Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Freyja Jewels

Check out my new mandrake buddy. Isn't he the sassiest?! This mandrake was hand crafted by Freyja Jewels and sold through Kate and Marie's Etsy store. I have only had interactions with Kate but I am not really sure who forges which creations. These mandrakes are hand cast and hand sculpted. These are truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Only 50 will be made in total. 

In fact, he is lightly numbered on his back. I think mine is 32/50. 

Look at those legs. They make me chuckle.

He comes on an 18" necklace with a 2" extender. I love to wear him with my broomstick (Nimbus 2000, ahem) necklace from Sam Ryde. 

The customer service from Freyja is fabulous, the silver jewelry pieces are fanciful and unique, and they accept payment options. 

Do you have any fandom jewelry? 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Melting Basket 127

Wax from the fall basket that I would love to melt again are Beezy Apple Clove Butter, Dessa's Harvest Moon, LSC Cabin Fever, CFTKR Olde Town Bake Shoppe and Warm and Cozy, Golden Willow Wax Fall on the Fruit Loop.

Bohemienne Life- Stache
Bohemienne Life- Bella Bohemienne
Vintage Chic Scents- Cookie Monster in Salem
The Bathing Garden- Sleepy
Beezy- Apple Clove Butter
Dessa- Apples & Cinnamon
CFTKR- Fire Roasted Marshmallow
CFTKR- Country Charm
CFTKR- Leaves
CFTKR-Ultimate Sugar Cookie
Rosegirls- Ooey Gooey Caramel Tobacco <3 gift
Zeep- Gather 'Round <3 gift

If you would like me to review any of these scents in detail, just holler. Below are a couple that were requested last time.

A couple warmed reviews:

Golden Willow Wax Fall on the Fruit Loop. This one, well, threw me for a loop. I was expecting the Spiced Apples and Peaches but I figured Fruit Loops would be in there too. I really only picked up the spiced apples in peaches but they were yummy and it melted medium in my kitchen. You can see this one in the warmer above. I would consider repurchasing it. I have yet to order from Golden Willow but I think I should.

Vintage Chic Scents Riff Raff's Cozy Cocktail is a bourbon pumpkin bonfire blend. It sounds like it would be right up my alley but that bonfire smells similar to Bonfire Bliss FO and I don't really care for that sweet version. It melted strong and after the bonfire wore off it did smell like a nice woodsy pumpkin but not one I would repurchase. I did order some wax from VSC from the Stranger Things restock. 

So normally I have begun the Fall Fun Series around these parts on the first week of September but things are a little different. Jay and Sandra and I will be doing a shorter fall celebration and then Deb and I will be doing an October and perhaps a November word of the day type posting. My typical reviews will still be posted but the word or theme of the day will follow after or be tied into it. 

I cannot believe September is already half over. I see some cooler temps in the forecast and it has me giddy. I ended up baking the first apple pie of the season on Sunday. Today I have a teacher work day so it is pretty chill. I will be attending a few conferences then planning some lessons. 

What are you up to today? How is your week looking? 

Do you like apple pie?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Wick and Fable: Tea With Hagrid Candle

Good morning! I am ready for a lazy Sunday. Well, not too lazy. I have plans today of sweeping and picking up my clothes and baking the first apple pies of the season with the girls. My grandfather is not doing too well so we will be swinging by to give him a small apple pie. But other than that I plan on being kinda lazy. Watching some Charmed, reading some Poe. And having this lovely candle nearby to sniff. 

Wick & Fable's Tea With Hagrid blends Early Grey tea leaves, shaved nutmeg and spiced caramel into a cozy tea blend. The nutmeg and spices are very, very tame in this one. In fact, I don't even really pick up on them. This is mostly a tea scent. A clear, sweet tea that is lightly steeped and softly floral. It burns beautifully with a white wax that swirls with fine glitter. The throw is medium in my large living area. It pairs companionably with my current fall wax melting. I love the label art. 

