Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ebb & Flow: April

Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane

The Bathing Garden Ooh La La

Blood Moon Botanica Sacred Rose Butter

Lancome Visionnaire Crescendo Skin Peel

Sheet Mask: 
NOHJ Calming Intracell Sleeping Mask

Urban Decay Naked 2 palette shade in YDK as an all over eyewash.

The Bathing Garden Magician's Bonfire has been hitting the spot.

Timberwick Ember

Muscat grapes

Water, or trying to drink more I should say.

Wormwood by G.P. Taylor

"The Birkin Tree" by Old Blind Dogs

"13 Reasons"- I finished it and I am really struggling with the idea of some kids watching this without parents to talk about it while viewing. Two 6th graders told me about this show. Such tender things to watch such visceral things. Still pondering over it. 

My 3 Year Blogiversary Giveaway!!! Seriously guys, I am so stinking excited. It is a My Favorite Things giveaway; I have worked with several vendors and I will be hand making some things for it too. 

The crazy hot Florida days that are already beginning to take place. Sweltering, sweating, cars like human ovens, brown brittle grass and A/C bills sky high... it's summer y'all.

Urban Mysticism's R&R Sleep/Rest/Relaxation spray, the lavender peppermint is so soothing and cooling.

Starbuck's Unicorn Frappuccino 

My uterus. I know, I know. I complain about it all the time but this last month was the worst so far. It was an irate uterus. I will spare you the details but let's say it was horrific and I had to leave work early, there was a bio-hazard and quite possibly the most embarrassing event in my life to date. I also made a doctor's appointment and had some bloodwork to check my thyroid and iron and I have an ultrasound lined up. Hoping for some answers and solutions. 

I got a renewed contract to teach next year and a raise! Woo! So that is comforting and exciting at the same time. Adam and I also had a much needed date night last night. I really love spending time with him. 

What was your April like? Highs? Lows? What are you reading, watching and listening to? 

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Blood Moon Botanica: Final Order before PCT Hike

Guys. Guys. I am totally going to be a butthead again. But I promise this will be the last time I am a butthead about Blood Moon Botanica. You see it is closed right now. Yes. I know. Britton may open at the beginning of 2018 after her Big Hike. But she laid out these fabulous oils and stuff right before she closed shop and I had to try them. And I have to tell you how they are so you too can be prepared for when/if she opens again. So see? I am really just being nice. Not a buttface. Nope. Not me. 

Western Red Cedar Oil (1/2 ounces for $10) though to be used more as an anointing oil, I do plan on using this to fragrance the skin and set an aromatic mood. Britton harnessed the green scaly leaves and heartwood of cedar to brew this oil. She describes is perfectly "the leaf notes along the surface are balsamic and almost fruity, while the heartwood is deep, smoky and has a vibration that beats with an ancient heart." I simply cannot improve upon this, but I will say it is raw and unadulterated in its emanation. I smells like cedarwood life blood. The sacred cedars of Lebanon. Anointed themselves. Next time I will get the one ounce jar.

Blessing Oil (1/2 ounces $10) is composed of frankincense, rose and benzoin. This aromatic combination is also used in the Sacred Rose Butter I am using and loving. Britton created this oil for balancing and calming. And I must say night after night of rubbing this fragrance into my flesh, it is indeed calming. The oil blooms with frankincense resin, golden, woody and sweet. The rose wraps warm and furred while the benzoin amps up the resin. Gorgeous.

Coconut Silk Oil  (1 ounce for $18) is one I sprang full size for because I simply cannot get enough of the Coconut Silk Butter in all its palo santo and coconut and vanilla exquisiteness. I could douse my whole being in this oil and drift away on the clouds of minty coconut woods pleasure. Good grief this scent does me in.

I am over the moon for these hair and body oils and their smells... their labels... their quaint glass bottles. I think I may need to display them somehow. Methinks that Solstice Scents shelf might be a good idea. Have you seen that thing? 

