Thursday, November 30, 2017

Ebb & Flow: November

The highs and lows of the month.

Sonoma Scent Studio Equestrian

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Forest Witch

Handmade in Florida Moroccan Mint Tea

Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations They're Here (I just wish less glitter)

Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations They're Here

Bath Salt:
FuturePrimitive The Gloaming Milk Bath

Face Primer:
Paul & Joe Moisturizing Foundation Primer

Sihaya & Company Sisterhood of the Moon

Beezy pumpkins lighting up my life.

Carbs like they will be taken away from me any minute. Because they should. Oh good Lord. Gimme dat bread.

Water but also hot apple cider when I can.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie was my latest book and I quite enjoyed it.

Stranger Things 2 it was soooooo gooooood! Also watching gratuitous amounts of Christmas movies.

Carpenter's Christmas album

Starting my college courses... so much writing... so much juggling! But I better put on my growth mindset cap and change this attitude and slay it. 

Turning 37. Taking my girls and guy to EPCOT (LOVE their Christmas around the world celebration) and spending the holidays with them. Christmas light trances, homemade hot cocoa, crackling fireplaces on the TV, cards to be sent out and advent calendar celebrations are some of my favorite things.

Kore Herbal Alchemy Rune Face Scrub with glacier silt and juniper. And I am obsessed. It makes my skin feel amazing and it feels and smells like icy riverbed silt at the base of a volcano in Alaska. 

Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations lip balm, it ends up leaving my lips rather dry so that I have to reapply very frequently to get the benefits that a typical lip balm gives me. 

Feeling scattered and stressed. Not being on top of things like I normally am. This is the first year I have neglected our Thankful Tree and that bums me out something fierce. The Fall Fun Series II was neglected. My weeknight dinners have been cereal and scrounging more often than not. It has been a bit of a hectic month. I am still adjusting to the additional work load and juggling that with my home duties and my blogging. I will admit. I have thought of just shelving this hobby and seeing how that feels. I am going on a no-buy/low-buy for the next couple months now that I have my wax stocked up and it would be an easy time to stop and have that additional temptation removed. But honestly, I have so much perfume I have not even reviewed I could sustain myself on that for a while along with some warmed wax reviews. There are a dozen candles I have not even blogged. I have some wax floating around here that was gifted to me that would make a nice feature. Plus I need to stretch myself again and do more bloggy things like the photojournal (I miss those), new series and more crafting/cooking. Just tossing some ideas around. I know this is not always the case for everyone, but it is for me, that once I stop blogging it will probably be forever. And there is a big part of me that is just not ready to move on yet. 

The bonfire nights we have been having during cold evenings. I could fire gaze for ages, watching the smoke billow and stream, embers flashing and glowing and the ashen bark flushing with radiance like a primitive mosaic caught in a fiery sunset. The best fire was with my sister Darby on her birthday. We went camping in their new RV for one night in a local park and it was relaxing. That is where the photo above came from, the sun was rising and the fog was burning off and the dew still glistened on spider webs and plants. Thanksgiving was nice and mellow this year. No traveling. Lots of loving family. And I am looking forward to Christmas. I may have dropped the ball in November but I am ready for December. <3

How was your November? Any highs or lows? Did you try something amazing or read a good book? A crappy book? How are you doing?

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bath & Body Works: Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla

It's that time of year. A candle (or two!) is lit and flickering cheerily somewhere about the house just about every day. Bath & Body Works has been having a few good sales, combined with coupon (I must say I HATE this weird "Did the coupons come together?" thing where I can't get my free item with my discount any longer) so I took the plunge and adopted a few candles here and there. First up is Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla.

Cinnamon Spiced Vanilla- Notes: Fresh ground cinnamon, sugar crystals, Tahitian vanilla bean.
A simple scent, no doubt, but heavy on the down home feel. And that is just the type of ambiance I like at Christmas time. Heavy on the creamy marshmallowy vanilla and then sprinkled with cinnamon sugar. It almost reminds me of Marshmallow Fireside where the smoke is substituted with cinnamon sugar. The flames were sturdy fellows, it pooled to the edges nicely and the throw was medium in my living area. 

I melted this one clean through and would buy it again if I can catch it on the $8.95 candle day on the 2nd of December. 

Are you lighting any candles in your home? Did you buy any of the $5 single wicks? I grabbed several to add to Christmas gifts this year. 

Monday, November 27, 2017

Melting Basket 111: Here Comes Santa Claus

Wax tarts from the last basket that I loved and would melt again include: Beezy Pumpkin Caramel Swirl and Pumpkin Sugar Donuts, Dessa's Pumpkin Wreath Woods, CFTKR Butternut Pumpkin and Orange Clove and SMT Marshmallow Fireside/Graham Cracker/Fireside/Toasted Marshmallow.