This 8 ounce candle runs $16 at regular price but I purchased it during their BOGO 1/2 off sale. 

I would consider purchasing this candle again. I am slowly coming around to tea-based scents and this a well crafted, subtle tea to cut my teeth on. I do wish the spice was a bit more prominent but I am sure those who are spice adverse appreciate it just the way it is. 

I just mostly wish I could actually have tea with Hagrid.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens

"Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand."

- refrain from "The Stolen Child" by William Butler Yeats

We got to see some faeries. 

Some were rulers with quite the regal homes.

While others preferred the quiet and scented beds of tiny violets.

The bookish magpie sprite caught our fancy. The wee hammock and stockpile of tomes and paintings led me to believe we would have much in common.

Scarlette even got to personally meet this colorful impish being.

Tucked between proper English rose gardens and rustic herb filled plots would emerge a faerie home or two.

Harry P. Leu Botanical Gardens in Orlando is beautiful. There is much to explore and I have a feeling we will make our way back there again. 

They offer movies on the lawn and fun exhibits from time to time, like this fairy door one.

It's nice to know that sometimes there are things I will just never out grow, even with all the weeping the world is full of.

Do you have a botanical garden nearby? I am anxious to visit an observatory next too. Have you been to one of those lately?

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Guest Post- Nocturne Alchemy: BES

Good morning! Today I have a guest post from a fellow fragrance lover and friend, Lizzie. We met in the Arcana Wildcraft group and when our paths crossed in the wax community we struck up a friendship.

I had an opportunity today to try out a scent from the Nocturne Alchemy permanent collection.

My first experience with clove as a scent note in perfume oil was with Nocturne Alchemy "Vanilla Rose and Clove" from their Limited Edition Valentine's Day release. As a committed a Rose hater, I fell surprisingly hard for this one. I told a friend of mine that Vanilla Rose and Clove was like the movie Heathers. I envision the scent as Winona Ryder looking bored while smoking a clove cigarette over one of the other Heathers' Rose strewn coffin (!). She was so cool, so aloof, so beautiful. Dirty and gorgeous. Just like Vanilla Rose and Clove. It's my idea of goth magic... anyhow, this scent put clove on my radar (and made me rethink being a Rose hater!) and thanks to a Facebook connection, I had an opportunity to try another clove scent: Nocturne Alchemy BES

"Vanilla Cream Vapour, Caramelized Egyptian Sugar Dust, Vanilla Musk, Cardamom, Sandalwood and Egyptian Black Clove Buds"

BES is absolutely drool worthy. The cardamom and clove notes when inhaled from the bottle together remind me a bit of Garam Masala, an Indian spice blend which is similar to the American Pumpkin Pie Spice which is so readily available in autumn. Garam literally means "heat the body", and in that vein, this is a very warm foodie scent. Minus the cinnamon, and adding in the cream and caramalized sugar, this smells like a decadent Indian spiced version of Creme Brûlée. Dripping the perfumed oil upon the skin akin to breaking the crisp warmed burnt sugar crust and beneath finding the delicious spicy vanilla custard. Every sniff of the wrist allows you to experience chipping away at the caramelized crust and digging into the cool custard waiting for you all over again. It's linear, it's fabulous and it's "Nom, Nom" good. I would imagine that layering this perfume or Vanilla Rose and Clove with NAVA rice milk could create a lovely interpretation of my very favorite Indian dessert, Kheer. If I can detach my nose from my wrist long enough to apply a second scent for layering, I could confirm. I believe Heather would approve. 

