Monday, December 10, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Arrok Hand Necklace

I know I just featured Nicole from Arrok last week, but hey. She rocks. Plus she is restocking several of these dainty hands necklaces in her shop today so I wanted you to see them. I don't recall the exact price on these since I purchased mine privately but I do remember that it was a hair under $100. 

It is a mixed metal creation with silver and a tiny glowing garnet. I simply love how easy it is to wear and the meaning that can be applied to it.

I wear mine at least once a week, it has become a fast favorite. Nicole is releasing a simpler version with a moonstone and without the crescent moon as well as a burning heart hand that is lovely. 

Do you wear necklaces? If you do, do you like dainty or statement?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Layering Notes, a Soap and a Halloweenie

I picked up a handful of Arcana Wildcraft scents a little while ago during Julia's Halloween release. I believe the layering notes are still available, but Sabbath Eve is not as it was a Halloweenie.

Golden Musk- Notes: A clean, strong, voluptuous musk. $23
The name fits perfectly. In the amber vial the musk floats up in gentle waves of clean skin, a soft neck drenched in candlelight. This is the tender flesh in the valley of the bosom that feels of warmth and solace. Fine spun wool, thin strips of pliant suede and a breath of iris. These nuances glimmer underneath the ambery musk.

I have Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan. Though this is by no means as pungent as MKK, I do get the finer, softer, more wearable side of that icon form this scent. It is truly lovely and if you are a musk lover I think you would enjoy this. I will be wearing this both on its own and layered.

Marshmallow- Notes: The scent of a soft, fluffy, vanilla-infused marshmallow. $23

It is utterly incredible how this smells like a fresh jar of Marshmallow Fluff. I make the Magic Fudge recipe on the back for Christmas every year and scooping out the sticky pillowy melted marshmallow cream always makes me smile with its perfume. On the skin this chewy squishy marshmallow aroma brims with a buttery vanilla base. It smells exactly like making Rice Krispy Treats with giggling squealing tots and mile-long strands of melted marshmallow pulling from the bowl to the spoon to fingers in white webs of warm sugar. As the scent settles into the nooks and crannies of the flesh the marshmallows cool into the solid yet spongy forms of homemade square treats that have a fine dusting of powdery goodness on top. The vanilla moves from warm, chewy, gooey to cool and spongy with a dusting of powdered sugar. This will be brilliant to wear alone or layered to amp up the sweet vanilla factor. This really is unique to my vanilla perfume collection and perfectly honors the robust marshmallow. 

Sabbath Eve- Notes: Crisp dead leaves, evening woodsmoke, dark amber and smoking church incense. $26

With these notes I know I wanted to lay my nose against this one. The amber phial releases puffs of charred embers and smoke along with a dank and almost acetic incense that gives interest, perhaps even a little foreboding. Poured onto the tender area inside the elbow Sabbath Eve kindles smoking embers to life. Piles of desiccated and withered leaves ignite into ashen flurries and molten sparks that gambol upwards into the Plutonian sky. The mounds of burning brush and foliage dot the landscape to welcome the holy event that began at sunset and continues into the darkness. Tallow candles illuminate the homes and temples and incense and offerings lace the night air with their pungent breath. 

I love this aroma. It is not sweet at all but very austere and atmospheric. The leaves, woodsmoke and earthen incense all meld so beautifully.

Haint soap by B. Perry Studios ($18) possesses notes of white musk, vanilla musk, Madagascar vanilla, sugarcane and a faint trail of white pepper. Each bar contains a full 5 ml of Julia's Haint perfume (which I finally bought recently). I sliced a fat sliver of this soap off to use in the bath tub. She is a beaut. The soap lathers up with heaps of silken bubbles and it has a nice exfoliation to it. This is a palm-free formula and contains rice bran oil, coconut oil, olive oil and cocoa butter. Haint in soap form is a rich, dusky, almost earthen vanilla that is musky with white pepper. Have you ever smelled white pepper when cooking? It has an almost fecal or damp fold-of-the-skin scent that is a little jarring when sniffing in a spice jar. But in a perfume it adds a human element that is very real indeed. I love it.

Julia released her Yule collections recently. I did pick up three perfumes on my own and I have the full Yule Deer line to feature. 

How is your holiday going? Any fun plans? Do you have any traditions?

