Friday, December 29, 2017

Best of 2017

2017. Wow. You know how we all have those years that pack a whollop? I think 2017 was that year for me. There were scares and heartache, career changes and new paths to ponder but also beautiful memories born and sweet morsels to roll around in the mouth along with the bitter. The path is never really straight and that is quite alright. 

Each year I like to reflect on some of my very favorite aromas that have run across my nose and this year will be no different. If you have read previous years' reminisces, you may notice some repeats but there are sure to be new ones sprinkled in there as well.

Best Books I Read in 2017:
Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker was probably my favorite book this year. The characters lived and breathed in my mind and heart and the NYC landscape flourished under my feet and fingertips. 
Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling hit home with me this year as well. It was dark and humorous and has me itching to read more from Rowling. 

Best Series I Read in 2017:
Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniels series that starts with Magic Bites was my favorite new series read this year, hands down. I love how fast paced, quirky and hilarious the characters are, I simply fell head over heels for Kate and Curran. If you think a post apocalyptic spin on futuristic Atlanta in the hands of vampires, werewolves and other mystical magical creatures would suit your escapism leanings, please check it out!

Favorite Potters in 2017:
This could easily be called the Year of the Pottery, for 2017 brought with it a renewed passion for all things handcrafted. Collecting hand thrown mugs has been a joyous experience, adding a touch of sentimentality to my morning coffee and afternoon tea routines.

Potters I had the pleasure of purchasing from this year include:
Made by Anisa Pottery- planter
Elan Pottery- fairy houses
Hand to Earth Ceramics- mugs, cups and planters
Pitch Pine Pottery- mugs, tea cups and planters
Scrimshaw Pottery- mug
Scumugs- planter
Single Tooth Stoneware- mug
Swell Ceramics- mug

Favorite Silversmiths in 2017:
Expanding my jewelry collection has been occurring for some time now thanks to a group I am in on Facebook but I do love purchasing directly from the artists themselves as well. There are many silversmiths I frequent for pieces, each with their own style, but here is list of my very favorites:

Ariana Victoria Rose
Candice Vostrejs
Dida Metals
Gather and Flow
Laurel and Lime
Luna's Locket
Marta Oms
Moss Root Jewellery
Sam Ryde
The Cave Lady

Favorite Wax Scents of 2017:
10. Lasting Scent Candles Summer Bonfire
9. Candy Panda Wonderful Christmastime
8. Handmade in Florida Eastern Oudh
7. Super Tarts Hades
6. MoonaLisa The Rumpkin
5. Vintage Chic Scents Cookie Baking at Mom's/Edelweiss combination
4. Handmade in Florida's Meditate
3. Candles From the Keeping Room's Peppermint and Cypress
2. Ten Digit Creations Wicked Lovely
1. Beezy's Marshmallow Fireside

Favorite Soap Scents of 2017:
5. La Petitie Ferme Amber and Sandalwood
4. Arcana Queen Crossbones
3. Wylde Ivy Raven
2. FuturePrimitive Cordwainer
1. Handmade in Florida Spa Time

Favorite Artisan Perfumes of 2017:
The following perfumes I enjoyed and purchased full bottle of this year.
5. Wylde Ivy Autumn Twilight
4. Wylde Ivy Autumn Day of the Sugar Skull
3. Andy Tauer Attar
2. Solstice Scents Vanilla Pipe Tobacco
1. Sonoma Scent Studio Ambre Noir

Other Full Bottles I Added to My Collection in 2017:
1. Chanel Coromandel
2. Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles
3. Serge Lutens L'Orpheline

Favorite Perfume Oils of 2017:
12. Sixteen92 Hellebore
11. Arcana Mars Exalted: Courage
10. Nui Cobalt Designs Ominous Orchard
9. Arcana Cake Lust
8. Nocturne Alchemy Tibetan Crystalline
7. Nocturne Alchemy Cardamom Chai Sandalwood
6. Arcana Bonfires at Dusk
5. Arcana Undead Gentleman
4. Nocturne Alchemy Black Vanilla Custard
3. Arcana This is Not Canada
2. Nocturne Alchemy Icons II Copal
1. Arcana Filthy Viking

Favorite Indie Bath and Body Care of 2017:
6. ArtiSun and Handcrafted Honey Bee natural deodorants 
5. Blood Moon Botanica Coconut Silk body cream
4. FuturePrimitive Milk Bath Tea in The Gloaming
3. Kings Road Apothecary Deep Wods Body Oil
2. Indie Beautique Dark Mermaid Fizzing Bath Salts
1. Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations Infused Miracle Budders (Hoochie's Palace scent)

Favorite Candles of 2017:
5. Atelier Vanille Insensee
4. Bath & Body Works Baby It's Cold Outside, Fireside Candle
3. Chi Candles Old Books and New Books
2. Jean-Michel Basquiat Perfumed Candle
1. Timberwick Ember Glow

Top Five Wax Vendors of 2017:

Not in any order because that would be too much for me to deliberate upon... but these are the top vendors I returned to again and again this year.