Back to my order, I also picked up these Lip Butters in Bourbon Vanilla and Peppermint ($5 each) housed in these sliding lid tins. Blended using local beeswax, organic virgin olive oil infused with marshmallow root and calendula, squalene and fair trade shea nilotica fruit butter, these lip butters are made with care and conscientiousness. They feel nourishing on the lips and can be used on any skin areas needing some tenderness and attention.

The peppermint tingles and feels refreshing on the lips while the Bourbon vanilla smells richly intense. I would pick these up again in a heartbeat. 

I also grabbed another (yes, my third) small jar of Coconut Silk Butter. I was gunning for the larger 3 ounce size but it sold out lickety split. Next time.

So... yeah. Totally loving me some Blood Moon Botanica. I will be there when Britton returns from her awe inspiring hike along the Pacific Crest Trail and hope she has a safe and healthy and incredible experience. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

Candles From The Keeping Room: April Opening

I caught a marvelous opening at Candles From The Keeping Room. Well, they are all pretty awesome and there is always a scent (or two or three) I am eyeing but I promised myself to keep it small(ish) this time. And I think I accomplished that reasonably well. And most of these are new to me via samples with only two bags being repurchases. The bags are 6 ounces and run $5.50 each. 

Coconut Rum Cake- Dark rum, banana, sweetened condensed milk, coconut cream and vanilla sugar.

The softly spiced dark rum and dusky coconut pair well. This is no artificial banana candy note, but almost a banana liqueur. No cake in sight, this is a moody black pirate concoction and I love it. It threw medium-strong with that same heady combination of vanilla bean coconut cream and rum. 

Yum Yum Buttery Rum- Vanilla simmered in rum, topped with fresh cream and just a hint of nutmeg and cinnamon.

I fell pretty hard for this one on cold sniff. I never got around to melting it because I shared it, but I knew I would be aiming for it on the next opening. I actually got two bags of this, but one is for a friend who shares my love for all things Butter Rum. Definitely brimming with rum, infused with vanilla and a splash of heavy cream. The spice is not obvious but contributes a warmth. I feel a little drunk just smelling it. 

Fresh Picked Strawberry. Every dang time I can score it. I will. My absolute, hands-down favorite single strawberry scent from anyone, anywhere. Just look how lovely. Strong throw. Field ripe Florida strawberries, sweet and juicy, crunchy seeds popping between the teeth. 

Apple Ale- Apple with a little cinnamon and clove, caramel, rum and barley, with a base of woods, musk and vanilla.

Sugary red apples brewed into a mead that has been mulled into a chilled unfiltered apple cider. A touch of the hops and barley is certainly there. I like this. I don't know if I could melt it frequently, but I like it. In the kitchen and living room this scent threw medium-strong and smelled of that same sweet mellow apple and hops. No spice. No woods or musk to my nose.

Mulled Wine- Apple cinnamon wine made for sitting in front of a fire on a cold winter's night.

This was a repurchase. I am not sure why but this one really stole my heart. I hope Carol brings this one back in the fall. I bought two bags of this but one is for Deb, who is also my Butter Rum BFF. Apple cinnamon is already a weakness of mine, but add in some of that red red wine.... dark clove and fruit filled warmth and I am on cloud 9. 

Twisted Mermaid- Berries, citrus, sugary sweetness and vanilla.

I had not tried nor even heard of this one until close to opening day. I messaged Carol asking if I should try to grab this one and she said, unequivocally... "YES." And whatever Mrs. Carol says, I will abide by. And she was right. This is one tart and mouthwatering fruit candy scent. Looking forward to melting this one. But let's take a moment and coo over these sandal shapes. And that pink?! Twisted Mermaid is pretty awesome. 

Sun Kissed Sugarcane- Morning dew and citrus zest brighten sweet notes of sugarcane and sandalwood. 

If I had not had this in a sample I would have probably easily passed this gem up. But thankfully, Carol knows her stuff and knows that samples more often than not enable further purchases. I did pass on this stunning sunny scent onto a friend who I wanted to try it, but this full bag will tide me over until the next ordering opportunity. A summery fragrance of luscious yet sour citrus with vanilla musk and sandalwood. Spa like, aromatic, fruity floral leaning. 