The Bathing Garden- Sleigh Ride
The Bathing Garden- Winter Woodland
The Bathing Garden- Mr. Cratchit's Cider
Beezy- Marshmallow Fireside
Beezy- Frosted Pinecones
Beezy- Sugared Spruce
Lasting Scent Candles- Cedar Wreath
Lasting Scent Candles- Pine Cone Garland
Lasting Scent Candles- Sugar Berry Clove
Lasting Scent Candles- Pink Sugar Spruce
CFTKR- Sugared Strawberry Spruce
CFTKR- Balsam and Citrus
CFTKR- Pink Tinsel
CFTKR- Christmas Lane
CFTKR- Holiday Festival
Tiffany Candles- Winter Dreams <3 gift
Bohemienne Life- Pumpkin Forest
Candy Panda- Winter Blanket

Can you tell I am craving evergreens like no one's business? If you would like any of these reviewed in depth, shoot me a comment with the request and it would be my pleasure.

The weather has been brilliant the past week. Breezy, crisp, a soft chill in the air, but the sun still warms with a gentle kiss. Bonfires and night-time neighborhood strolls are in full effect. 

This is the perfect time for hiking and exploring. Getting outdoors and breathing deep. We went camping at the Alafia River State Park a couple weekends ago and it was gorgeous.

We wandered trails, fellowshipped with my brother-in-law and sister and communed with nature. We listened to microbats chirping in the early morning in their bat house box. We picked flowers and explored swamps, examining tiny mosaics of duckweed and water plants that dappled the surface of the standing water. Moss and mushroom hide-and-seek. Songs of Mexican Whistling ducks. Observing for endless minutes my first ever ruby red dragonfly while the morning dew suspended its flight and held it Earth bound.

It was rejuvenating and much needed. From the Big City to the wild. Just what I needed to reset my equilibrium. 

What have your weekends or days off been full of? Seen or heard anything lately that soothed your soul?

Sunday, November 26, 2017

CHI Candles: Candles for Book Lovers

These candles were provided free from CHI Candles for reviewing purposes. All opinions my own.

CHI Candle is a husband and wife owned candle company based out of California. CHI prides itself in using domestically grown soy in its wax formula as well as environmentally friendly wicks and high quality fragrance oils. Their candles come in a nice array of fresh, herbal, woodsy and floral scents. The Mason jar line has a nice variety of bakery and holiday scents too. I was contacted specifically about their bookish line that comes in vintage looking apothecary glass jars with stoppers.

There are currently four scents in the book line and they contain 8.5 oz of wax for $20.00. The candles shipped beautifully with care and attention to detail. The bookmarks are a nice touch.

New Books- Notes: Crisp pages, ambered glue, fresh ink and a touch of cedarwood and driftwood.
I am not sure what wizardry is at work here but this scent smells just like a new book, spine perfectly intact, pages crisp like new dollar bills and ink still gleaming on the pages. The papery bark of trees filters through and the cedarwood and driftwood meld beautifully. Honestly, there really is no better description than new books. It took only about one hour to form a nice pool of wax to the sides and I was unsure how it would burn given the shape of the jar, but it did fantastically! Now the big news... it throws perfectly. I don't always have the best luck with soy candles but I put this one through the wringer (aka I melted it in my living room with cathedral ceilings) and I could smell it all through out the main areas of the house. I would say medium-strong in a large area and strong in a smaller one. Weaker candles tend to make it to my nightstand but this bad boy is living right in the great room. I love it. 

Old Books- Notes: Aged paper, aged leather, wooden bookshelves and sandalwood.
This is yet another life-like rendition of its namesake. Old Books does have a soft musty, dusty atmospheric aroma of woods, paper and old crumbling leather. Rather than blowing the dust off of an ancient grimoire, I almost feel like I am walking into the underbelly basement of an old time antiquarian store where opening the creaking door and holding the candle aloft reveals a veritable forest of grimoires lining the bowed shelves. If you like the aroma of vintage leather and dusty sandalwood, transparent vellum and brittle parchment, this is the scent for you. I, for one, am one of those bibliophiles who appreciates just that. Again, the throw is medium-strong in a large, high ceilinged room and easily strong in a smaller room. 

After enjoying both of these candles I will have to say I am smitten and look forward to trying "Bookstore" which adds espresso to the bookish scents. I will say, if you do try them, be careful to not plug the stopped too tight while it is lit. The vacuum effect makes the stopped suck in even more and it can be difficult to remove. The stopper and the containers are both glass and very high quality. 