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Arrok Mood Earrings

As soon as I saw the mood earrings posted from Nicole at Arrok I knew they would be magical. And they are. She has some still listed in her store for $38.50. They are handmade silver studs with fast color changing stones that hold just a faint glimmer of glitter inside. 

The colors shift from a royal navy blue to teal and emerald green when warm.

As the earrings cool they morph into maroons, brown and purple bruised shades.

They remind me of galaxies or planets. When I wear them on my ears they tend to have a multitude of colors that fade from blue to green to warm maroon.

Zoom in to see the fine glitter.

These would make stunning gifts for those who like a little throw back magic in their lives. 

Did you ever have mood stone rings?

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas Birbs

The winter birds are all making their way to Florida and my backyard once again. I missed them terribly over the summer. I had some new birbs come visit. These golden brown birds had a finch looking beak. Could these possibly be female goldfinches?? If you might have an idea of what type of bird this is will you please let me know?

The Sandhill Crane family still swings by our house for some seed and water from time to time. They might comes  three or four times in one day or simply spend the whole day here in our backyard. The girls and I collect the feathers they leave behind. We should probably name them.

We had a hawk spend some time drinking in our birdbath. Based on my book it might either be a Sharp-Shinned Hawk or a Cooper's Hawk (though I am thinking Cooper's Hawk because of its larger size). He was a handsome fella. 

My eyes keep wandering to the feeders and trees outside our home. I cannot wait to see what else flies into our neighborhood.

Do you enjoy birdwatching?

Monday, December 3, 2018

Sawdust & Embers: Winter Woods Candle

This candle was sent gratis from Sawdust & Embers. All opinions are my own.

I have blogged about my positive experience with Sawdust & Embers in the past and today I have another candle from John that houses a whole lotta Texas charm.

Winter Woods- Notes: Essential oils of Noble fir, balsam and cedarwood. Citrus, amber and moss. $32

According to the website this 10.5 ounce glass candle has a burn time of 60-70 hours. The one I was sent states it is 8.5 ounces with about a 60-65 hour burn time. The candle has a sturdy and snappy woodwick that pops and sizzles with sound. The candle wax is a coconut wax blend. It throws strong with a a beautifully festive evergreen and soft citrus scent that reminds me of Carol's Balsam and Citrus wax tarts that I love so very much. Having it in a candle from with essential oils is decadent. Trimming the wicks on this one is very important. It can get sooty with a crazy high flame if proper candle maintenance is not observed. 

I love this candle and will happily burn it through the holidays. 

What candles are you burning? Do you like essential oil candles?

Friday, November 30, 2018

Ebb & Flow: November 2018

The highs and lows of the month.

Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille

Perfume Oil:
Sixteen92 Dancing in the Snow

Paintbox Soap Works Sisterhood of the Moon

Bubble Bath:
Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Comfort: Vanilla & Patchouli

Lotion Bar:
Cosmic Cleanse Scentsation No 3rd Wheel

Skin Care:
Blood Moon Botanica Moon Dew

Lip Balm:
Blood Moon Botanica Bourbon Vanilla

Bath & Body Works Fresh Balsam

Beezy Apple Clove Butter

Dida Metals crescent moon and star stamp necklace

A strange blend of shredded cole slaw mix, shredded carrots and edamame beans dressed with olive oil, apple cider vinegar and orange juice or apple cider depending on what is in the fridge and a pinch of salt. It is like a refreshing salad without worrying about lettuce.

Club soda with a twist of lime. Coffee with a pump of cinnamon brown sugar syrup and creamer.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (large fully illustrated edition)

I finished Sabrina on Netflix,  I started Merlin on Netflix and I am also watching Fairytale anime with the girls on Netflix. Plus Birchwood Fireplace and Harry Potter Christmas ASMR Room videos. 

Christmas songs! Yep. Midnight Syndicate, The Carpenters, Mickey's Christmas Around the World and whatever is playing on the radio. 

Rosemary Bread from this recipe here.

Getting out of the steamy hot bath tub and into the freezing cold bedroom. Brrrr!

Christmas break! Woot! Two weeks to hang with my family and celebrate all the good and yummy things.

Blood Moon Botanica Pitch Pine Salve- it stinks but it works. It has cleared up many irritations and skin conditions for me. But it does smell a little fecal. Don't let that stop you if you need an effective salve though.

