Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Best of 2016

Another year of fragrant bliss and blogging about my olfactive experiences is under the belt. This blog is a peephole into a portion of my life, though not the whole view. I do share as much as I can in an effort to be transparent and chronicle my journey in some small way. Plus the rapport and conversations had with you all during times of turbulence always lift me a little higher when I struggle in the mire. 2016 was the year of tweaking my photography (thank you Stephanie), a new job, painting bedrooms and a new A/C unit, a family vacation back to my husband's hometown, meeting a blogger friend, making new blogger friends, watching Savanna read the Harry Potter series and participate in her first Pokemon tournaments, seeing Scarlette hone her math skills and reading her first chapter books. Adam remains the constant in my life that keeps me sane, laughing when I want to cry and feeling loved when I can't seem to love myself. 

I enjoy looking back and reflecting on the year, identifying if my tastes changed or new vendors took a top billing in my home and if new smelly treasures emerged. And I believe a few did pop up. 

Top Ten Scents of 2016:

1. Peppermint/Lord of Misrule/Peppermint Swizzle Sticks from Sniff My Tarts
2. Merlin's Forest from Candle From The Keeping Room
3. Sleepy from The Bathing Garden
4. Cranberry Citrus Balsam from Lasting Scent Candles
5. Pumpkins in the Fire/Cinnamon Sticks from Sugar & Spice
6. Fresh Picked Strawberry from Candles From The Keeping Room
7. Apple Clove Butter from Beezy Tarts
8. Starlight Soda Pop from The Bathing Garden
9. Apples & Cinnamon from Dessa's Homspun Scents
10. Violet Sugar Cookie from Glitterati

Top scent of the year: Nag Champa, I loved it from Valhalla, various blends of it from Candles From The Keeping Room, FuturePrimitive, and Rosegirls. Sunnee even gifted me an amazing hand cream that smells like a refined Nag Champa that I use daily.

Top Five Vendors:

Candles From The Keeping Room-No surprise here. I love the wide variety of scents offered, the consistent throw, and the customer service. Carol puts her all into her business and it shows. I tend to stock up when I order and I know that the tarts will last a good long while. Some favorites this year include: Merlin's Forest, Fresh Picked Strawberry, Moroccan Mint, Woodland Foliage, Tokyo Nights, Amish Quilt, Balsam & Citrus, Juniper Berry & Cedar, Blue Cedar Lavender, White Cedar Forest, and Apple Cobbler Delight.

Sniff My Tarts- Amy and Donna create amazing wax and have many years of experience under their belts. They fulfill my craving for endless blending options and the new website this year was just the cherry on the top. Anytime they open I am there with bells on. Plus the new RTS option is nice for those who don't like a wait. Favorites: Pink Sugar blends, mint blends, Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake, Dragon's Blood, Lord of Misrule, Butter Brickle, marshmallow blends, serendipity blends and my new favorite this year is Enchanted Forest.

Lasting Scent Candles- I felt like I dodged a bullet this year with Lasting Scent Candles staying open. Pam has been opening every few months with a hefty scent list, 1.5 ounce and 2 ounce scent shot options and bags of brittle too. What I really enjoy is that after a pre-order, she will often take the left overs and have a nice RTS sale with a discount. If I missed out on certain scents or didn't take advantage like I wanted, I often go back for seconds with the RTS offered. In the new year she will kick off with some customer favorites in loaf format. Some of my LSC stand outs this year are: Toasted Embers, Beignets, mint blends, patchouli blends, lavender blends, wedding cakes, Spooky Apparitions, Dracula, Samhain, Cobweb Cookies, Cranberry Citrus Balsam, Sugar Sparkle, Snow Globe, marshmallow blends. Heck. I love them all. 