Do you like bookish scents? If you could create your perfect "book" themed fragrance what would you include? Mine might be a study where the books and polished wood shelves are joined by mahogany, pipe tobacco and a fireplace, and a candy dish of Werther's Originals.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Arcana Wildcraft: Fall Release

Welcome, hope this post finds you well. This is going to be a lengthy one, as I do have much time to make up for given my absence as of late. Though life has certainly been hectic, I am determined to reign my world back into some modicum of normalcy. What better place to start than to dive into some beautiful fragrances? This would normally be an ode to Arcana but given its length I think opus may be a better term? Either way, if you enjoy reading about fragrance, do warm up a cuppa and snuggle into some cushions or simply scroll wherever life has taken you to in this moment. Happy to have you with me. 

First up in this Arcana feast... Pumpkins Crave Honey.

Pumpkins Crave Honey- Notes:Spiced calabaza, beeswax candles, acacia honey, buckwheat honey and mead.
Untwisting the neat black cap uncorks a gust of fragrance rich in nectar laden honey, accompanied by soft spice and sweet pumpkin. Drenching the skin with Pumpkins Crave Honey reveals those honeys to be wild and rounded with woods, sweet and mild with nary a powdery hint or hue. This is liquid crystalline nectar. Placid cinnamon, more vanilla pod than fire, intertwines with the vines of gourds, squashy and plump. One of the most realistic versions of pumpkin I have laid nose on to date. This pumpkin smells warm and roasted, soft and pulpy. As the perfume oil dries down, honeycomb candles rolled by hand and scented in honeyed manna rise from the sweet pumpkins. Barley grain, earthy porridge toothsomeness lie at the base. Eventually, Pumpkins Crave Honey finishes as a honeyed vanilla woods then simply woods at the very end of its story.

Skookum- Notes: Fir needle, juniper, hemlock, rain, tiny wildflowers, strawberries and cool earth.
In the bottle, tiny wild berries and conifers sprout from the glass bottle like a wee enchanted forest from a miniature terrarium. Once on the skin those diminutive burgundy hearts beat tenderly and sweetly from the shadowed greenery of the forest floor, with every pulse their feral sweetness fills the air. The strawberries fade quickly into the darkness of the hemlock stand of trees where night fog and resinous boughs obscure a lurking beast in between the rough barked trunks and reaching taunting limbs. At the hulking yet nebulous shadowed creature's feet, tiny yellow and white flowers glow like so many critters' eyes in the gloaming dusk. Skookum timidly creeps from the underbrush to emerge as a truly woodsy being, king of the forest.

Anthropophagia- Notes: Vanilla infused pear sorbet, sugar cane, white amber and French cognac.
Fresh from the bottle, Pacific Northwest pears hang low on spindly branches, ripe and dapple skinned. Reach out and pluck the sun warmed heaviness from the branch, run the soft skin between the nose and cupid's bow between the peaks and valley of the pear. Inhale. Pair this aroma with pale amber and aged brandy and it steers from foodie into gourmand perfume territory. All together these notes almost hint at an accord of sunny floral coconut. Dressed on the skin, the pear and cognac is joined by sugar cane, which smells of clarified malted molasses. Being a Florida agriculture girl I have many memories surrounding sugar cane. My favorite is going to a harvest where an old mule was tethered to a grinding mill, he walked in circles turning gears that crushed the juice from the bamboo-like canes. The cane juice was collected, filtered, then boiled down into syrup, which I then soaked into a buttermilk biscuit and topped with fried country ham. Good Lord. Where was I? Ah yes, the malty sweet tang of sugar cane. As the fragrance settles into the nooks and crannies of the flesh, the white amber cognac drifts into polished oak with a drop of brandy. This one is so good I almost want to eat myself. Maybe that is the point?

Pirouette- Notes: Blends Two Finger Ballet with Twirling the Pearl over labdanum, sandalwood and sugary French lavender absolute.
Cushy lavender and pillowy vanilla cakes peek from the jar. Dancing on the wrist and the crook of the arm, Pirouette maintains that balance of vanilla sweetness and green herbalness, pouches of lavender buds and pine needles intertwine with vanilla pods. As it ages, Pirouette glides into a more vanilla centric frolic. The subtle presence of lavender and woods lingers but more as a blurred background than the co-lead as in the beginning. A joy to wear. An easy pick to wear on a daily basis.

Cunning Folk- Notes: The scent of an unread magical grimoire smudged with tobacco and surrounded by offerings of chocolate and golden amber. Gift with purchase.
Bittersweet chocolates wrapped in thin papers and sealed with a drop of amber wax is the mirage that lifts from the tiny bottle when opened. Dribbled on the body, the clear almost tangy aroma of fresh cut tobacco and the slight epoxy tang of book bindings. The dusty wooden chocolate creeps back in as the scent mingles on the flesh and marries beautifully with the large sunny tobacco leaves. The drydown whispers of vellum paper and green sap formed amber.