Handcrafted Honey Bee Rosemary Mint deodorant- it could be just me but it kept giving me a red, raised irritated rash on my pits. Hence, the Pitch Pine Salve. I couldn't understand if the deodorant was it but after much trial and error it was.

Nothing terrible. Some bumps here and there but overall November has been a steady month. The stress will ebb and flow like usual.

Thanksgiving food and family, a trip to The Barn with mom and Lindsey, some sister time with Darby, family time in Orlando with Adam and the girls at Universal and being excited for Christmas to come. 

How was your November? What are you loving this month? What are you dreading? Any good shows?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Bath & Body Works: Fresh Balsam Candle

Adam surprised me a few weeks ago when I came home. There was a big Bath & Body Works bag sitting on the bed with two candles and some shower gel and scrub in it. He chose this candle, Twisted Peppermint and Snowy Morning in the body care. It was a hugely sweet gesture and I think it made this candle all the more enjoyable. 

Fresh Balsam- Woodland balsam, crisp eucalyptus, fir branches and cedarwood. $24.50

I adore this scent and always have. I feel like there is a touch of sweetness in this blend of evergreens and pines and all things green and woodsy. This almost leans sugared spruce but not quite that sweet. This particular year's label and and formula threw strong and truly created a beautiful atmosphere in the living area. As it burned it emerged with a slightly smoky aspect but more of a warm shadow rather than campfire smoke. I would pick this one up again in a heartbeat. 

Alas, this one is all burnt up and has moved on but it was a wonderful home fragrance experience. 

Are you thinking about taking advantage of the yearly BBW Candle Sale? Does anyone know when it might be?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Melting Basket 132

Wax tarts from the last basket that I would buy again in a heartbeat: CFTKR Amish Quilt and Sugar Cookie Latte, VCS Cozy Jackie O and Murder House Coven, Beezy Country Bumpkin and Dessa's Apple Cinnamon.

Bohemienne Life- Mabon
Bohemienne Life- Pacific Forest
Book Scents- The Gathering
Beezy- Apple Clove Butter
Beezy- Country Bumpkin
Obscurus- The Hermit
Golden Willow Wax- Black Friday Breakfast (Pumpkin Pecan Waffles)
Sniff My Tarts- Banana Nut Bread/Celtic Moonspice/ Honey Gingerbread
CFKTR- Maple Buttercream Cookies
CFTKR- Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow

Now that we are finally getting some lows in the 40's I am not quite ready to put away the cozy, the pumpkin bakery and the smoky woodsy scents. So I am prolonging Thanksgiving a little and adding in some repeats too. If you are curious about any of these scents please let me know and I will review them in depth for you. 

The weather has seriously been amazing as of late. Thunderstorms bringing in cold fronts and cold breezes ringing the wind chimes on my porch. One nice Sunday evening my sister and I went to Ybor, a historic small neighborhood near downtown Tampa. It was founded by cigar manufacturers and was home to many Cuban and Spanish immigrants. It now mostly features restaurants, bars and shops in a motley mix from dilapidated pirate themed rum shanties to an upscale historical Columbian Restaurant. Darby and I ate Carmine's where I noshed on a pressed Cuban sandwich and drank some ginger ale. 

The real reason we trotted over the Ybor City was to celebrate our birthdays by getting an ear piecing at Las Vegas Tattoo. Darby chose a forward helix and I ended up getting my rook pierced. I have been swimming under the load of worry and stress and some anxiety over the future move and all the changes that will come with that. I have not been very active in engaging my friends or finding time to disengage my spinning mind. Nothing like a huge hollow needle to crunch through layers of cartilage to take one's mind off a few worries for a second. 

Ybor City at night offers a melange of scents and sights. 

How are you doing? Are the Christmas lights going up near you?

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Portable North Pole 2018

A Magic Pass was gifted gratis from the Portable North Pole. All opinions are my own.

Here we are. This is the 6th or so year I have created a video from Santa for my girls to view. Many years ago I discovered the Portable North Pole via some mom friends in a playgroup I was in. The PNP offers free customizable videos or phone calls for your kids to enjoy. Scarlette (who very much believes) was just asking me if she thought Santa would be sending her a video with her naughty or nice results from the year. It wasn't but a few days later that the PNP sent me my link and code for my Magic Pass. I quickly got to work making the girls' their videos and sent them their yearly email from Santa. 

