Friday, October 31, 2014

Bath & Body Works: Sparkling Amber Candle

Sparkling Amber has been catching my eye upon recent trips to the old Bath & Body Works. I could resist her wiles no longer. After about an hour of melt time it formed a nice deep amber pool of wax. The flames stayed small but strong. The scent in the largest room of the house was about medium light. I have since decided to melt this in our bedroom. The scent description is: "Velvety peach and lush frangipani petals add a touch of lightness to warm, alluring amber." The amber figures prominently. I find it to be in a similar vein as their Sensual Amber scent if you are familiar with that particular fragrance. The peaches are more skin than fruity pulp, sweet but not sticky. The frangipani haunts this scent in the guise of their throwback, Plumeria. It is very subtle, almost not discernible.  Overall, I am very pleased with this choice. Would I pay $30 (the full asking price)? No, I would need more throw. However, they were a part of the 2/$22 deal and that is why I pulled the trigger. I also grabbed Marshmallow Fireside and Cardamom & Suede. Mmmmmmm. Purchased or eyeballing any Bath & Body Works candles? Do tell!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Sniff My Tarts: Box 2

My March Sniff My Tart order is now complete. The second lil box arrived safely.

Bayberry/Spiced Cranberry/Country Christmas popsicle- This is the Christmas scent I have been trying to get my hands on. The spiced cranberry and bayberry are meant to be together. It paints a picture so vivid of a traditional homestyle Christmas that I hear Karen Carpenter singing "Home for the Holidays" when I smell this festiveness. Tart, juicy sweet cranberries popping in a sauce on the stove, cinnamon spiced hot apple cider being passed around by crazy Uncle Jerry (you know he's your favorite uncle- beware it's probably spiked), the wreaths, garlands and Christmas tree giving off their resinous pine perfume. Perfection. Saving this blend for next opening in a full sheet cake.

Blackberry Amber/Blackberry/Warm Vanilla Sugar popsicle- Sweet vanilla musk with a dark berry undertone. Not sure how I feel about this one yet.

Frosted Pine/Peppermint/Sugar Spruce popsicle- YES. Sweet minty pine. All day long. My eyes are watering from the fumes and I can't stop inhaling. Please take the bag before I inhale it into nothingness. Great sinus clearer.

Frosty Pine frosted bread loaf- More of an evergreen scent with just a touch of green mint leaves. It is a very nice scent on its own.

North Woods Christmas jumbo cake slice- Mostly a balsam and pine scent with a hint of something sweet. The scent description lists lightly spiced cranberry but I don't think I can identify it as such. A lovely holiday and winter scent to have on hand. I could see myself using this to blend with for next go 'round.

Fallen Leaves mini pies- The scent description is very vague but I must say I do not feel like this is a fall leaves type of scent. It is a good scent, but not fall leaves. It smells like tuberose and a touch of laundry detergent. It is a heavy blend of white large florals: magnolias and jasmine and tuberose. Interesting.

Winter Berry Free Sample Ghostie- I like this guy! Smells pungently of cinnamon (BROOM!) and dried apple potpourri and maybe a tad bit of eucalyptus or greenery. Mostly cinnamon. And I like it.

More Free Samples:
Pina Colada/Honeydew Melon/Watermelon- Strong on the pineapple, but the melons play a sweet and beautiful duet with the colada. Tropical fun!
Strawberry Glaze/Vanilla Butter Fudge/Strawberry Glaze- Strawberries and cream candies. Yum!
Vanilla Butter Fudge/Manderin Oranges/Strawberry Jam- A yummy swirl of sorbets and vanilla ice cream all marbled together. Like a Gelati.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Soap Box Company: Villianess Autumn Gala Perfume

The Soap Box Company recently celebrated 10 years of business and marked the big occasion with many giveaways on Facebook and Twitter. My soap friend, Jean, won one and generously let me pick the prize. The giveaway was one Villianess perfume. I went to the SBC site and landed on Autumn Gala.