Forest Witch- Notes: Blood cedarwood, fir needles, black spruce, cypress, pine, juniper berry, tonka bean absolute. 100% natural.
From the phial the swell of softwood slivers, resinous cambium and macerated needles arise. Painted on the skin the evergreens and pines fume like turpentine. It tickles the nose like carbon bubbling through the phloem of pinyons, movement and life in a seemingly immobile being. Cedar sawdust billows forth and mingles with the lifeblood of gymnosperms. Reckless juniper gin. Bones of the forest. Marrow of the trees. The Forest Witch is versed in all these things and they coat the skin in their haunting fragrance. This perfume smells of distilled pine resins rather than the more jammy and sumptuous nuances in This is Not Canada or the bracing vigor of Filthy Viking. I love all three to pieces and they are each worth looking into if you love coniferous aromas.

Hedge Witch- Notes: Labdanum, Haitian vetiver, jasmine sambac, Omani frankincense, wild orange essence. 100% natural. 
Lifting from the vial, spirals of musk and earth detach from the black sticky tar of labdanum. Divine. Anointed on the wrists, the earthy vetiver melds with indolic jasmine, creamy and heady, blooming under a full bellied moon. Intoxicating and sensual. Wild. Untamed and solitary. Hedge Witch dries down into golden frankincense tears and dark ambery labdanum. This is a stunning scent unlike any other I have in my collection. I love how dark yet wild the jasmine is portrayed.

Garden Witch- Notes: French and Bulgarian lavender absolutes, cool water, cucumber, basil, cilantro, dill and green leaves.
Sage and silver lavender leaves reflect in the fresh spring water where cress and sparkling minerals gleam under burbling waters. This fount pours directly from the amber vial. Sprinkled on the skin, soapy cilantro and bitter watery plantlings stain the knees and fingertips. Tender of the garden, pumping fresh water, weeding, gathering bundles in her basket, the Garden Witch nurtures her domain. She moves to the gourds and cucumbers and aloes, plucking and pinching, pausing for a nibble here and there. Herb collecting to replenish dwindling stocks is next. Basil, dill, spearmint. A touch of shadow and shade creep in as Apollo moves across the sky, damp roots, the siphons of the plants, root hairs fibrous and knotted just like her own hair. As the Garden is left to respire once the sun flees before the night, an ambrette musk stays on the skin long after the plants have gone to sleep.

Cottage Witch- Notes: Enchanted gingerbread people, bewitched apple cider donuts, vanilla oleoresin, fresh ginger root, maple syrup, beeswax absolute, butter co2 extract, honey, pumpkin and a sliver of fig.
Buttery zingy gingerbread and honeyed beeswax filter through the neck of the bottle to reach the nose.  Kneaded into the skin, Cottage Witch conjures up images of ginger spiked apple cider and a loaf of gingerbread baking in a wood burning oven. The freshly spiced apples fade while the gingerbread emerges from the oven, ready to be basted in butter and drizzled with honey. Is there a touch of pumpkin in this gingerbread? I think so. This stage of the perfume is quite cozy and warm as a fragrant kitchen hearth. Spices, fruits, maple cookies and treats of all types send their homespun enchantment through the air and swirling about the person. 

Did you make it through this beefy tome of fragrant Arcana love? I have purchased dozens upon dozens of Julia's creations up to this point and there have only been a very small few that I ended up passing on to new homes. By and far I love most everything she whips up. I placed a birthday order and a few Christmas presents orders for family and friends this past week. 

What are you wearing? Have you tried any of Julia's new Marshmallows Collection or the new collaboration she did? 

Friday, November 24, 2017

Handmade in Florida: July Restock

Handmade in Florida, as many of you know who have been reading me for a while, ranks pretty high up there for one of my favorite handcrafted bath and body and wax tart companies. Zahida's talent for scent blending, crafting high quality products and wrapping it all up in a chic and well honed brand is awe inspiring. My journey with this brand began a couple years ago when a kind friend sent me a sliver of one of Zahida's soaps, Istanbul. I now try to order at least one soap during every opening I can catch. Thankfully, Zahida announces her openings in advance and usually even gives us fiends extra time to salivate over her wares before adding the cart buttons. This order is woefully late (thank you again guys for sticking with me during a crazy period in my life) but better late than never right? 

