Monday, February 8, 2016

Valhalla Soap Co.: Wax Tarts

This is a kismet post where Deb and Viking folklore all collaborate to unveil underlying threads of coincidence in life. Deb has recommended Valhalla Soap Company to me in the past. Deb also loaned me the book, Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer, a Norse mythology series. Recently, while reading this book no less, I saw Matt, one of the owners (with Donna), announce a restock. I headed my Norse-filled self over to the site and proceeded to order almost one of each scent. 

It arrived in this gorgeous red box, wrapped in a flat rate bubble mailer, which incidentally is becoming my favorite way to mail things. 

In my haste to excitedly try all the wax scents, I totally neglected to check out their soaps. Thankfully, in that raven bag lies two soap chunks. 

All the single tarts were packaged in glassine bags with lovely labels. Two packs of Sweet Tarts were included too. My heart did little flips to see the tarts all lined up in organized perfection.

Some of the labels were holiday themed and others were the Valhalla logo. Each tart was one ounce and cost $1.25 each. Shipping was $5.95.

Shield Maiden-Citrus, florals, woody base. Orange, watery green, jasmine, rose, juniper, patchouli, vanilla.
The aquatic notes figure prominently with juniper accents. Overall it has the feel of a voyage along a Scandinavian coastline. Very clean and fresh.

Oak, Ash & Thorne- Bourbon vanilla, cedarwood, patchouli, amber and sandalwood. 
I need barrel loads of this. The sweet vanilla sandalwood  makes me want to pillage all their stockpiles of Oak, Ash & Thorne. For comparisons sake, this is similar to BHG Soft Amber Cashmere but more complex and natural smelling with the addition of cedarwood and patchouli. 

Nag Champa- Indian incense containing champ flowers, amber, patchouli, spices, sandalwood and florals.
The calming, beautiful tones of Nag Champa. Give it a go if you never have before. I bought two in this scent.

My pictures are not doing these pretty tarts much justice so I wanted to show another angle of Oak, Ash & Thorne. 

Valkyrie- Peach brandy, pralines, brown sugar, amber, vanilla musk, blackcurrants, and violet.
A complex beauty, this soul gathering lady is more than the sum of her parts. Amber, brandy, vanilla and violets create a potion of woody stemmed florals while the peach and blackcurrants lend a most subtle flair of sweet. The site says this scent will be discontinued soon if they cannot find a way to duplicate it soon. If this sounds slightly interesting, I suggest getting it now.

Norseman- Balsam fir, juniper, cedar, clove and blood orange. 
Norseman is touted as their #1 best seller for five years running. I can see why! The resins of the trees provide a bracing outdoors appeal while the slightly spiced citrus adds depth and dimension. Somehow, the natural execution keeps it from smelling like Christmas. Me thinks I need to smell a Norseman soon.

Floki's Fetish-  Forest, oakmoss, spices, vanilla, incense, sandalwood, amber.
A deeply grounding scent that might be the inside of a seasoned ship hull or the hidden moss covered cave on the side of a cliff. Maybe it is the wood beam home in a Norwegian forest. Either way it is lovely, earthy and nicely textured.

Elf Cakes- Cookies covered in sprinkles.
So much more than that. Truly magickal. There lies an extreme richness of vanilla in there, almost ice cream or brulee like. My nose wants to tell me there is a teeny hint of lemon as well. Definitely a bakery scent and definitely delicious.

Masala Chai- Light citrus peel, clove buds, cinnamon sticks, creamy vanilla.
Oh wow. I wish I had this on hand during the holidays, but it will be beautiful the whole year through as well. The spices are present but not harsh or overpowering... it is almost as if they are aged and a sprinkling of incense was added. I cannot stop huffing the bag with the tart in it. And that cinnamon stick. Need more.

Hedonistic- An original blend of amber, incense, patchouli, myrrh, and sandalwood.
How can I not like it?! I almost detect a squeeze of blood orange in there as well. This does bring to mind Lush's Karma but in a much more complex and deep manifestation. The myrrh and patchouli are more elaborately pronounced. Gorgeous.

Cabin In The Woods- No description found.
I am not sure if you can tell but that is a teeny weeny pinecone embedded into the wax. <3 This scent has a definite woody vibe but there is a hefty dose of sweet golden tobacco that makes it warm and inviting. It threw medium-strong in my bedroom for the whole day.