The Bathing Garden- Ahhhh... the artful tarts that are from The Bathing Garden are both a joy for the eye and the nose. Shannon is on a nice roll with the seasonal collections and offerings this whole year. She stays open 24/7 and everything is made to order. I try to purchase at least a little something from each collection or season. I think my favorite one this year was the Marie Antoinette and Take Me To The Sea falling into a close second. Her monthly scent bundles, scrubs, lotions and parfaits are dreamy. I wouldn't mind a room spray in some of her scents. Some of my favorites: Widow's Walk, Ever Night, Starlight Soda Pop, Sleepy, Marie Antoinette's Boudoir, Cleopatra's Cream Bath, Gingerbread House, Lavender Vanilla Custard, Calypso, Beach Bum, Pink Sands, and Chestnuts & Pinecones.

Dessa's Homespun Scents- As a spice lover, shopping Dessa's scent list is pure bliss. Dessa offers a wonderful selection of scents and shapes, all at fair prices. She even does sales too! Her scent list does have a few staples missing of mine but I can pick up my mints and earthy scents other places. Her spice and bakery and woods more than make up for it. Her TAT is always great, given the wax is made to order. Stand out include: Apples & Cinnamon, Cranberries & Pine, Cinnamon Garland, Pumpkin Wreath Woods, Smoky Mountain Berries, Haunted Hollow, Country Store, Home for the Holidays, Winter Solstice, Autumn Campfire, Harvest Moon, October, Fall in the Country.

Other great vendors I enjoy:

Candy Panda

Sugar & Spice



New Vendor I enjoyed:

Satin Suzie Scents

New Wax Vendor Wild Card Item:

Lasting Scent Candle's room sprays- excellent!!!

My top three soaps this year:

Handmade in Florida sea salt and lime (I think? It was a freebie and I love it to pieces)

FuturePrimitive Owlette's End (so scrubby and yummy)

Bathhouse Soapery Tea Tree & Peppermint (a pick-me-up and perk-me-up)

My Favorite Fragrance Experience: Sniffing around Indigo Perfumery with Jacqui in Cleveland this summer. 

Fragrances I bought full bottle of in 2016:
1. Manor by Solstice Scents
2. Chai by Baruti
3. Arancia di Capri by Acqua di Parma

Top Five Fragrances Sampled in 2016:
1. Equestrian by Sonoma Scent Studio
2. Matsu by DSH Perfumes
3. Runestone by Solstice Scents
4. Dryad by Verdant Faerie
5. Cape Heartache by Imaginary Authors

Body Care Highlights:

Burnishing Glace' from Solstice Scents in Lavender Vanilla is a nightly treat.

The Bathing Garden Ever Night body lotion hit the spot.

The Bathing Garden's Coconut Crystal Cake parfait (half whipped soap, half sugar scrub) made my mom, sisters and I ooooh and aaaaaah when I brought it to our beach getaway. 

FuturePrimitive's Milk Bath Tea in Bell, Book, and Candle gave a frothy, milky luxurious bathing experience.

Handmade in Florida's Patchouli Oud Buddha Bath Bomb fizzed and bubbled amazingly. 

Candle Highlights:

The best candle of the year was the Tizianna Terenzi Laudano Nero candle from Olfactif. I am going to try and order another one next year. The throw was stellar, the wood wicks were the sturdiest and loudest beasties ever and the heavy glass and gold details... exquisite. 

Pumpkin Woods from Bath & Body Works hit a sweet spot in home fragrance for me.

Cire Trudon's Gabriel ended the year on a sophisticated high note in my bedroom (review to come in the new year).

What were some of your stand-outs from 2016? What vendors should I give a go in the new year to come? 

I plan on plugging away here at The Redolent Mermaid in 2017. There will still be wax to melt, candles to burn, jewelry to wear, food to cook, books to read and random finds to highlight along the way. I hope you will join me. And I sincerely wish all the best for you in 2017. 



  1. Julie,
    I really enjoyed this post.Lots of melts and fragrances I will have to try! It's amazing that 2016 has already almost come to an end. Something about 2016 that I have enjoyed and will always cherish was getting to meet you and having the opportunity to participate in the fall fun series! It was a blast to blog with you and all the other amazing bloggers!