I did pick up my husband a few bars of Moroccan Mint Tea but I gifted them to him right away (although he was surprised and said "You're not putting them in my stocking?!") so they are not featured, suffice it to say that if you enjoy a minty bar of soap, you need to have Moroccan Mint Tea in your life. And shhhhhhh... but I did buy one more bar for him at Handmade in Florida's most recent opening a few days ago just for his stocking. I felt bad. Those soaps run $8 each.

The two I am lustfully gazing at here are $10 each due to the essential oils used in their formulation. Spa Time and Serenity have been reviewed many times in the past. I don't mind gushing about them again though. 

Serenity blends lavender, eucalyptus and mint essential oils to create a refreshing but blissfully smooth rendition of lavender and sweet spearmint. The eucalyptus is mellow and woody while the lavender calms with its velvety herbal magic. The mint might not be strictly spearmint but my nose translates it that way and I adore it. 

Spa Time, as I have mentioned in the past, is quite possibly my most favorite soap that Zahida crafts. And I swoon over almost all her soaps. I may or may not burst out in sporadic Herbal Essence moans and sighs in the shower when using this peppermint and patchouli treasure. For every three Moroccan Mints I buy Adam I try to include at least one Spa Time for myself. The combination of clear crisp mint and feathery earthy patchouli leaves me grinnin' like a possum eatin' a sweet 'tater. 

These generously sized wax tarts scented in Easter Oudh were $5.50 each. I fell pretty hard for this scent in the past and knew I wanted a couple more on hand to fragrant my home. Aromatic and vaguely smoky gaiac wood with veins of amber resin running through the wood grain flow like golden lava through the home when this is melted. If you enjoy sophisticated and elegant aromas you need to try this one. Don't let the oudh scare you, it is brushed and polished into shimmering luxury.

Two clamshells ($5.50), one each in Moroccan Mint Tea and one in Spiced Fruit.
In wax format, Moroccan Mint Tea is just as minty fresh and lovely. It smells of spearmint and sweetness and a tiny touch of darkness from the black tea leaves. Saving this one for when I buy a new bedroom warmer. I want to have this scent float like a cloud above my bed for when I sleep. 
Spiced Fruit smells like something I want to make for dessert on Christmas day. A stewed compote of berries and apples and citrus fruits, infused with cinnamon sticks and clove and served in a petite antique china bowl (Homer Laughlin with cabbage roses and edged in faded gold) and topped with a generous dollop of hand whipped vanilla bean cream. 

Lavender Ice in a wax tart. I only have this one on hand at the moment but I did order two more and cannot wait to get them. I will talk about this scent further down in the scrub format. 

A three-pack of Sweet Serenity ($6) was quickly snapped up after I melted the one I had previously. Remember the Serenity soap I gushed over previously? Well this is the wax tart version and it is just as amazing. It throws strong and smells beautiful. This is not a serenity now, insanity later thing but a serenity now and a ding dang amazing smelling home later.

Zahida crafts lovely sugar scrubs ($8), they are light and fluffy and the sugar grain is neither too wimpy and fine nor too large and coarse. There is one full sized in Lavender Ice and a smaller sample in Lavender Creme Brulee
Lavender Ice has garnered a rather large following and as a mint and lavender lover I can see why. The lavender twinkles like a lucent star, distilled and clear. Paired with redolence of cool mint and vanilla infused sugar crystals, this fragrance rockets me into an outer space dreamscape where the satiny indigo darkness wraps me in cool sheets and the diamonds and quartz and gemstones in the sky shimmer and glow in their brilliance. Ok. Did I wax poetic enough about this scent? Really, other than hallucinating about how utterly intoxicating this scent is (and it IS) you just need to experience it for yourself.  
Lavender Creme Brulee is pretty spectacular as well. The French lavender in this blend is more potent and pairs beautifully with the dose of creamy vanilla and caramelized sugar crust. I would love this in a soap and wax tart form too and just roll around in all of it like a feline in a bed of wild cat nip. 

Meditate- Notes: Incense, amber and sweet vanilla.
This scent, along with the next one too, is phenomenal and easily in the top ten wax tarts I have encountered this year. The incense stars in this fragrance and floats in the air on cords of smoke that stretch to the heavens. It is sweet but tempered, warm and furry like an old friend but peaceful and solitary as if that friend was yourself. I am crushing on this scent pretty hard. 

Ritual Lavender- Notes: Lavender, sage, rosemary and woodsy smoke.
Ritual Lavender ranks right up there with Meditate. Zahida has a real way with incense notes and lavender tones and smoke. This one bears the cleansing waft of sage and sweet lavender but never veers towards harsh or stringent. These herbs are silvery and quietly smoky. 