Characteristic Scent: Fresh-pressed apples, spiced cider, sweetgrass and fall’s new-mown hay harvest. A Soap Box Company exclusive fall fragrance by Villainess, available for a limited time.

The first thing detected when I opened the jar and dabbed on my wrist was exuberant cinnamon anchored by sweet red apples. These top notes quickly dried down into hay, the kind of bales used on a hayride. Dusty straw that clings to your thighs and hair while you bounce joyfully in a wagon drawn by an old puttering tractor on a brisk fall day. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Q & A with Amy Haslam of Sniff My Tarts

1. How long have you worked with wax?
About 4 years.

2. What are your favorite scents?
I love fall scents all year!!

3. What scent do you loath pouring?
None that I can think of.

4. What is your vision for Sniff My Tarts?
Our family business was started in 2003 by husband and wife. Now we are a mother daughter team. I hope in 20 years, Adaly and I will be working side by side making your homes smell good. I predict SMT to be around long after I am gone.

5. What do you love most about your job?
Being with my family. Not too many mothers get to be with their child 24/7. It can be a challenge but I would not have it any other way.

6. What is your least favorite part of the job?
Going to the post office! Our post office is only open for 4 hours. November that will be changing, and will only be open for 2 hours. Some days it can be a real challenge getting to the post office in time. If we don't get to the post office by a certain time, the post master will not scan them until the next business day.

7. What is SMT's best selling scent(s)?
Lemon Sugar, Toasted Marshmallow, Tangerine Marshmallow Coconut Cake, Peggy's Blueberry Noel, Sprinkled Sugar Cookie Latte, and so many more!

8. What are your guilty pleasures?
Cracking fingers, toes, backs, necks. Weird I know.

9. What are your Top 3 favorite TV shows?
Dance Moms, King of Queens

10. What is your favorite thing about the wax community?
The friendships that have formed in the wax community are absolutely beautiful, it's just amazing. I am blessed to be a part of it.

11. If you could change one thing about the wax community what would it be?
The wax community can be crazy at times, but when a wax sister is in need everyone puts aside their differences and helps. I would not want to change that.

12. Name your hometown/state and describe it in 5 words.
 Clarington, Ohio. Quiet, small, country, boring, backroads.

Amy and Donna Haslam work hard to offer a wide selection of custom scents, shapes and blending options. Their wax is some of my favorite. I hope you got a chance to order from their opening recently. November 1st, I believe, they are slated to open the website for Mystery Box purchases. Information about openings, flash sales, and mystery boxes can be found in their Facebook group.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Moonalisa Halloween Release

My very first Moonalisa order is tucked safely under my belt. In the past, I had read dozens of reviews about this being a popular vendor who's product flies off the virtual shelves. Especially during a Halloween release. I had no idea what to expect so I quickly chose three products based on names alone.

Sleepy Hallow Soy Tart clamshell: I had no idea what the notes might be but I counted on spooky goodness. This does not disappoint. It smells like a Jack 'O Lantern that has been lit all night, frightening little children and goblins away. Pumpkin, lightly toasted with candle fire.

Where's My Pie free sample: This was in the drawstring bag with a stick of candy and a business card. I totally thought it was wax and was going gaga over it. But after taking the photos and editing them, I read that it was soap! I quickly took it in the shower and was amazed. The dark base is full of exfoliating granules that smell and feel like fine sugared cinnamon. THE SMELL. Oh. Pure, unadulterated sweet cinnamon. I  kept looking around the shower to see if my cinnamon broom crept in there and was hiding in a corner (she's insanely jealous of my Nimbus 2000). I have never used a straight up cinnamon soap but I am in love. It tingled with goodness. It lathered well and rinsed just as beautifully.

