so soft and satiny after using this. I love the aroma too. At first I thought this was going to be an homage to the classic Cinnabar perfume from Estee Lauder done back in the 90's. However, a quick look at the notes told me otherwise. You know I was sold on it once I read it was a creamy vanilla spice. The resinous base and dark sticky opium keep this from being too much of a foodie scent and more of a rustic gourmand. The vanilla and opium notes feature heavily with the cinnamon and nutmeg lending a comforting woodiness. The spice is not "hot" or fiery but simply warm and deep. I see there is only one of these left in Brooke's shop and I am thinking I might need to make it mine.

Citrine- Notes: Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, with green notes of tomato leaf and cucumber, over earthy oud wood. $15
Don't let these notes fool you. In fact don't let the scent right out of the jar fool you.... get in a tub and lather up with this sunny beauty, let the warm water make it bloom. This scrub has the most amazing smell once the hot steam and water get a hold of it. Sophisticated and luxurious. It smells vibrant with the citrus notes but then that woody oud sends a refined musk through it that really sets it off and makes my eyes roll back into my head. This is one that has to be tried to be appreciated.

I am loving my B. Perry Studios bath and body care. I have the salt soak and some bar soap that I am going to be using and featuring next. I will definitely have some B. Perry Studios goodies to giveaway on my blogiversary here soon. Keep an eye out!

Have you tried any of Brooke's new goodies since she set out on this new venture? What item from her Etsy store would you be most excited to try?

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Wylde Ivy: Boho Garden Part One

These perfumes were sent free form Wylde Ivy. All opinions are my own.

Wylde Ivy released some stunning floral perfumes for spring. Ashlee's Boho Garden release has me spraying with abandon. Her perfumes are so beautiful and for $25 for a one ounce bottle they are easy to collect and gift. I will be giving some away, myself, here on the blog and have a coupon code to share with you too! But first, let's dive in with Green Lady. 

Green Lady- Notes: Fresh cut aloe, sweet prickly pear, cucumber tonic, wild violets, agave nectar, willow and water lotus.
I love this one. This was my first choice to wear of the five I was sent. I liberally sprayed it on for Mother's Day as we headed out the door to the flea market and fruit stands. Scarlette immediately commented on how good it smelled. I couldn't agree more. Green Lady is a lightly sweet verdant aquatic with watery melon tones that wears effortlessly. No harsh or jarring notes, no strange astringent tones at all. Just lush, dewy green goodness. The top sparkles with pulpy sweet cactus fruits and crisp cucumbers, dewy and fresh. The heart pools the watery sweet goodness into the belly of a leaf where tiny violets float on the surface. The cupped leaf has a musk of its own, akin to bamboo, I think it is the lotus. Fragrant and green. Wild and verdant. The drydown remains green but more like a sweetgrass and bamboo musk. This perfume is what I wish Cucumber Melon had smelled like as I grew older. More refined, beautifully blended and wildly green and gorgeous. I will be wearing this one heavily during spring and summer. Heck, all year in this sultry Florida weather. 

Barefoot in the Garden- Notes: Sun warmed blonde woods, lilac nectar, jasmine petals, bergamot and lily of the valley. 
I was just talking with a friend on IG about how there needs to be more lilac perfumes. This one definitely suits that desire. Barefoot in the Garden opens up with a zest of bergamot and retains some of that aged golden musk into the heart where lilacs and Confederate jasmine vines entwine. The lilacs and lily of the valley possess the heady perfume of bulb flowers, like dandelion and freesia, simply narcotic in their full papery aroma. The drydown mellows into dried lilacs and pale woods and then into a sweet woods melody. A touch of powdery amber filters into the base too. The base of this perfume is my favorite part.

This collection is amazing. If you want to sample all five scents from the Boho Garden, there is an adorable tin sampler for $21.25 for sale. To get 15% off your Wylde Ivy purchase use code: MERMAID15. 

What are some of your favorite flower notes?