Lilac Spice- Notes: Lilac petals, pumpkin seeds, spicy coriander, cinnamon sugar and warm vanilla.
My mom swooned over this one. She is my floral lover. I promised I would give this one to her once I blogged about it. I do love it, the lilac is satiny and plush with nuances of powdered honey and green jasmine vines. The pumpkin and vanilla contribute just enough sweetness to add interest and the spice is just a soft exhale of peppery woods. It is a beaut.

Cosmic Caramel- Notes: Gooey caramel and warm clove.
I love this one. It has an almost woody tang to the deep, burnt sugar caramel. That must be the wooden flowers of the clove buds. Delightful.

Caramallow- Notes: Marshmallows and buttery caramel.
Deeeeelish! Smells like butterscotch covered marshmallows and I want to gobble it up. 

Harvest Moon- Notes: Glowing firewood embers, cinnamon sticks and clove. 
This is wholly unique among any spiced fireside scents I have tried up to this point. Sweet spice is blackened and sticky with a deep agarwood type of smoky richness. Hard to describe but very cool.

Haunted Hayride- Notes: Woods, warm vanilla and spices.
More warm vanilla and a watery sweet grass type of vibe. Like a dew covered hayride in fresh morning air. Not very spicy.

Cinnamon Donuts-Notes: Warm donuts, freshly ground cinnamon and sugar.
This is a brilliant vanilla based scent. It almost has a light caramel tone and definitely heaping with sugar and yumminess. 

The remaining wax tarts came in a surprise sampler where you could pick your scent category but not the particular scents that would be included. This one is the Earthy Sampler ($30) and included a generous portion of wax. 

French Vanilla & Oak- Notes: Oak, sandalwood, benzoin and French vanilla.
Yessssss. Ma'am. This smells close enough to my beloved Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille that I can close my eyes and practically feel the spritz on my skin. Delicately powdery and full of dulcet vanilla woods. I bought a second one in the most recent opening.

Vetivert & Vanilla- Notes: Ginger, cypress, sandalwood, cedarwood, ambergris, vanilla and musk.
Ambergris in a wax tart? Zahida is really amping up my home fragrance experience with wax tarts. I adore ambergris and its musky, mineral and leather sparks of light. This tart smells mostly of faded hay and vanilla fondant. 

Tea for Two- Notes: Green tea, bergamot, patchouli, amber, vanilla, jasmine, musk and smooth woods.
This makes my knees weak. Green tea leaves aged and refined with shadows of dulcet vanilla leather and airy sugar coated jasmine tea leaves. The musk blurs out the sometimes harsh tea edges and makes for a scent I wouldn't mind bathing in. Truly gorgeous.

Enchanted Woods is a soap Zahida crafts that smells incredibly plush and relaxing. I love the pairing of sandalwood and myrrh with patchouli and musk. It is a little less strong in the wax and the sap filled myrrh pulls forth a touch stronger but it is beautiful nonetheless. So happy to try this in wax form.

Scent shots in:

Sensual Suede- Notes: Soft suede, vanilla and sandalwood.
Let me pop my wolfy heart eyes back into my head and stretch out my collar, it's getting hot under there. This steamy scent is sexy and sultry, full of high end leather, amber and blonde sandalwood. These are the kind of scents I swoon over. 

Beautiful Leaves- Notes: Cedar, patchouli, sweet musk, apple cider and cinnamon.
Leaves, if made by someone at an artisan perfume house. It has that same nectar laden apple cider, infused with cinnamon bark curls and a touch of earthy depth and woods. In love.

Pretty Patch- Notes: Sweet vanilla, dark-aged patchouli, amber, musk and tonka.
Pretty indeed. I love how polished this patchouli smells. More of a golden patchouli with that added amber and furry tonka sweetness. 

Sweet Blood Orange- Notes: Blood oranges, brown sugar and vanilla.
Whoa. I am not normally an orange lover in wax tarts but this one is so vivid and juicy and bright it cannot be ignored. A true sunny orange with just a hint of caramelization. Incredible.

Coconut Curry- Notes: Curry leaf, warm ginger, lime, vanilla and creamy coconut milk.
I had this as a sample of soap once and looked a little side-eyed at it until I opened up the glassine pouch and inhaled. This is not your typical curry meal in a soap or wax. This is fresh and clean, semi-tropical and zippy with lime. It reminds me of a jasmine coconut rise with a squeeze of lime and that single curry leaf as a garnish. 

Cedar & Spice- Notes: Cedar, patchouli, sandalwood and vetiver with spices and warm musk. 
The cedar prevails but not in a wood shaving or pencil shaving manner but more of a creamy and putty cedar. I do get a soft plastic tone but it might melt off. Very little spice pulls through on cold. 