Strawberry Cotton Candy, my beloved Fresh Picked Strawberry with cotton candy and a sugar glaze. I want to roll in this. It smells exactly as it is named. No description needed. Good grief I hope this will be available again one day. 

Free samples:

Rose in Lavender Patchouli, herbal and pine filled lavender with a backdrop of dark powdery patchouli. Need.

Grubby heart in Buttercream Sprinkles, smells like a more sugary version of Vanilla Bean Noel. I am loving this new scent that is taking many vendors by storm. Carol's is fantastic. 

Blue bunny in Blueberry Cream Type, not sure who is the originator of this type but it is pretty nice. A candy blueberry with a musky, soft floral undertone. 

Orange sunshine man in  Tarocco Orange is a favorite of mine. I have personally used this fragrance oil in a blend before and it is incredible. A true blood orange. Fresh squeezed oranges with a splash of Ruby Red grapefruit juice and slices of blood oranges. 

Dark pink cookie in Napa Valley Sunset is another fast favorite. Wine, oak barrels, flower gardens and vineyards. More, please.

Blue flip flops in Mahogany Coconut, at the risk of sounding like a skipping CD... is a fast favorite. Mahogany Teakwood and coconut woods. Making my list.

Pink berries in Fruit & Melons & Berries smells like a honeydew centric fruit salad. I am really looking forward to seeing how this one melts. Great potential. 

Did you squeeze in any Candles From The Keeping Room tarts this time? Carol will be taking her annual break in May to travel and visit her mom and family. She will be taking scent requests for her next restock, which will be in June. I am going to see if I can get Mulled Wine added again. <3

What would you request?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Hanna's Candlemart: Timberwick Candles and Wax Melts

These candles and tarts were provided free in exchange for an honest review. 

A lovely lady named Tracie contacted me on behalf of Hanna's Candlemart asking if I was interested in trying some items. Candles? Tarts? Right up my alley. She shot a code over and I loaded up a cart and it arrived swiftly. Only a couple of days for a TAT.

Timberwick caught my eye from the array of brands offered on the website. These 2.5 ounce clamshells cost $1.99, and I picked out four scents. Timberwick uses a soy blend formula for their wax. 

Warm Gingerbread- Vanilla, raisin, cinnamon, allspice, and oatmeal.
This is the only one I have not melted yet from the bunch. On cold it is pretty nice. There is a slight bread (zucchini-ish) note but the spices and vanilla smell great. This reminds me very strongly of Pumpkin Crunch Cake if you have ever had that scent in wax. 

Lavender Sachet- Lavender, thyme, sage, warm musk and earthy woods.
One chunk (the clamshells are broken up into three separate chunks that weigh about 0.8 ounces with each chunk then further broken down into 0.2 ounce tabs) threw medium in my bedroom and set a soothing woody lavender atmosphere. The other herbs and musk lend an airy freshness without feeling scrubbed clean. I quite like it.

Cranberry Mandarin- Red currant, orange, cranberry, spices and apple.
Sadly, this one I do not. It threw strong in my kitchen but the currants were way too sour and the overall scent too artificial and cloying for my tastes. If very tart cranberries and currants are your thing, you may want to try it. At these price points you really have nothing to lose, but $1.99. 

Pine Meadow- Pine needles, blue spruce and fresh cedar.
This threw medium-strong in my living area and gave off a nice classic evergreen scent. A little sharp but still very pleasant, no traces of "pine cleaner" or astringent tones. I would repurchase for sure. 

I really came for the candles though. I wanted to try both size offerings. This smaller 8.25 ounce tumbler candle (comes with a disposable plastic dust cover) costs $6.99; I picked up the Cinnamon Sugar scent.