My haste tricked me. When I was ordering I knew I wanted a wax tart, a soap and a hair conditioner. I think by now y'all know I am into musky, minty, earthy, different scents. I am not a bakery or fruity fan in body care or perfume in general. There are of course exceptions but this was not the time for that. I found the scent Wicked Amber in both the soap and conditioner and thought "Oh, yes, warm and rich amber. Come to mama." I should have read the scent description. It turned out that it is a predominately apple scent with a hint of amber and was misnamed on the website and the invoice. It was supposed to read Wicked Apple. I did not know this. I opened my package and my face fell a little. Apple? Hm. I messaged Moonalisa and explained that I received the wrong scent. I ordered Amber, not Apple. She told me it was the same scent description and that it was a simple naming error. I told her it was my bad since I went based off of the name, not even bothering to read the scent descriptions. She VERY generously refunded my order amount. I was NOT expecting that. At all. I told her thank you and that I would be back. Excellent customer service.
Wicked Apple Hair Conditioner: The scent, though the same in the soap and the conditioner, smells differently in each medium. In the conditioner is it much more bakery and apple crisp smelling. Can I say how weird it feels to wash my hair with apple crisp? The conditioner itself is a dream. Thick, nice slip and moisturizing. A little goes a longer way than I am "conditioned" to experience (you like that? yeah, I am punny). I plan on ordering her conditioner again. I still love my FuturePrimitive conditioner but I am a free agent. I like having choices. My curls enjoy both formulas, even though they are different.

Wicked Apple Soap: I think this is a hot process soap. The mica/glycerin swirls remind me of the first and only melt and pour soaps I made years ago as Christmas gifts. I cut off a decent sized hunk and used it in the shower. The scent in soap form is less bakery and a little more apple and musk and amber. I enjoy it much much more in the soap form. This bar lathered copious amounts of soft white fluffy foam. It did leave my skin squeaky clean with just the tiniest bit of tightness but nothing that bothered me. I love staring at those colors and swirling clouds of shimmering aqua. It looks like a potion simmering in a magical cauldron frozen in time.

Have you tried Moonalisa? Any recommendations? Does she do a Christmas release? Hope you have a splendid last week of October!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Favorite Fall Polishes

Fall make up and nail polish hues enthrall me. I adore the dark and vampy colors rich with bordeaux, mushrooms, and velvety purples. These five nail polishes get put on repeat during the autumn months and sometimes well into winter.

Left to Right:

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Killa Red is a chameleon red. Depending upon the lighting and number of coats it can range from fresh spilt, bright red blood to a deep dark dried oxblood. I prefer two coats for this heavily pigmented red. A stunning creme/jelly hybrid. I think young folks call it a crelly?

Nails Inc.: Foubert's Place is my "goes with anything" mushroom taupe. Highly pigmented and creamy. One of my favorite edgy neutrals.

Tom Ford: Bitter (Not Nice Word) despite the horrid name I bought it. And enjoy it. Bitter comes off as a red based chocolate creme. For being so ding dang expensive it certainly does not have the best formula (as you can see from the swatches, each polish was given one swipe of the brush and BB is quite watery). It can be streaky and needs 2-3 coats depending on my painting abilities on a given day. Why is it still in my top 5 Fall? I love the color. I really do not have anything close to it in my collection.

Rescue Beauty Lounge: Catherine was one of my favorite queens of Henry the VIII and this polish is just as beautiful. Silvery antique royal purple with glimmering shimmer. Pigmented 1-2 coater. RBL may be on the expensive side, but the quality shows. Excellent application and unique sophisticated colors.

Savvy: Red Caviar is a cheapie from Sally Beauty Supply but I adore it. The vamped up purple/red applies wonderfully. Admittedly, it does appear black after two coats, to the non trained polish eye, but polishaholics can tell that is more of a blacked out bourdeax. Totally. 

Gratuitous blurred shot to display sparklies.

What colors do you like sporting in the fall? Do you have any favorite fall polishes?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sniff My Tarts: Box 1

It is here!!! My March order is gorgeous, odoriffic, and well worth the wait. Some of my choices were delayed due to oils being out but the rest are on their way to me as I type this. Today is Sniff My Tarts Opening Day!!! It only comes twice a year. If you are ordering, may all your blends turn out just how you wanted. Presenting the first box of my order.