How cute are these Halloween shapes?! The skully guy is scented in Haunted Hayride and the witchy punkin' is in Pumpkin Pecan Pie which is is dead on dupe of Pumpkin Pecan Waffles and smells rich and chewy and full of that caramel and butterscotch bakery butteriness. Mmmmmmm!

That is my epic Handmade in Florida order. I did place two orders this past opening. I look forward to getting the Winter Wonderland sampler and the extra tarts in Lavender Ice and Ritual Lavender. Did you place an order at this last opening? What did you get?

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Candles From The Keeping Room: October Opening

Friends. I can only shake my head in rueful sheepishness as I present a huge Candles From the Keeping Room order that has been patiently sitting in my home for almost two months. Waiting to be sniffed and photographed and showered with the attention it deserves. Most of these will be saved and melted for next year. I will melt a few here and there, especially the Christmas ones, but the fall ones are about to go into wax storage to sleep and keep until next September. So what I did I buy? Let me show you! I will only be giving brief scent description based on what I smell and not on the actual notes. Thanks for indulging me.

Apple Dumpling is a repurchase almost every time I run out. I love reliable throw and sweet spiced apple goodness of this blend. More juicy and cider-ish than bakery. 

Leaves Type, I cannot believe this is my first time buying a Leaves dupe from Carol. It is strong and lovely. A nice concentrated dupe of the classic Bath & Body Works scent.

Autumn Magic smells of vanilla hay and brittle leaves piled into mounds for jumping and frolicking. 

Fall Magic is redolent of musty barns and apples piled high in bushels waiting for market day. It creates a realistic autumnal jaunt to the local u-pick farm.

Witch's Brew & Pumpkin Stew is a Yankee Candle dupe for Witch's Brew. A deep and dark patchouli centered fragrance that is softly spiced and woodsy. 

Autumn Moon features spiced citrus and a touch of sweet grassy hay. I love the spice and uniqueness it possesses.

Sweet Harvest Moon wafts out maple sweetness and pumpkin and vanilla creaminess, a pinch of cinnamon and spice to give it some richness. Delish.

Pumpkin Firewood blows my mind. Smoldering embers and fireside warmth sugared with sweet pumpkins and a dash of spice. I could smell this all day long. It is everything I hoped and more.

Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow is a repurchase. It is a heavy vanilla fragrance with a caramel and pumpkin creaminess that throws strong and smells like something good is baking in the oven.

Butternut Pumpkin is another long time favorite that I buy again and again. A spice laden pumpkin that has an almost woodsy edge. Like a spiced pumpkin wreath type of scent. Love.

Sweet Harvest Pumpkin smells as if Butternut Pumpkin and Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow had a baby. And I want to melt it into a hot waxy puddle to scent my home STAT. The caramel and vanilla stickiness merges with spiced pumpkin and it is yummy.

Spiced Cranberry might just be my favorite cranberry from any vendor. Carol's has just the right amount of tart sweetness and spicy kick that I love. No candy. No cloy. All bright and juicy. 

Cranberry Oak please my nose. This is my first rodeo with Cranberry Oak. I quite like the tart cranberry with the velvety woods. Brilliant.

Cranberry Woods is along the same vein as Cranberry Oak but more smoky and dark. It has been ages since I have had a Cranberry Woods scent from Bath & Body Works but it used to be my top favorite. I enjoy having this on hand to reminisce. 

Fire Roasted Marshmallow is a newer scent from Carol I believe, different from her current Marshmallow Fireside scent. Sniffing them side by side, Marshmallow Fireside is less sweet and more cashmere vanilla woods. Marshmallow Fireside is a beautiful scent and I love melting it, but to compare it to BBW's Marshmallow Fireside is lacks the dousing of creamy vanilla marshmallows. Fire Roasted Marshmallow, in my opinion, is a touch closer to the Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Fireside but still not there. I love the strength of sweetness and smokiness that Fire Roasted Marshmallow emits. It almost has a balsam note to it. I love both and would buy both again in a heartbeat.

Celebrate Christmas Type melds together the comforting aroma of the live Christmas tree in the corner of the room, festooned with lights and baubles with the sweetness of sugared fruits and candies in the glass bowl on the coffee table. 

Noels of Christmas Past might be one of my favorite Christmas tree scents... balsam and firs, evergreen and conifers, all mixed up in sugar and Vanilla Bean Noel. Sweet whipped cream and vanilla with Christmas trees. I love the tree and pinecone shapes too. They were such a sweet surprise to open up. <3

Speaking of cute trees and pinecones! 