Cinnamon Sugar- Madagascar cinnamon bark, clove bud, fresh almonds, maple and vanilla.
On cold the scent pretty much came wafting out like classic cinnamon sugar. More sweet than spicy. I lit the wood wick but did not have much luck. I did make sure it wasn't in the draft of the A/C and that the ceiling fan was off. But the flame failed to thrive and sputtered its way, clinging to a fine edge of fuel for the duration of its life. It did tunnel. It did not throw well. But I am still burning it by my bedside until it reaches the bottom of the tumbler. I will probably be sticking with the large jars.

Because let me tell you, this large jar kicked butt. This slightly larger version of the candle is 9.25 ounces (only an ounce more, sure, not sure why it performed so much better though?) and comes with a nice wooden lid for $9.99. I chose the scent Ember Glow.

Ember Glow- Spiced wood, juniper, cinnamon, patchouli and vanilla.
This flame on this baby grew to a tall strapping lad. It burned clean to the edges and made a wonderful pool of wax within an hour. Savanna commented on how great it smelled. And it did. My kind of scent for sure. It threw medium-strong in my large cathedral ceilinged living room. All rustic woods, built of cedar, patchouli, birchwood, and that little bit of sweet spice. I am definitely buying this one again. 

Overall, I am thrilled with my Hanna's Candlemart experience. I plan on buying another Ember Glow candle and one in Pine Meadow too. The Cedar Oakwood and Vanilla Brulee scents are calling to me as well. 

And hey, maybe something is calling to you? I will be giving away a $10 credit and free shipping tomorrow morning to one lucky reader. To enter, please tell me on which item or items you would use your credit. One winner will be randomly drawn by Savanna in the morning. Please include your current email address so I can send the code directly. Thank you!

Giveaway Winner as picked by Savanna from a random paper draw of eligible individuals is:

Deanna Mancini

Congrats! I emailed you your $10 plus free shipping code!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Melting Basket 93

Just a good old iPhone picture today, because I am a little tired after work (still testing) and Scarlette was up coughing at 3am and I am feeling the laziness. I hope you guys don't mind too much. I promise my camera has been getting quite the workout on some things that have been arriving at the door. Some I am still burning and trying and others are just waiting their turn. 

Wax from the last basket I would buy again include: SMT Blueberry Noel/VBN/Marshmallow Noel, LSC Bliss, Winter White Cake, and ButterMint Candies, TBG Nights at the Circus and Vintage Circus, CFTKR Three Wishes Tea and Serendipity Marshmallow Delight. 

TBG Vintage Circus melted at a medium throw in my bedroom and held more of the blue raspberry cotton candy in it than in the past. Ages ago it used to be the Winter Candy Apple was the strongest but now I pick up more of the sweet candy. I like it and would spring for the full clamshell next time. The apples are cute too though. 

TBG Night at the Circus threw strong. Real strong. One wee applette (yes I am making up words now) was enough to scent my home from the kitchen to the living room and more. This one was all about that good old BBW Winter Candy Apple with a spoonful of caramel on top. Very yummy and repurchase. 

Wax in this basket:

LSC- Winter White Cake (yes again)
LSC- Lemon Custard Cookies
LSC- Sweet Kisses
LSC- Mint Mallow Creme
TBG- Blackberry Fudge
TBG- The Golden Egg
TBG- Breaking Violet
TBG- Frolic
TBG- Blueberry Lavender Sugar Cake
MooScents- Candied Strawberries and Liquor Filled Dreams
MooScents- Bohemian Velvet
Rosegirls- Alice in Slumberland
CFTKR- Molasses Cookies
TDC- Lavender Sage
TDC- Bleeding Heart
SMT- Buttercream Sprinkles and Sugared Violets
VCS- Bluebird Cafe <3 gift
House of Usher Wax Museum- I Put A Spell On You <3 gift

If you would like a review on any of these scents please let me know and it would be my pleasure. 

One of our favorite family activities in the spring is blueberry picking. Adam enjoys it just as much as the girls. 

Our normal farm wasn't open this season but there are several within a few mile radius of where we live so it was easy to find another. 