Pink Peppermint Sheet Cake (undecorated): Pink Peppermint perfection. Even undecorated, it is formed beautifully, a base of white snow with swirls of red and garnished with candy. The eyes and nose feast on a festive celebration of icy white mint and red stripped candy canes dancing with Pink Sugar. I swear I can hear the Sandman singing Christmas tunes to lull me to sleep when I gaze at this. If it was socially acceptable to stuff cylinders of this up my nostrils to smell every where I go, I would. Ok. Enough Ode to Pink Peppermint.Well... just one more....

Peppermint/Pink Vanilla Butter Fudge Popsicle: A punchy and sharp pink peppermint blend with just a little extra thick vanilla. I can never have too much pink peppermint.

Coconut Cream Pie/Orange Chiffon Cake/Vanilla Marshmallow Smoothie Popsicle: Orange cream muffins. An uplifting smell.

Rainbow Sherbet Jumbo Ice Cream Scoop: Sunnee enabled me on this scent. My first Rainbow Sherbet, tart, sweet, fruity and citrusy. I have a feeling this one will throw super strong.

Pumpkin Pecan Waffles Grubby Mini Bundt Cake: Mouth watering Bath & Body Works dupe. Strong and true.

Under the Big Top Lil Frosted Bread Loaf: Sniff My Tarts collaboration with Rosegirls, it is circus concession and marshmallow smoothie. Caramel mac apple and marshmallow heavy. Add to it the merest sprinkle of cinnamon from the funnel cake and rounded sweetness from cotton candy.

Celtic Moonspice/Willow's Cuppy Cake/Sugar Cookie Dough Bread Chunks: Sugar Cookie Dough Bread is strong. Even though it is only one chunk it provides a firm foundation for this blend. A cozy cinnamon bakery scent.

Pumpkin Praline/Caramel Cookie/Celtic Moonspice Chunks: Sweet cinnamon pumpkin with a tad butterbrickle bite from the caramel. I am very happy with this blend.

Cranberry Spice/Cranberry Chutney Chunks: Sweet candy cranberries. Smidge of spice. Not what I envisioned but still quality cranberry fragrances.

Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake/Gourmet Sugar Cookie/Sticky Marshmallow Chunks: I adore SMT Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake. Incredible sweet and creamy lavender bakery blend. This cookie explodes with vanilla crunchiness.

Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake/Pink Butter Cookie/Marshmallow Noel Chunks: This one has less bakery but more vanilla enhanced Pink Sugar that compliments this lavender blend beautifully.

Cotton Candy Bliss/Butter Brickle/Cotton Candy Chunks: Jacqui ensnared me with her praises of cotton candy butterbrickle blends on her blog back in the day. I knew as soon as I could place my first real SMT order that I would include this blend. Never in a million years would I think that it smells as wonderful as it truly does. The butterbrickle zap of richness cuts nicely into the sticky sweet cotton candy. I cannot wait to melt this.

Pink Coconut/Pink Sticky Marshmallow/Pink Sugar Cookies Chunks: Pink to the third power. Pink Sugar dreams. Pink Sugar heaven. Pink Sugar perfection. I want to roll in it.

Free Samples!

Lavender Coconut Milk/Lavender: Incredible blend that I swear has blackberry in it. I normally do not gravitate towards their Lavender Coconut Milk, as it smells a little like fabric softener. I really think this is their lavender berry blend. It is so sweet and fruity. Two chunks of this delicious blend is appreciated.

Laffy Taffy/Mandarin Oranges: Pink bubble gum and orange Starburst. Youthful and sweet.

Tres Leches Cake/Cinnamon Toast/Marshmallow Smoothie: Smells like vanilla coconut. Mellow and simple.