Candles From the Keeping Room: Carol's tarts are consistently amazing in both scent choices and throw, as well as shelf life. I melted some Balsam and Citrus tarts that were easily 3 years old this Christmas and the throw was phenomenal. Carol is great about announcing restocks and I know I can place an order about once every other month. Candles From The Keeping Room easily makes up about 1/3 of my wax stash and I am certainly fine with that. Some favorites: Apple Dumpling, Pumpkin Firewood, Peppermint and Cypress, Plumberry Spice, Fresh Picked Strawberry, Mulled Wine, Ultimate Sugar Cookie, White Cedar Forest and Merlin's Forest. 

Handmade in Florida: Zahida's foray into wax has proven to be successful. I enjoy the scent blendings, the throw and presentation. Her new pre-order system leaves time for browsing and the mystery bags offer quite nice surprises. Some of my favorite scents include: Meditation, Lavender Ice, Lavender Ritual, Eastern Oudh, Sensual Suede, Coconut Curry, Cosmic Caramel and Tea for Two.

Vintage Chic Scents: This is the first time Kirby's wax has made a top 5 for me. But this year really opened my eyes to how fabulous some of her offerings have become. I used to have terrible luck with throw years and years ago, but now I am very much enjoying Kirby's vanilla heavy bakery and peppermint scents with relish. Some favorites: Pink Twinkling Lights, Cookie Baking at Mom's/Edelweiss, Central Park Snow Globe, Cookie Monster in Salem and It's A Wonderful Life/Cookie Baking at Mom's. 

Sniff My Tarts: I still quite enjoy the frenetic bliss that is compiling a huge custom blended order twice a year. I believe the ladies are set to open up shop here soon. Some of my favorite blends this year are Candy Cane/Marshmallow/Lord of Misrule, Peppermint/Peppermint Swizzle Sticks/Pink Sugar, Sandalwood/Marshmallow Fireside, Pine Forest/Marshmallow Fireside, Dragon's Blood/Butterscotch Candy/Cinnamon Sticks. 

Lasting Scent Candles: Pam still churns out some of the creamiest and sweetest blends out there, all these years later. Her Aroma Mists have really become some of my favorite things, but her wax is great too. Some standouts for me: Summer Bonfire, Spooky Apparitions, Sweet Embers, Cast A Spell, Sinful, Vanilla Waffle Cone, Candyland Dreamin', Holiday Hearth, Cobweb Cookies, Bliss. 

Other favorites I enjoyed but maybe did not see as much business as I would like for one reason or other include:
Candy Panda, Beezy, The Bathing Garden, Ten Digit Creations, Sugar & Spice, Super Tarts, Book Scents, Bohemienne Life.

2017 was another fragrant year of blogging. I look forward to enjoying my perfume and wax collections. I may add a few more here and there but on the whole I am going to strive to use what I have and savor it day by day. I hope to continue to blog on a semi-regular schedule and wallow in the more aromatic aspects of life. I still have one more class to take and a few odds and ends to wrap up in obtaining my re-certification for teaching. The school year is half over and that amazes me. January will be touch and go but should mellow by spring. I do have my new bird watching hobby to bring me some peace and calm. 

A new bucket list and reading challenge will come forth in January. How was your 2017? Any favorites? What vendors brought you back for more time and again? Any new perfumes or soaps to love? 


  1. 2017 was a crazy year for me. There was a lot of drama with work and with all that crap related to Casey moving out, and then the family ties finally fraying here at the end of the year, but I still seem to have this almost numb, detached feeling about 2017 in general. Perhaps I'm heading for one heck of a meltdown in 2018?

    The vendors that got most of my business this year were not even wax vendors. Lawn Fawn and Newton's Nook stamps and dies are where my money went this year. In wax, I ordered very little but it was probably Sweet Fixations that I went to most.

    I've been working my little 2018 Bucket List. It will be my first time doing one! I probably won't officially participate in your Reading Challenge since just shooting for a certain number of books read is challenge enough for me. And even that goal is low compared to all you quick readers out there! Maybe I'll see if any of my 'goal of 10' books fall into any of your challenge categories though.