The sun warmed us while the mild spring breeze cooled us. The berries were ripening by degrees but there were some robust indigo ones to be found, and eaten, with a little hunting.

The lizards and bugs were in abundance too. Bees, spiders, caterpillars, moths, stink bugs and a plethora of arthropods buzzed and hummed and crept about the bushes. So of course, the lizards weren't too far away. 

Which means the girls weren't too far away from the lizards. 

This color changing virescent anole is for you, Kate. <3 

Even though this was only last week or so the bounty of our labors is long ago consumed. I think we may need to head back out and pick some more. 

Do you enjoy u-picks? Any outdoor activities going on in your world?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Haus of Gloi: Birthday Candle

Haus of Gloi dabbling in candles? Yes, please.

The inaugural candle from Haus of Gloi debuted in the scent Haus Birthday, which carries within notes of Cascadian huckleberries, buttercream frosting, cloved spice cake and wisps of incense. This is an 8 ounce soy based candle in a glass jar with a black plastic lid with the label and information printed on the lid and the bottom. It cost $18 plus $4.11 shipping.

I first tested this one in the living room. After about two hours of being lit, a lovely lavender wax pool formed and the wick and flame burned strong. The throw was light so I moved it to my nightstand for the second burn the next day. Laying in my bed and reading, watching TV, blogging... you know favorite bed things... the scent gently wafted over to me in medium-light throw and enchanted me with tart and sweet blueberry and raspberry tinted huckleberries and soft sweet ambered incense.

Matt over at Haus of Gloi is working on Zazz and Driftwood candles for a summer release at the moment. If a Moon Dog candle comes out, watch out! I will barrel through the virtual crowds for that one. What Haus of Gloi favorite will you be hoping for release? And guess what... a customer was asking about wax tarts. Oooooh 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

DSH Perfumes: Gekkou Hanami, Foxy & Become the Shaman

These were sent free from DSH Perfumes for an honest review. 

Gekkou Hanami- Notes: Exotic yuzu infused sake, sakura blossoms, neroli, and soft woody incense.

"Star gazing in the moonlight"

Grapefruit blossoms floating on a crystalline surface of sake welling from a bamboo cup. The heart of Gekkou Hanami delves even deeper into the bamboo, jade and plush, pierced with sakura blossoms that smell of magnolias on warm breezes. The base rises from the flesh as emerald scaled cedar leaves and lemony golden incense musk. A delight for the senses. 

Foxy- Notes: Fur accord, spiced boozy top and rich ambery dry down.

My skin pulls the spice to cardamom with spiked aldehydes and gin soaked leather. The fur accord is no joke. Shockingly realistic. Animalic pelts, castoreum and again, the leather hide underneath. After some time the leather does take on a rotted wood mustiness but then the amber breaks through, resinous and gilded. This is a sly one. Wild and untamed. Not for the feint of heart.  

Become the Shaman- Notes: Palo santo, copal, tobacco, sappy milkweed.

I have come to realize I adore palo santo. This is the second fragrance in a row that I have worn (Blood Moon Botanica Coconut Silk) that contains it and I adore that coconut mint and woods scent that wafts up from palo santo. Combined with smooth tanned and leathery tobacco leaves and the creamy lilac scent of milkweed sap, this scent is good medicine indeed. The dry down pulls a little resinous with fronds of incense smoke curling into itself. Love this magical brew.

Pricing of these hand crafted creations of Dawn's range from $6 samples to anywhere about $160 to $240 full bottles depending on the ingredients and scent chosen. She offers many concentrations of scent at many sizes and price points. Of these three I am considering adding Become the Shaman and Gekkou Hanami to my collections. I still need to pick up Matsu and Voices of the Trees. 

Have you tried DSH perfumes yet? She has quite the catalog of scents to choose from. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

MoonaLisa Ostara Goddess Bag

A few friends alerted me to the phenomenon that is the MoonaLisa Mystery Bag. Traditionally, the mystery bags are several full sized items sold at a discounted rate from overstock of previous releases, but this Easter the MooCrew created three fragrant themed bags of new product to choose from and the earthy/herbal/woodsy Ostara Goddess bag was for me. It was $40 plus $10.77 shipping for a mystery bag with 6 full sized items. 