Box two should be arriving today or Monday sometime. Are you placing a SMT order today? What blends are you most looking forward to? Any adventerous mixing? What shapes do you gravitate towards?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Melting Basket 16: Halloween Aromas

Wax tarts I would repurchase from the last basket include: CFTRK Peppermint Marshmallow (which I repurchased recently as you saw), RG Ooey Gooey Caramel/Butterbrickle/Dunk My Donut with DMD as the overpour this scent was strong, lasted long and was delicious, I would love a loaf in this, RG Cider Lane, Sweet Pumpkin Pie, Marshmallow Smoothie this was also strong and delicious, a great fall scent that I was thankful to try.
Ready to see what spooky Halloweenie fragrances I have chosen to melt the week leading up to the spooky day?
Rosegirls- Pecan Waffle Smoothie
Rosegirls- Candy Corn, Marshmallow Smoothie, and Butterbrickle <3 gift
Rosegirls- Pumpkin Chai/Pecan Waffles/Pumpkin Cupcake <3 gift
Rosegirls- Hot Apple Pie/Pecan Waffles/Pie Crust <3 gift
Rosegirls- Pumpkin Streuselkuchen
CFTKR- Family Gathering <3 gift
CFTKR- Country Bumpkin <3 gift
CFTKR- Country Grove <3 gift
CFTKR- Frost on the Pumpkin <3 gift
CFTKR- Mulled Cider
Vintage Chic Scents- Bride of Frakenstein
Vintage Chic Scents- Elm Street <3 gift
Alamo Candelaria- Raven's Myst
Ten Digit- Witch's Brew
Ten Digit- Black Magic
Ten Digit- Black Widow
Daphne's- Trick or Treats
Sugar & Spice- Pumpkins in the Fire <3 gift
Moonalisa- Sleepy Hallow
If you are curious about any of these scents please leave a comment below and I will do a melted review for you. I think this is my most exciting basket yet. So many delicious scents I cannot wait to inhale.
My fall decor sorely needed some sprucing up outside. It was too early for Jack 'O Lanterns (as Florida quickly turns them into a puddle of mold after about 3 days) but I have seen mums popping up everywhere. My recent trip to Lowe's to pick up new blinds for our windows also graced me with an opportunity to buy lots of mums.

It seems almost impossible that there is only one week of October left. It is scary exciting. Thanksgiving plans, holidays, Christmas events are all right around the corner. Any fun plans this weekend?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sniff My Tarts Mystery Bag

My Sniff My Tarts Mystery Bag came in the mail box several days ago.With Sniff My Tarts' impending opening this Saturday, the 25th at 7am Est, I thought I should get this bag of yummy wax up so others may benefit from new scent blends like I did. SMT Mystery bags and boxes are made up of over pours from other customers' orders. None of these blends are my own creation.

Watermelon Cake/Strawberry Kiwi/Lemonade- Fruity bursts of sweetness from the watermelon and strawberry kiwi (which blend really well together) but the lemonade is throwing it off for me. It has a powdery tang of which I am not fond. I think substituting another lemon blend of theirs would be gorgeous with these two fruity scents.

Serendipity Coconut Cream Pie- Serendipity perfection. SMT does serendipity really well and combined with extra coconut, I swoon.

Fruity Loops 7 Up Pound Cake- Zesty citrus burst of lemons and oranges and limes with some vanilla cake to smooth it over. Excellent blend!

Serendipity Fudge/Strawberry Jam/Willow's Cuppy Cake- Serendipity fudge smells richer, more buttery and thick than traditional serendipity. The strawberry brightens it with juiciness and the cupcake adds sweetness and frosting. A delicious blend indeed. Two chunks = twice the yumminess.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert- I am one of the very very few who do not care for strawberry pretzel scents. SMT does it really well, but across the board of vendors, I do not care for it. The strawberry is authentic and sweet with some jammy notes. The pretzel adds a dry bread crunch. This section of sheet cake looks lovely. I am sure I can find an enthusiastic home for it. 

Lavender Vanilla Coconut Milk/Tuberose- WOW! Heady blend of lavender and tuberose that reminds me of jasmine and lily of the valley dipped in cream. Not for the feint of nose.

Wildberry Mousse/Zucchini Bread/Toasted Marshmallow- Wildberry Mousse has grown on me. This blend smells really awesome. Sweet, fruity, non-spicy zucchini bread. 

Peaches 'N Cream- Smells just like Breyer's Peach Ice Cream that I used to eat on humid summer days with my Pa when we were camping or fishing. He loved his Breyer's Peach Ice Cream. I think I need to indulge in some soon in memory of him.