    1. Thank you! I have learned about some of my most favorite scents from blogs. I love when I can pass that on. It is kind of crazy. I feel like the years fly faster and faster. Meeting you and participating in the FFS was a high point in my year too. I hope we can do something like that again next year. <3

  2. Love your blog, Julie! 2016 is the year I ventured into vendor wax. I am so happy I did :) I agree with your awesome choices for top vendors!

    I would recommend trying Up The Creek Scents if you have not yet tried her wax. Lots of yummy scents!
    Happy (early) New Year to you and hope 2017 brings you tons of great scents. I will be reading along!

    1. Thank you Leah! Welcome to the vendor wax world! Check out my Wax Reference page for a list of vendors I have tried and liked. There are links to their shops too. And if you look at my site in the desktop view you can search the tabs and words to pull up reviews on any vendors that way too.

      Glad you are enjoying your tarts! Sounds like you have started with some of the best out there. I do enjoy Up The Creek Scents. I like to make custom loaves from there when I can.

      Happy New Year to you too! Wishing the same for you too. May we both discover some new fragrances in 2017 that rock our worlds. Thank you for reading Leah and I look forward to getting to know you better. <3


  3. We have some favorite vendors and products in common! And that aroma mist from LSC is amazing! I can't believe how potent it is. I've been using the same bottle for a year and doesn't seem like I've even made a dent.
    Thank you for your beautiful blog and for making this list. I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year!

    1. We are wax twins. I enjoy a lot of the scents and vendors you post about on FB. <3 The Aroma Mist is pretty spectacular. It does only take one or two squirts to scent the whole room for a good long time. Thank you for joining me on this journey Gina. I look forward to your comments and input. I hope you have a wonderful new year too, friend.

  4. Wonderful post, Julie! Very comprehensive! It's great to go back and see what bloggers loves throughout the year. You had some wonderful scents and body products this year! Love the pictures of the girls. <3

    1. Thank you, Lauren! I always loved reading the Best of and Year End reviews from blogs too. I have gotten some of my best scents from reading your blog: Celtic Moonspice, Amish Quilt, Pink Peppermint, Apple Clove Butter... so many amazing scents from your reviews. Thank you. One thing I wanted to do this year was take more pics of my girls and I did accomplish that. I would like to do the same next year too. And you take pics of your sweet Freddo. I miss seeing him. xoxo Much love to you sweet friend. I hope you and J have the best year yet.

  5. Scarlette's face in that first pic makes me smile. She seems like such a character.

    2016 is kind of a blur for me. Do you keeps notes each month and look back? I think I need to start doing something like that because I can never come up with these year end type posts. I know I really loved the warm spiced fruit drink scents this fall, and I know I didn't order much this year. Other than that, nothing of particular interest comes to me. Gah!


    1. She is a Pistol Pete. The doctor told her to stop being a Drama Queen today when she was getting her check up. She is a lot of fun and says the most hilarious things. She definitely keeps us on our toes.

      I do keep notes. I write down what perfumes I bought and loved, which vendors overall I ordered from the most and scents I loved the most. Plus just blogging it provides a record too. I will go back and comb over some posts and compare them with my notebook and what I craved/remembered/enjoyed the most. You could always just do a general wrap up where you talk about the types of scents you enjoyed this year, what new vendors you tried and liked and what classic favorites you went back to and ordered from. You had a couple bath and body orders. And your favorite craft vendors. That would be fun. And even any revelations you had this year. <3 You had a great year blogging. I loved reading your Natters and seeing your hauls. Reading your book reviews.

  6. You had quite the 2016!! So happy to have been able to be there for one of your favorite experiences of the year! I can't wait to get back to Indigo one of these days. Maybe this year for my birthday I can actually make a custom scent! Your photos are always stellar, I love the recent shoot you did with your girls!! I hope to brush up on my rusty photography skills in 2017, I want to document every second of Ever's life with more than just my cell phone!