Peppermint & Cypress makes my eyes roll back in fits of rapture. Why have I not purchased this scent before? Where has it been all my life? Why did I not buy TWO bags of it?! The answers to all these questions elude me, however, the appeal of this scent does not. Frigid peppermint, frosted with ice and the ever so slightest bit of sugar, swirls like snow about tall stands of trees in an arctic forest. Peppermint and woods. A dream come true. 

Woodland Foliage hops into my cart almost every time I shop with Carol. It is a classic woodsy fragrance with the added complexity of sweetness and depth. There is a touch of patchouli that probably is the reason why I love it so.

Strawberry Pine and I are meeting for the very first time. As a long time lover of Sugared Strawberry Spruce I figured why not try the pine version? We all know by now just how obsessed I am with Carol's Fresh Picked Strawberry. It honestly pairs wonderfully with just about anything. In this particular blend the pine comes across as more resinous and camphorous than the spruce. I love both versions to pieces but the extra pine in this one is curling my toes.

SAMPLES! As always, Carol is super generous with her samples when it comes to her customers. But she is one savvy business woman too, that sample will more often than not enable further sales when that customer falls under the spell of the new yummy scents. And I often succumb. 

Churro Caramel Drizzle opens thick and a touch spicy. I would swear there is come chocolate shavings mixed in with all the caramel goodness.

Bourbon Sea Salt Caramel Type is more of a gourmand and oaky musky caramel scent. Not too much salt but I do like its uniqueness.

Reindeer Kisses, reindeer must dip into Santa's hot cocoa and get whipped cream mustaches. Nice and sweet and a lighter chocolate than I am used to, I think I like it.

Roasted Pine Cones stole my heart at first sniff. Pine trees and vanilla, laced with sugar and woods. Bliss. I need a bag in my life.

Kitchen Spices is not the typical super spicy baked goods aroma. It get an airy citrus from this along with sugar crystals and light clear spice. It is another lovely scent.

Pumpkin Milkshake Type is a pale vanilla scent. It has a plastic tone that might end up melting off but not sure if it is for me. I love way too many of Carol's other pumpkins to spend time buying this one. I really want to buy Pumpkin Lager but I have not seen that one offered as of late.

Swedish Dream Salt is a fresh lover's dream. It does manage to have a salty air and water vibe without being aquatic but more salt air on a cliffside forest that borders a fjord. I love it.

Snowman Candy, strangely, doesn't ring my chimes like I thought it would. On paper it is a peppermint, cinnamon stick and spruce delight but to my nose I mostly get an aquatic tone with no spice. The mint is there but subdued. My nose amps up with watery fresh thing that smells more like cucumbers that anything else.

Encounter Fresh CK Type even though it is a Men's type it smells unisex to me. A nice musky perfume with soft fruity floral tones.

A Thousand Wishes Type is fruity floral as well but nothing soft about it. These are juicy and vivid fruits with the scent of peonies.

Moringa and Salted Melon made me chuckle. I am a big Japanese candy lover and my Morinaga Hi-Chews rank right up there with some of my favorites. This smells like the honeydew version of that candy I love. 

Christmas Lane was mentioned in the CFTKR Facebook group by Mary and now I know why she was hoping to get a couple bags of it. It is one strong mamajama. Bright crisp eucalyptus evergreen woods. 

Acrtica reminds me of what a true Swedish spa might smell like. It smells serene and sweet but not candy, woodsy and a touch damp. It smells of a cabin and earth on a chilly shoreline where all your cares melt away into the wooden planks of the heated spa. 

Rainbows of Unicorns is a festively sweet blend of berries and cotton candy.

Vicious Trollop is an ode to Lorelai from Gilmore Girls and is a flirty fruity floral.

Pink Elephant smells of melons with a touch of sour on the backend.

Sparkling Fig Cocktail is a neroli powerhouse. Neroli and a shy sweet champagne. 

Pink Tinsel brims with Christmas trees and a red berry sweetness form the pomegranates.

Honey Lavender is a fast favorite. It somehow pulls like grape candy on me but I love it.

Pink Stiletto Cotton Candy is a fluffy yummy confection of berries and candy floss. Twinkling and light hearted.

Sparkling Pomegranate Prosecco reminds me of a Zinfandel spritzer.

Holiday Festival gets me excited for Christmas. This is a brilliantly executed red berry and spiced treat. I love how sunny and punchy this one is without being Hawaiian Punch but more cranberry, pineapple, grape juice and soda Christmas punch. I love it.

>Dabs forehead and cracks knuckles< Well that was quite the tour of my most recent Candles From the Keeping Room order. I have some old favorites, new favorites and from the sample I really wouldn't mind adding Holiday Festival, Roasted Pine Cones, Swedish Dream Salt and Kitchen Spices to a future order. Did you pick up anything from Carol's October opening? Do you plan on catching her December opening?