Here is Savanna's video. She got a few laughs out of hers and it tickles me that she still likes getting them. Knowing me I will probably continue to send them their videos from Santa long after they stop checking the skies for Santa's sleigh.

If you would like to get a free video or even purchase a package for a child or grandbaby or niece and nephew, here is a link that will get you 20% off : Portable North Pole

They have videos for adults.... I think I am going to send Adam one. What are you asking Santa for this Christmas? 

Monday, November 26, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Midnight Syndicate

The perfumers at Nocturne Alchemy collaborate with talented artists from an array of genres to create meaningful perfumes from time to time. I posted about one such collaboration with the artist/writer/filmmaker Clive Barker and his Tarrie Cats, here. I also reviewed a perfume from their duet with Dan Brereton and his Nocturnals comics, here. Today I am featuring two perfumes that Nocturne Alchemy created in conjunction with the musical talent of Midnight Syndicate. I found myself listening to the haunting music of Midnight Syndicate last year after discovering this perfume line. The atmosphere created from the spooky haunted houses to forbidding carnivals to a ghostly Christmas amps up this particular time of year for me. I have the Christmas: A Ghostly Gathering playing on Spotify at work between bouts of a Carpenter's Christmas.

Under the Big Top- Notes: Confection os sweet blue and pink cotton candy, a drop of black sugar, aged vanilla syrup, and a few drops of aged five year old amber resin along with black saffron and mahogany wood. $26

From the glass vial wisps of cotton candy curl up from an earthy base of saffron. Dripped on the skin the vanilla and saffron mingle with carnival sugar like a slightly off kilter Fun House. Are your jitters from excitement or fear? Perhaps a little of both? Is this sugared candy innocent or infused with something a bit more naughty? Subtle saffron and amber whirl like a melodious calliope around a cloud of dark vanilla spun sugar. These are the sweet shadows of the Big Top where kisses are stolen and cotton candy clouds float from fingers to tongues. 

Mists of Arcacia- Notes: Black incense, black cedar, black sandalwood and Sapphire amber. $26

Darkest frankincense accompany the smudged silhouettes of a spooky tree line in the distance within the bottle. Rolling along the skin like a creeping fog the sacred incense smoke and cedar transpire to evoke a smoky aquatic perfume. It glows with a green phosphorescence. As the mists thicken they hold the pitch darkness of the forest and carry the perfume of the woods to the nose. Brackish sandalwood and amber sap the shades of peridot cling to the dew drops that hover in the quiet air. 

These perfumes fit beautifully with this evocative tale I recently finished, Night Circus. My friends have been urging me to read this for some time and I am thrilled I finally did. The author is a fan of indie perfumes herself. She acknowledged Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab as an inspiration. Her innate ability to describe scenes and scents resonated with me. I think Erin would appreciate the Midnight Syndicate line from Nocturne Alchemy as well.

Do you enjoy atmospheric or carnival scents? Have you read this book? What did you think?? I loved it all but the ending was a touch "hm" for me. 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: November 3rd Order

Carol's early November opening at Candles From The Keeping Room was the most recent and last order for me for a little while. I kinda knew it was about time to take it easy so I made sure to try and grab everything I wanted to last me a little while. Today I am going to showcase only the new-to-me scents I have not blogged about previously. I will mention all my repurchases at the end. 

Pumpkin Patchouli- Sweet pumpkin, a hint of spice and rich patchouli.
A gorgeous spiced patchouli aroma. This patch is deep and herbal with an almost iron tang to it. I love it. It reminds me touch of the Witch's Brew and Pumpkin Stew scent but darker and more patch heavy. I would buy this one again in a heartbeat. 

Pink Sugared Pumpkin- A delightful blend of one of our best pumpkins and pink sugar. 
Mmmmmm! Pink sugar deluxe!! This smells like pink sugar and Carol's Vanilla Pumpkin Marshmallow. No spice. Heavy creaminess and loads of vanilla. It will be beautiful once melted.

Pumpkin & Cardamom- Pumpkin pie with cardamom, clove leaf, nutmeg and rum. 
The cardamom is not quite as strong in this as I had hoped but it does smell like a yummy rum cake with very soft spice and that is cool. 