(Photo from Allrecipes.com)

(Garam Masala will include coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You can find the blend at most grocery stores which carry Indian foods. The next time you make Pumpkin Bread, try substituting Pumpkin Spice with Garam Masala) 

My name is Lizzie. I am a northern transplant and a mother of two sets of twins living outside of Atlanta, Georgia. When I am not contemplating the latest Indie Perfume releases, you can find me carpooling children to dance classes, sketching on my art pad, reading from the library of Golden Age Detection, and teaching aerobics. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Poisoner's Guild: Ave Victoria

I am a card holding member of The Poisoner's Guild. No, no. Adam is fine. No need to rush off and alert the authorities. The wizard cops need not fear this mellow muggle. The Poisoner's Guild is a group of scentcrafters that curate boxes of fragrant darkling offerings. I missed the inaugural box but this second collection made it to my doorstep. It is named Ave Victoria, how was I to miss a Victorian themed aroma experience? The box was $45 and arrived a little later than predicted due to some supplying issues. Not a problem for me as they kept the FB group posted, however if I was not a member I would have been concerned.

The box arrived and exceeded my breathless expectations. Especially in the packaging arena.

All the dried botanicals were simply lovely. And see how there is a handkerchief that wraps around the description cards? After traveling about with the incense the hankie was so pleasantly scented.

A sticker and two artistic cards arrived in the box. One tells the tale of a Victorian era female poisoner and the other sets the tone for the box with a deathly dessert. Then of course is my membership card.

Alkemia created a perfume oil for the box in the scent Cyanide.

Cyanide- Notes: Creamy oleander blossoms, absinthe liqueur and iron distilled patchouli delicately bathed in a non-toxic perfumer's accord of potassium cyanide. 

From the amber vial rises up the aroma of sweet and boozy almond. Grazed onto the delicate skin of the wrists arises powdery almond sweetness and lightly spiced absinthe. The heart of Cyanide releases a narcotic flower perfume that is powdery with a lemony honey nectar oozing from its intimate bosom. As the toxin runs through its course it dries down into that clear patchouli with subtle traces of the oleander lingering softly on the fringes.

My first vials of Hexennacht perfumes arrived via this experience in the scents Morphine and Laudanum.

Morphine- Notes: Steamed milk, lavender buds, honeyed apricots, chamomile tea, honey and white amber.

Sweet chewy dried apricots and creamy lavender float up like a hazy dream from the dram. applied topically, Morphine emerges with milky notes that merge with peachy apricot to create a peaches and cream blend with honey drizzled on top. The heart of Morphine holds candied lavender amid the apricots and honey. It is delicious and crystalline and I want to like it like a lollipop. The dry down gets a touch earthier once chamomile seeps in but stays nicely sweet.

Laudanum- Notes: Opium, saffron, ambergris accord, black currant, plum, bergamot, nutmeg, vanilla, black oak, cedar, smoked patchouli, amber, amyris, black pepper, vetiver and white musk. 

I love this scent. Laudanum fragrances always appeal to me. From the vial an intoxicating vapor smolders with darkness, black opium and ebony amber. On the skin the opium wraps its sooty smoothness around the senses. It possesses an ambery warmth that turns slightly animalic from the ambergris accord. Laudanum is dark and cozy, woodsy and warm, smoldering with resins. It is gorgeous.

Strange Fire & Fumery included a travel tin candle and incense.

The candle is in Ether which blends elderflower, moonflower and ozone. This small tin scented my bedroom with beautiful gauzy flowers and freshness. It is a lovely candle and burns well.

Opium incense features dragon's blood, jasmine and devil's trumpet. Twenty sticks were generously included and they smell excellent and burn easily yet slowly. Opium produced a heady resinous incense that filled the room wonderfully. 

A tin of handcrafted teas and four parma violet candies were the last bits of divinity to emerge from the petal strewn box. 

Steepology teas in Earl Grey de la Creme, Lemon Mint Cooler and Royal Velvet.  I steeped and drank the Lemon Mint Cooler and it was nice. It turned a bright pinkish red color and had that fruity taste that Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger has. If it was more of a lemon and mint I probably would have enjoyed it a touch more but I do look forward to drinking the other two. 

The parma violet candies are a pleasant hard candy treat. I will happily enjoy them. 

I am happy with this purchase. The box was presented beautifully with great attention to detail. The items within are all crafted with passion and talent. I would be up for purchasing another Poisoner's Guild box in the future.