Strawberry Crunch- This smells like Capt'n Crunch Berries, heavier on the strawberry spheres of sugary cereal crunch (that cut the roof of your mouth like heinous razor blades... seriously, why hurt yet taste so good?!). 

Toasted Marshmallow/Orange Chiffon- I have become a huge fan of these marshmallow dipped shapes and blends. I have a few planned for the next opening. This combo of scents mimics an orange dreamsicle. Verra nice!

One more mystery.... whoooo could this be??

Sniff My Tarts plans on doing a three part opening on Saturday: 7-8am EST, 12-1pm EST, then 7-8pm EST. I have an  order ready to go. I did get my March SMT order yesterday (box one, box two will be here in a couple of days). In case you are curious here is what I plan on ordering:

Dipped Marshmallows in:
Marshmallow Noel w/ sticky marshmallow

Peggy's Blueberry Noel w/ sticky marshmallow

Pink Sticky Serendipity w/ sticky marshmallow

Decorated loaf in Peppermint and Frosted Pine

Decorated Chunks in Peppermint (over pour)/VBN/Marshmallow Noel

Chunks in Warm Vanilla Sugar (over pour)/Leather/Marshmallow Noel

Chunks in Birthday Cake (over pour)/Rose Jam/Vanilla Extract (Yasmine, you TOTALLY hooked me on the thought of Rose and Birthday Cake, thank you!!)

**Order may be subject to change upon my whim and vacillations**

 See a pattern? Mints and Mallows, baby. Mints and Mallows.

Are you ordering? What are your "must have" SMT blends? 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bodygoodies Soap

Bodygoodies had a free shipping special recently and my soapy friend Jean asked if I would like to hop on a group order. She also mentioned that the Spa 2 bar was on sale, $7 down from $12. I knew what I was ordering.

The Spa 2 bar is scented with lime, peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus oils. Jean sent me a sliver a while back and I quickly used it up. These types of fresh, invigorating scents appeal to me like no other. I feel more calm and relaxed or energized by turns when I use these minty fresh soaps, depending on the mood I start out in. This soap lathers beautifully and feels amazing on the skin. After rinsing I feel undoubtedly clean and nourished.  Bodygoodies utilizes the best ingredients in their soaps and spare no expense. The craftsmanship is evident.

Jean generously sent along quite a few tester chunks with my bar. The Clay Bar is not on the site at the moment but it smells like it has a touch of lavender. This one and a few of the others below will be used a face soaps to help control some of my oily and acne prone skin. Despite being well out of my teenage years, my acne has worsened with age. Darn hormones.

From back to front:
Roobios Tea- A soothing and healing bar, this one does not really smell of a particular scent other than soap.

Holy Bacon- A fun limited edition seasonal scent of bonfires and smoked bacon. Thankfully more heavy on the fire and less on the bacon. I actually really like it. It smells more masculine and sophisticated than Beezy's version of bacon. Which is by and far to sweet and realistic. I like a stylized version better.

Amyst- I do not see this on her site at the moment, but it is a lovely peppermint soap. I used it last night and it was marvelous. Friction built up a creamy white, silky lather and released an herbal and minty fragrance that was surprisingly deep. It left little pools of oil on the surface of the bath water indicating rich emollients. My skin felt renewed and clean post wash up.

Crud- This soap is packed with minerals and dead sea mud and essential oils. It smells of eucalyptus, tea tree and mineral rich water. Bodygoodies describes it as being a workhorse and I am looking forward to putting it to use.

Fij- This slice smells of patchouli and mint. According to the site, this is Heidi's (the owner and soaper) most favored soap.

Have you tried Bodygoodies? How do you feel about the bacon rage? Bacon cupcakes, waffles, lipgloss, toothpaste, soap, wax tarts... Savanna melted her Beezy bacon tart and DAYS after I removed it to the trash (pronto) it still smelled like straight up bacon in there. One of my not so great ideas. Why don't the yummy scents have lasting power like that?