Maple Pumpkin Stout- Whipped pumpkin puree, maple sugar and dark spiced stout.
After falling in love with Pumpkin Lager I knew I wanted to try this one out. It is delicious! I almost like this one even better than the Pumpkin Lager. The pumpkin with the dark maple syrup and touch of dark Guinness-like stout is rich. It is not sweet at all and will be a warming fragrance.

Marshmallow Pumpkin Latte- Creamy pumpkin latte topped with melted marshmallows and a dusting of nutmeg, sugar sprinkles and a drizzle of caramel.
I love this version of a pumpkin spice latte. Mostly becuase it basically smells like sugared vanilla musk. The coffee and pumpkin is very mellow if present at all. This is one of my favorite fall Bath & Body Works hand soap scents. It smells of caramelized Pink Sugar without the "pink."

Pumpkin Oud- Smoldering woody notes, incense and spice add a darkness to pumpkin,
This one is incredible. Smoky warm woods and sweet creamy pumpkin. This takes the place of Pumpkin Firewood for me as I like the darker musky tones this one carries. 

Cinnamon Apple Cider- Fresh fruit, apple juice and rich spices with vanilla, warm wood and creamy musk. 
The cinnamon is very quiet in this one. It is a lovely wooden apple aroma with about a medium throw. 

Apple N Spice- Macintosh apple, robust cinnamon and clove.
This is my new favorite apple cinnamon scent. Robust is the perfect word indeed. A fiery blend of sweet cinnamon sugar and apple pie filling. I could eat this up with a spoon.

Harvest Moonlight- A spicy and creamy blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, black peppercorn mixed with pumpkin puree, mahogany woods, whipped cream and vanilla bean.
Dusky woods with musk and a pinch of cardamom greets the senses. This one is lighter on the spice than I anticipated but it is a beautiful scent nonetheless. It would make a wonderful scent all year through. 

Nights of Autumn- A designer scent of nutmeg and cinnamon, cedar, applewood.
I very much enjoy this one! I just burned through my old Bath & Body Works Autumn Day candle and these tarts will easily take its place. An autumn musk with soft harvest fruits and bundles of rich wood. Pure bliss.

Country Gift Shop- Gift shop potpourri.
Mmmmmm!!! Strong cinnamon and dried fruits along with some cheerful rose hips and perhaps a few dried eucalyptus sprig leaves. There is something quietly floral and tea-like in the back ground of the spice and fruits. 

Apple Clove Butter- Apples, clove and warm spices.
Just as mouthwatering as Beezy's version! I am stoked to have it from Carol too. This is one of my favorite apple scents. It is sweet and clear with nuances as applesauce and a dash of spice. So so good.

Cane Sugar Cookie- Cane sugar, butter, rum, caramel, vanilla extract and vanilla sugar.
Very sweet with sugar and a drop of rum. There is almost a tint of almond within the intense vanilla. I melted this in the kitchen and living area and it threw medium-strong and created a delicious pool of wax. Some of the sweetness calmed and it left the most divine vanilla scent.

Noels of Autumn- Crisp fallen leaves, cinnamon apples, clove scented pine cones and vanilla bean noel.
I have been looking forward to trying this one for some time. It was worth waiting for it! A creamy blend of Bath & Body Works Leaves scent and I am here for it. 

Autumn Spice- A warm blend of cinnamon, allspice and clove simmered in a sweet, buttery vanilla.
An interesting blend. Undertones of crunchy leaves that come from the cloves and perhaps the allspice, a touch of anise and then the vanilla base all rise from the bag when I bury my nose in it. I need to melt this one soon and see how it unfolds.

Wood Vanilla- Coconut milk, black vanilla absolute, caramelized benzoin, bitter almond, tonka bean and sandalwood. A Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille dupe. 
This is not quite as sweet as my Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille but it is still darn good. I love my vanilla woods scents and this is a nice one. Not overly sweet and with oaken woods.

Clove- A true, realistic clove.
It has a base of licorice leaning clove, but there is a plastic tone to this on cold. It melts off once warmed. It throws medium-light. 

Frosted- Fresh mint and white musk.
The white musk makes up 80% of this scent with soft, unsweet mint as the remainder. The white musk as a clean spa quality to it that also is fluffy and starchy like fabric softener. This is an interesting fresh aroma.