Monday, September 10, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft and Smiles By Wedelstaedt: Dangerous Places

These soaps and perfumes were sent by Julia for free. I am choosing to review them. All opinions are my own.

Julia from Arcana Wildcraft and Brooke from Smiles By Wedelstaedt make for a dream team when it comes to creating fragrances and body treats.  When Brooke ran Villainess, her and Julia made amazing collaborations and it thrills me that they are still creating magic together. 

This particular magic resulted in the collection Dangerous Places which are inspired by locales that are shrouded in mystery and legend.

Brooke crafts decadent soaps using her own recipes and formulas with quality ingredients. They run $15 each and are cold processed with tons of decadent butters and oils such as palm oil, rice bran oil, coconut oil, castor seed oil, shea butter and mango butter. Silk is also in each soap for added shine, lather and smoothness.

I will briefly describe the scents and focus more on the feel of the soaps since I will be talking about the perfumes they correspond with below.

Death Valley and Raven Rock list the same ingredients on the label and they both feel extremely plush on the skin when showering with them. Death Valley has a subtle sweetness to its scent and lathers up beautifully. Raven Rock froths up in hues of indigo and slate with a deep rich scent. Both cut cleanly when chopping off slivers, they have a rubbery yet dense feel with flexibility. The lather produced from these two is thick and foamy and emollient. It slides on the skin with buttery ease like a hybrid of a bar of soap and a bar of lotion. Death Valley is smooth and satiny against the fingers and palms while Raven Rock has a little bit of texture. They rinse cleanly and leave no residue behind.

Bermuda Triangle has added Irish moss granules, dulse granules and kelp granules. This soap is smooth like a stingray fin with small blue chunks and cream chunks that have tiny botanical pieces, these may be the granules? They are sporadically spread so I wouldn't really call this an exfoliating soap, but the texture is neat where the bits are located. This soap has a sweet tropical fragrance. It suds into a lather that bubbles rather than foams on my skin. It still feels emollient and  rinses cleanly.

Vatican Archives is augmented with honey. Vatican Archives has honey as a scent note so the added honey in the formula is pretty spectacular. This soap is the bottom one in the photo above, you can see the rustic, primitive appearance of it. I enjoy a soap with character. The rough-spun feel of it in the hands is comforting. Rubbing it on the limbs produces that same viscous and frothy lather that feels nourishing on the skin. I used this on my face and it felt luxurious in its cushiony texture.  The aroma mostly came across as honeyed parchment paper and it was lovely.

Mount Osore is tantalizing in soap form. The smoky palo santo fragrance and the silken texture combine for a serene soaping experience. This soap along with the Vatican Archives and Raven Rock are my personal favorites from the set but all five of them are stellar. 

 Death Valley- Notes: This vast expanse of desert in Eastern California is one of the hottest places on Planet Earth. Juniper berry, juniper branches, creosote bush, helichrysum absolute and tiny wildflowers.
Heady immortelle and scaly juniper needles issue from the amber bottle. This is the scent I was most excited for upon this release. I have been watching Julia harvest and process the juniper by hand and knew it would result in something special. It has. Pressed onto the wrists, dry gin and juniper berries exhale their anhydrous spirits into the ether. Sprigs of herbal tea and dusty hay and camphorous creosote infuse the gin. As it settles the gin wears off and green herbs and florals open up their stems and leaves and pour out their essence. The scent gets fresher and more arid as it dries down. It ends like clean sun baked sand and bleached bones and branches.  