    Here's to a better 2018 for all of us!


    1. It was a touch crazy wasn't it? I truly hope no meltdowns occur for you. But if you feel one coming on... don't hesitate to get the help you need. <3 And I am always here to vent to.

      You did have one heck of a crafty year. Mine was mostly pottery like yours was crafts. I am eyeing some hanging planters now. I love that one I have. And bird paraphernalia.

      Yay!!! I cannot wait to see your Bucket List. I just love them. And I would love for you to join me in the reading challenge even if only for a few books. Pretty please with cardstock on top.

      Hear! Hear! Wishing us both a renewed and vibrant 2018!

  2. I think 2017 was a crazy year for so many people! So many highs and lows and uncertainty, but in my case it helped put in focus the things I really care about, like family and friends and making time for creative pursuits.

    Have a safe and wonderful New Year! :)

    1. I think it was too. I do like your outlook though. When caca hits the fan it does make on re-prioritize. I am normally a homebody and home and hearth hermit naturally. Creative pursuits really do help me manage my stressors though. This new job is keeping me away form my sewing machine more than I would like but there will always be the summer time. Hoping to get some quilting done then. What do you like to do for creative hobbies?

      Happy New Year Kate!! <3

  3. My 2017 wasn’t a bad year, I think. It was crazy busy (but I like my current job so I shouldn’t complain); it brought some health issues both mine and other family members (but we’re dealing with them; and there were no losses this year - so I won’t complain). But if 2018 is at least not worse than this one, I won’t complain.
    The most recent perfume “find” for me was Sonoma Scent Studio’s Bee’s Bliss. And I want to mention that I like and wear all three perfumes in your “Other Full Bottle” category (I have a decant, a full bottle and a mini bottle of them - in the listed order).
    Happy New Year! Let it be as if you were bird watching all 365 days.

    1. Sounds like we both got a career shake up this year! I am so happy to hear you are loving yours. I quite enjoy being back in the full time teaching saddle, myself, though I have had a bit of an adjustment. I fear my family's dinner time has suffered a little and I know the blog has but these things happen. I hope your health issues, and family's as well, abate. So happy to hear that Bee's Bliss was one of your favorite finds. That is high praise and now I am quite eager to open mine up and get to reviewing it. The chaos of the season had me setting it aside but I think I am ready now. 2017 was a great year for me as far as scent. I was thrilled to finally get those bottles. I figured I had better jump on the SL ones while I could still get them in the smaller older size. I love that we have similar scent preferences. And love of our kitties too. <3

      Happy New Year! May yours be full of soft furry snuggles! I am watching a bright red cardinal as I type this. Cheers!

  4. The Golem and the Jinni is so achingly beautiful, my favorite read as well; likely for many years. I'll be adding Casual Vacancy to my list too.
    Lol, I love that you are now a bird-watcher and not just memes! My parents have a weird jungley mulch bed in their front yard filled with low branches and bird feeders seen through the picture window and I love catching glimpses. My dad is especially cute about it since retiring from his career (though he holds a part-time job).
    2017 was the year potter no longer only meant Harry to me, and I thank you. I got a new mug to try out and am sure I'll find other handmade treasures this year. As for vendors, I'm surprised to read we don't have much crossover for favorites, but I had trouble either acquiring or receiving all of your top 5 except for Handmade in Florida, which has zoomed to the top of my list. I'll be skipping SMT's opening, is it next weekend? Mostly because I just received my last order a few weeks ago, but I'm sure I'll start compiling a summer list, it is fun!
    I wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous new year, friend. Thank you for being an inspiration to bring more beauty into my life. One of my favorite parts of this year has been our bloggy friendship:)

    1. I agree with your succinct summary on The Golem and the Jinni. The Casual Vacancy is a little dark and can be touchy but I would be interested to hear what you think about it. I have All the Light We Cannot See on my shelf to be read for this year's reading challenge. <3

      I love bird watching! It was definitely more of a passing fancy when we were on vacation in the mountains but now that I have managed to attract some to our own little backyard I am over the moon! If your dad has any tips for creating a welcoming backyard please share! <3

      That is why I love that you started blogging and there are others out there too. There are so many vendors out there and everyone likes various aspects about wax. Some that just don't work for me are huge hits with others!

      I wish you the best 2018 can offer! Thank you for your inspiration as well and the quick wit and no-nonsense approach you bring to this little wax blogging world. <3 I look forward to growing our friendship.