    2016 was the best year of my life and it makes me chuckle a little when I see all the hate for 2016. Politically, it was a rough one for me but the birth of my baby and the Cavs winning the championship cannot be beat. Scents were also tricky this year, and I barely melted or wore anything. A scent that really stood out for me in 2016 was all versions of Orange Clove, particularly Mrs. Myers' Orange Clove dish and hand soaps, Diptyque's Pomander and Scentsy's Mandarin Moon. Orange Clove is just such a classic scent combination to me and I can't get enough, no matter the time of year. Other home fragrance things that stood out to me this year were BBW's Pumpkin Fireside and Spices Pomegranate Cider, Diptyque's Rosaviola and RG Pumpkin Pie Milkshake and Pumpkin Donut Streuselkuchen. The only perfumes I really could stomach this year were Tocca Collette, Clean Outdoor Shower Fresh and Maile Organics Koko'e (a wonderful find froknour most recent trip to Hawaii). All very light fresh/floral scents.

    Here'a to 2017!! Hubby's sister is getting married NYE so we will have a big party to ring in the year. Hope you and yours have a wonderful New Year Julie!!!

    1. I had a very nice 2016. Meeting you was definitely a highlight. <3

      I used to take tons of photos of my girls when they were young but as they got older, Savanna started resisting taking the photos. She still doesn't really care for it but if I prep her for it and let her know how much it means to me, she will throw a few grins my way. Now that I shoot in manual and have all these wonderful presets I want to capture them on film all the time. You definitely need to bust out the big guns camera and snap away some moments of Ever when you get the chance. I know you know this already but the time goes fast and as sad as it is, photos are the only way I really remember what my babies looked like clearly when they were small. My mind just didn't hold on to the details like I wanted. No matter how much I gazed at them with adoration in quiet moments. I fear fuzzy Mommy brain robbed me or some of the clarity.

      I am glad it was a fabulous year for you too! You did have some huge blessings! Honestly I do see why so many people are upset. There was a lot of heartbreak. But I can't just look at the bad. Part of my survival instinct is focusing on the wonderful things that did happen. I like that you can do that too.

      Pomander/orange clove really is a huge comfort scent. I will check out the ones you listed. Root Candle's Pomander was one of my first scents in this genre. Funny you mention Tocca Collette, a dear friend gifted me that scent in a roller ball and I drained it lickety split. Got compliments on it all the time. I now have a little splash of it that I wear from time to time. Such a wonderful perfume. Eventually, I will own it in a full sized bottle.

      Cheers! Enjoy your big party!! We won't be doing that (or even staying up until midnight #oldfolkshere) but Adam and I are going on a triple date to see Fantastic Beasts once more. And that will be very nice indeed. Thank you for the love and support for the blog and in real life. I hope you and yours have the best year..... Ever. ;-)

      <3 And I look forward to seeing your handsome lil man grow through photos. And who knows... maybe we will end up in Cleveland again one day. Now only if the Browns would have a decent season....

      I do know 2017 will start off right, because Savanna asked to go back to Universal and Diagon Alley for her tenth (gulp! 10!!!!!!) birthday.

  7. Yay, so nice getting to know you, too. Hope you have a splendid start to the new year, Julie (and, you know, if it wants to just stay splendid for the rest of the year, that's fine, too.) ;)

    1. Thank you! I hope your year follows that same path too. I am going to watch Sherlock tonight and that will set the tone for my year for sure. <3 Do you make lists or anything for things you would like to do? I am thinking I should do that today.

  8. How did I miss this post?! Love it. Need to try that Solstice Scents Lavender Vanilla spray. I have this Lavender Marshmallow Spray by Haunt that I am hording because I don't think the company has made stuff in years. But it smells so very good.

    1. It is very very good! I missed out on Haunt :-( A friend gifted me a tin of her milk bath and it was heavenly. I wish she would come back. You can sample the Lavender Vanilla from SS to see if you like it. I enjoy how sweet and mellow it is. Not harsh or herbal at all. Though I do like all iterations of lavender.