Lavender Sage- French lavender, bergamot, sage, and eucalyptus. 
Herbal, clear and pure aromatherapy. A lavender I can sink my teeth into.

Vanilla Luxe-Vanilla, tobacco, oak barrel aged bourbon, frankincense, pepper, bergamot, rose, ylang ylang.
This is an example of how fragrance uses synergy to create a scent that is much more powerful and whole than just the one note alone. If you closed your eyes and smelled this you would happily get the most intense marshmallow vanilla creme known to mankind. If you pick it apart and try to sniff for each note, you may pick up a few but it would not stand out as such when enjoyed as a whole experience. Top notch.

Pendragon's Passion- Dragon's blood, amber, blood orange, patchouli, with possible aphrodisiac results.
Great Odin's beard. This is a yummy hippy scent. Juicy and sweet, orange soaked Dragon's Blood. 

Il-Lemon-Ahti- Lemongrass, white vanilla, sandalwood, lemon zest, orange, jasmine.
This name cracks me out. For some reason the kids at school get a huge kick out of making Illuminati references. I have never much delved into all that, it can remain a mystery. This scent is a mystery too. It is not a lemon bakery or lemon cleaner scent. It is almost lemon bouquets and woody lemons and lemon still life paintings with a Tuscan sunset with one LemonHead snuck in for giggles.

White Witch- Lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, jasmine.
Not sweet at all, very floral and clean. Would make a lovely soap scent. 

Rune Caster- Cotton candy, caramel, rose, jasmine, heliotrope, geranium, juniper, amber, vanilla, patchouli, sandalwood.
Reminds me of pink sugar gone feral. Candy sweet but lurking in a deep forest with earth on her knees and twigs in her hair, wild strawberries smudged on her lips. I got two and I am glad I did.

Hedge Witch- Patchouli, neroli, sandalwood, agave nectar, orange blossom.
I have been smelling some harsh nerolis lately in the vendor world but I am so relieved this is not one of them. This is mostly a refined patchouli scent. Polished, sophisticated but still grounded. A hedge witch who works for royalty. 

Avalon Sunrise- Champ flower, amber, patchouli, spices, sandalwood, florals, mountain breezes, sunflowers, pepper, cactus fruit, vanilla.
Wow those notes. Ultimately this smells like a fruity-floral perfume. Sweet and lovely. Cactus fruits and sunflowers and vanilla being the most dominate. Very pretty. It threw at about a medium strength in my kitchen and living area, where the florals bloomed more when melted.

Bewitched- Cinnamon, raw sugar, amber, balsam, patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver.
This smells like TDC's Bewitched. I think this may be the Yankee dupe of Witch's Brew. Spicy, dark and smoldering. A lovely brooding scent.

Soap samples!

Ice Giants is a chalky minty wonder! It lathers with abundant abandon. Creamy, silky and wildly bubbly. It felt clean and nourishing on the skin. A breath of fresh air after all my non-lathering Lush dud soaps.

Shieldmaiden in soap form smells much more musky and smooth than it does in the wax. In wax it has an almost detergent lean. I much prefer it in the soap. This is a VERY generous sized hunk too. I am so happy and thankful I get to try their soaps.

I am totally stoked with my Valhalla viking experience. I have already repurchased a few more in scents I loved in clamshell format. The owners are very nice and accomodating, the packaging was excellent and thoughtful, the scents are right up my alley and the price is great. They do offer clamshells as well for $3.75. 
Have you tried Valhalla Soap Company? Which of these would you be open to sniffing?

Far vel!


  1. How great to have another source for the type of scents you were getting at TDC and with a top notch presentation. I love their soap too, I have a bar of Norseman. And I like seeing Donna and Matt interact with and be supportive of other makers online.

    1. Yes! You must be a mind reader because as I was going through this box, I kept thinking... "This is it! This is my replacement!" Valhalla rang all my chimes in the love department when it comes to wax and soap and what I look for in indie vendors. I am one happy sniffing fool. Norseman..... Oh man. Amazing.

    2. I just placed an order! Now to wait patiently. :)

    3. Oh how exciting!!! I love love love their wax. What Scents did you get?!

    4. Cabin in the Woods, Lavender Sage, Pendragon's Passion, Bewitched!, Humboldt Head Shop, Saffron & Spice, and Peace, Love & Patchouli. I started melting some of Beezy's Apple Clove Butter and needed more scents in that vein asap.