It arrived in this lovely screen printed muslin bag with beautiful trinkets embellishing it. 

I opened the drawstring to reveal this lovely assortment of fragrant products. 

MoonaLisa's glycerin soaps showcase beautifully swirled colors and artful embeds cut into generous proportions. I would say this chunk is between 8 and 9 ounces, they usually run about $8.95.

Ostara- Notes: Cedarwood, lavender, rose, clove and a touch of Dragon's Blood.
Crikey, this was made for me. In the bar soap, herbal lavender and clear cedarwood billow out of the wrappings. A dusting of dried rose petals and the familiar earthen comfort of Dragon's Blood lie in wait underneath. 

A 4in1 Fine Bubble Wash in Gaelic Mist, a sweet rain like scent according to the notes listed, brought forth a bountiful bath of bubbles last night. The scent reminded me of my baby washing days, that mild soapy and powdery sweet of Johnson's Baby Wash. Maybe not a duplication, but definitely the scent memory that was spurred on. I can see this being a great shampoo. Not sure on the original pricing on these... I want to say around $11 or $12? I am kicking myself for not posting pricing consistently in the past on the old blog. I had purchased a 4in1 years back during a Yule release and did not list the cost. Ah well... hindsight and all that jazz.

The Potion Lotion came in the scent of Mon Petit Bijou. I couldn't find a scent description for this but my nose picks up a lemony bright yet earthy blend of patchouli and Nag Champa. Maybe some lime in there too. Quiet the scent. I find I am loving it. The lotion potion feels plush and satiny on the skin. I love the absorption and softening properties. A wonderful year round formula. Again, not sure on the cost of the Lotion Potions. Sorry folks, my investigative skills are lacking... I cannot even find it surfing the web. I would guess at least $10?

I was, of course, thrilled to see this clamshell from MooScents included in the bag. I think you guys know I am fully on board with these wax tarts. The fact that it is scented in Ostara is just the shining star on top. In wax form, Ostara pulls that Dragon's Blood a little closer and outlines it with the effluvia of cedar and bite of gorgeous herbal lavender. Gosh darn I love this. Clamshells cost $5. 95

Guava Guava Goddess Nectar Lip Balm proved to be another great surprise. I don't think I realized MoonaLisa made lip balms. Guava Guava Goddess contains a blushing pink ultra soft pearlescent sheen and looks lovely on the lips. A satiny type of texture and shine. I has a nice slip and feels moisturizing on the lips. They can be bought for $4.79 each and I would happily pick one up again, as the guava scent is nicely strong and very tropical and vibrant. There is a slight sweetness too if it gets on the tongue. I do get a tiny oily coating from the gloss but I think it helps with the slip. 

A 3ml glass bottle of perfume oil in Persephone was tucked into a blue tulle drawstring bag. I believe these perfumes oils are around $12.95 and come in either 3ml or 5ml depending on ingredient costs. I could not find any notes on Persephone so I am going to run this one down blind. I actually enjoy doing it this way from time to time. So feel free to ignore me if I am off, I am just telling you how it smells to my nose. 

In the beveled glass vial I pick up a sweet lemony haze of honeyed powder. Wet on the wrist and the crook of my arm, the lemons deepen from spritely zest into lemon curd. There is a resinous amber hue floating about that brings to mind frankincense. Frothy bouquets of honeysuckle and jasmine crest like waves into the lemony sea. All the while that soft powdery honey lends golden sweetness. 

I am happy I picked up the Ostara bag. I love all the scents but especially, Ostara herself. It was a wild gamble to pay for full priced products blind and I may or may not do that again but it paid off this time as I will happily use up all these products. 

How do you feel about mystery bags? Tried any MoonaLisa lately that has brought you joy?