Bermuda Triangle- Notes: The Devil's Triangle in the North Atlantic has been the scene of mysterious disappearances for many decades. White coconut, ginger cakes, fresh ginger, red bananas, golden vetiver, creamy almond and cask-aged rum.
From the bottle arises tropical treats of ripe spiced bananas and white coconut flesh. There is a soft undertone of earthiness from the vetiver. The coconut and vetiver combination bring the Black Sands accord to mind but this one is more sweet and mellow. Splashed onto the skin a waft of sweet almond cakes greets the nose. Bermuda quickly takes on the aged and earthy scent of rum casks freshly dug up from a smuggler's island. Clods of sweetgrass cling to the casks and coconut husks make for easy cups to hold the rum. The vetiver eventually ebbs away and the delectable aroma of softly spiced sweet cakes flows in. It is never what I would call a gourmand scent, however. A bit of the hay and sweetgrass and coconut husk lingers faintly within the sweetness.

Raven Rock- Notes: Also known as the Underground Pentagon, this secret bunker in Pennsylvania is where U.S. leaders plan to wait out Armageddon. The green leafiness of the Blue Ridge Mountains with cherry blossoms, white tea and hints of basil, cilantro and dill weed.
This is heavenly in the bottle. Delicately sweet sakura petals and mild herbs tickle the nose. A watery garden. Watered onto the wrists, glossy green basil leaves and feathered dill sprigs spring up. Their perfume is sweetened by pale honeyed tea. Pink cherry blossoms open up amid the tender dill and mellow tea. They yeild a sweet floral aroma that suggests a tranquil meadow of iris and sweet pea. This is truly a beautiful, beautiful fragrance. I am smitten by this herbaceous sylvan beauty. It dries down in a smooth amber musk.

Mount Osore- Notes: Site of a Buddhist temple, legend has it that this active volcano in Japan also contains an entrance to the Land of the Dead. Dark red rose petals, Japanese amber, sooty palo santo and smoking nag champa incense.
From the bottle snakes a cord of watery lotus and earthen palo santo. The palo santo possesses qualities of nicotine to my nose. Very interesting. Poured onto the wrists the palo santo wafts forth much more smoothly with its characteristic creaminess and almost minty coconut freshness. The white smoke darkens as the scent swirls further into the heart. A burning electrical spark ignites and blooms into what smells like ashes from a rose. I have never quite smelled a perfume such as this. It truly does have the emanation of danger. As the perfume settles the nag champa emerges and the burned rose departs, leaving a soothing serene experience. 

Vatican Archives- Notes: This highly restricted library in Vatican City is rumored to hold forbidden books, dangerous documents and heretical secrets. Honey from the Papal apiaries, Roman figs, Atlas cedarwood, smoky frankincense and myrrh, black musk and smudgy parchment musk.

Unstoppering this elixir releases flickering shadows of blackness, as if slinking up from the chilled stones in the catacombs. Anointed on the skin, the black musky shadows retreat temporarily and honey from the lips of forbidden women drip into the scent, smoother than oil. Papery tendrils of shaved parchment mix with the mild nectar, the descent down into the secret archives is lined with bound vellum books, crumbling antique pages as fragile as moth wings. Their fragrance delicately perfumes the air along with the cedar hewn shelves and the specters of age old incense from visitors past. All these aromas merge into a holy trinity of skin musk that remains elusive and haunting, airy and ancient.

This collection is hugely evocative of each dangerous place they are meant to convey. The soaps are divine and the perfumes are incredible. As I had previously purchased quite a few of these under my own steam, I am offering up a few of these as well as a few traditional Halloween Arcana scents in a giveaway.

I am giving away my personal order I paid for since I ended up using the soaps and perfumes from Julia and kept these unused. Two soaps (Vatican Archives and Death Valley) as well as perfumes in Death Valley, Pumpkins Crave Quietude, Apples Crave Cider and Bermuda Triangle along with a sticker. This is roughly $130 worth of amazing handcrafted product. To enter please leave a comment below with which of these dangerous places you would most like to visit. I would love unlimited access to the Vatican Archives. But it would also be cool to go to Raven Rock and see the top secret Pentagon bunker. And a trip to Japan is always welcome. I missed hiking Mount Fuji when I was there but I could make up for it with checking out Mount Osore.

Please include your email address along with the comment. The winner will be randomly drawn on September 30th. Open to everyone.