    5. I wanted to get Hedonistic as well but myrrh and I don't get along unfortunately. :-|

    6. Oh you got some good ones! I love Cabin! I made a cart with the new Patchouli one and a few of the spicy ones. I will probably place an order at the end of the month. Glad you like Apple Clove Butter. It is one of my favorite cozy holiday scents. But I totally melt it all year. Sorry about myrrh. I enjoy it but I can see how it wouldn't be for everyone.

    7. Due to shortage of tarts I had to break from the season appropriate tradition. :)

    8. I am open to everything!! I will have to shop around to see what types I like most. Based on my experience so far the scents that my nose says are wholly synthetic, are the ones I break up into smaller sizes to enjoy. I wasn't sure about the sugary florals at first but they have grown on me, my nose is adjusting to the stronger tarts now.

    9. I bought from Valhalla because I picture myself melting the earthy scents the most.

    10. I lean earthy too. In fact I think I need more Valhalla. I am down to one clamshell.

  2. oooo I LOVE Valhalla! If you're so inclined, I highly recommend the b&b items as well. The whipped soap is paralleled by none.

    1. I am falling in love too <3 I am most certainly inclined and will make sure to try their bath and body products. What are some of your favorite scents?

  3. I *love* this post! It's been a long time since I've ordered from Valhalla. I think they were just beginning to dabble in wax back then.

    I think White Witch used to be the biggest seller in soap for a long time. (Or am I think if of FuturePrim's? Hmm.)

    Anyway, so exciting to see this order. I'll have to mosey back and see what they all have.


    1. Forgot to ask...
      Since you're all about the Norsemen at the moment, have you considered watching the show The Vikings? The fifth (?) season starts next week and I can't wait!


    2. Glad you liked it! You were heavy in my heart when I was writing it! I DO want to watch Vikings and will here before too long. I only have a few Downton episodes left. Eeeeek!

      I will be sending a couple your way with Magnus. He asked for Norse company.

  4. Such a lovely order! That packaging is fantastic, as well!

    That little pinecone in Cabin in the Woods is adorable! Vanilla Luxe sounds like a must try! Rune Caster as well... I mean, all of these scents, really. It's hard to pick a few favorites.

    Valhalla is going on my to-try list alongside several other vendors. I feel like 2016 will be the year of new vendors for me. So long as I don't get a repeat of when I first got into wax I'm A-OK with this!

    1. Yes, the packaging was totally perfect. I got my clamshell order today and I can't help but think I wish there were more vendors with scents like these. They are totally up my alley.

      2016 is definitely your year of experimentation! I love it! I am still dreaming about your Solstice Scents order today! LOL! I say as long as you nibble a bit here and there you should be totally fine. At least that is usually how I try to do it with new vendors. But I went crazy on this one, as I wanted to smell all the cool scents.

  5. So many cool tarts! Some look too pretty to melt, LOL!!

    1. They do! I love the little embeds and glitter swirls. They honestly smell so amazing though, that I am dying to melt them.

  6. Quick update, of the 3 or 4 I've melted I'm getting the best throw so far from Humboldt Head Shop, that one is a repurchase. I had to look up what a head shop was...Is the patchouli associated with it typically thought of as smelling dirty? I've yet to meet a patchouli I didn't like so it is all good for me! <3

    1. Yum! I adore patchouli as well so I will put this one on my order list. Deb didn't have much luck with the couple I sent her as far as throw. I had a mixed bag. Some threw like crazy (Oak, Ash & Thorne will blast me out of my room with one little cube) and others were a tad light. Their Nag Champa was another one I enjoyed the performance of. Wax can be a tricksy thing though... everyone gets different results based on melting methods and nose and home layout and the phase of the moon.. and... and... lol! Deb also doesn't get good throw from TBG but I do. And some people get great throw from other vendors and I do not.

      Head shop patchouli is generally thought of more as being uber earthy, slightly duskier and dirty. I love it. Love love love it. A lot of people hate patchouli, especially head shop patchouli. A very polarizing scent. But a lot of scents are: vanilla, rose, so on. I enjoy pretty much most scents. :-)

    2. I agree with Deb's assessment mostly although they are wonderfully potent all together in the box, it is interesting. I look forward to trying your favorites. :)

    3. Nah, it is just learning how to make the most of them, either sitting closer to the warmer or using them in smaller rooms. Lavender Sage was another strong one for me.