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?


  1. I ordered a "Surprise Me" soap and a whipped scrub in Lemon Blueberry Scone. Can't wait!

    1. How fun!! I hope you get a scent you love, but honestly, Zahida makes such beautiful things it would be hard not to. And Lemon Blueberry Scone smells amazing. You will love it!

  2. Thank you Julie! Your writing and pictures are amazingly descriptive and, love, love ❤️✨

    1. Thank you!! It is always a great pleasure to get a package like this in the mail. I love everything I buy from you. Hope your holiday was splendid and your holiday season is kicking off to a great start! xoxo

  3. "leaves me grinnin' like a possum eatin' a sweet 'tater." That's a Florida thing, right?
    Zahida is a queen, her stuff is the most sophisticated I believe I've tried and I'm happy to hear the soaps are winners too, because I have one coming. No way I was passing up the chance at her winter blends after the Fall beauty I experienced. As far as mint goes, I liked Serenity, but spearmint isn't a must for me, so I focused on the Ritual Lavender. Wish I could have grabbed more Cosmic Caramel though, the memory of it's creamy heart will have to sustain me till I can. I'm surprised that the Earthy Samplers had some different blends among them, now I need to try the rest of these. Beautiful Leaves, Haunted Hayride and Harvest Moon sound delightful and Ambergris? I'd be done, my comfort melt zone.
    I concur with all of the ones I also received, though as Zahida knows, I was unable to detect anything from Enchanted Woods, but I'm giving it more time to develop.
    What really set off my alarm bells was the talk of the scrub, which sadly, I did not grab. I'll have to wait to get into this outer space dreamscape, though you were so descriptive, I literally felt my claustrophobia twinge at mention of the satiny indigo darkness wrapping me up, lol, beautiful post for beautiful wax.

    1. She is a queen! I hope you love your soap. She really works magic with all her products but her soaps were the first thing I fell in love with. Ritual Lavender is a stunner. I loved reading your post on all the goodies you got from her. I was happy the samplers were all different, it made it kinda fun to see what everyone got in theirs. I wonder if the winter ones will be that way too? Those houses are going to be almost too lovely to cut up I bet.

      I haven't gotten around to melting Enchanted Woods yet but I will let it rest a bit more. Never hurts. Goodness knows I have enough other stuff to melt through in the meantime. :-)

      Thank you Jay! Sometimes my writing goes overboard but that is all part of the fun. Getting back into a writing groove is nice. I have been dry for a long time. Hoping I can tap into something again soon.

  4. I missed the whole thing once again and am so bumbed! Your review is just stellar once again! Thank you Julie.

    1. Oh no Pam!! That really stinks :-( I have found that I am not really liking the way Facebook picks and chooses what goes into my feed. I am missing out on some restocks and information too in certain groups. I shared the information when Zahida announced her restock hoping that would help some people to find out about it. Is this Pam Shepard? I can send you a private message when I hear about the next restock. <3