Icy Peppermint- The strongest peppermint at the Keeping Room.
This is a true statement. Pure arctic peppermint with icy spikes of coolness and a touch of menthol. Just the barest hint of sugar but no vanilla here. A clean classic peppermint.

Peppermint Cream- Pure peppermint with notes of marshmallow fluff, vanilla sugar and creme de menthe. 
A brilliant frozen mint with a stunning backdrop of vanilla sugar. It smells like the ultimate peppermint ice cream. I want this as a perfume. I want to smell this every night.

Free samples! Carol always blows me away with her generosity. I love the wide variety of samples she gives and the adorable shapes. 

This Santa gnome is the cutest. 

Spearmint and Basil is an invigorating blend that smells like a kitchen herb garden. It is slightly cool and green and watery. I will be saving this one for spring. 

Pumpkin Coconut Sugar Cookie smells delicious! Carol always does the best sugar cookies. Add some sweet creamy coconut and a touch of caramelized pumpkin and it is the bee's knees.

Honey Pear Cider vibrates with a fruity clarity of gingered pears. 

Applesauce Cupcake rings my chimes. Apple cinnamon with just a pinch of vanilla cakes in the heart. 

Bourbon Pumpkin Almost smells like it has coconut in it too. Maybe this is Bourbon vanilla pumpkin? Either way it is yummy and rich. A touch bakery. 

Brown Sugar and Fig is gorgeous. Just like the Bath & Body Works perfume. Sweet musky figs and velvety brown sugar. Lovely.

Amber and Oud. Oh good gosh. This is dead sexy. Smoldering oud incense with warm glowing amber shines in this sensual aroma. I need bags and bags of this. So do you.

Cozy Cabin is warm with a crackling birchwood fire. Smoke and embers and toasty woods. Another one I need more of in my life.

Honeyed Pineapple Pumpkin is all about that pineapple. I don't get much pumpkin on cold but it does sniff like a caramelized pineapple cake.

Pumpkin Sugar Cookie is crunchy and not too sweet at all. I would even go as far as to call this a pumpkin shortbread cookie.

Bergamot Rosewood brims with citrus brightness. Like orange wood. A lovely unique scent.

Winter Flannel slays me. This is Marshmallow Fireside with a tiny bit of spice to warm it. I was not expecting that when I opened the bag and it took me by surprise. I seriously am in love. Two bags, please.

Sugar and Spice Noel, oooo yes ma'am. A creamy vanilla sugar and spice delight. I am ready for some more of this one. 

Cucumber Cilantro is as realistic as it gets. The cilantro zings with a touch of lime and the watery vegetation of cucumber pairs beautifully with it.

Coconut Lavender Sugar Cookies combines Carol's yummy sugar cookie with a coconut milk and Lavender Vanilla. It is the same lavender vanilla that smells like the Bath & Body Works candle or similar to Rosegirl's sweet lavender. The one that has a fabric softener lean. 

Charcoal Tonka and Amber & Oud are both extremely spectacular scents. Charcoal Tonka is a plush vanilla tonka scent that is dark and smoky. I would be stoked to get both of these one day. 

My favorite samples are Charcoal Tonka, Sugar and Spice Noel, Winter Flannel, Amber & Oud and Cozy Cabin. 

Other scents I repurchased this time that I did not feature include: Strawberry Martini, Sugared Strawberry Spruce, Pumpkin Lager, Homespun Sugar Cookie, Olde Town Bake Shop, Frosted Pine Noel, Peppermint Cypress and Warm & Cozy.

Did you pick anything up at Carol's November opening? She is set to open December 1st I believe. Carol ships fast enough that they would make it in time for Christmas. What are your favorite CFTKR scents?

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide

Welcome to the 2018 Redolent Mermaid Holiday Gift Guide.

As the giving time of year approaches, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite small business, artisan and independent creators along with their fabulous wares that I have tried and adore. Click on the vendors' names like always to be taken to their store. I have only recommended those items that can be purchased easily at the time of this writing.

Artisan Fragrances

Arcana Wildcraft creates many of my staple scents. My personal favorites ($23 each): Holy Terror, Bonfires at Dusk, Filthy Viking, The Huntress (all natural), Devilish and Cake Lust.

Nocturne Alchemy's Studio Limited line houses some of the most exquisitely crafted aromas. Ones that would make beautiful gifts ($29 each): Crystalline, Santalum, Tibetan Crystalline, Bloodstone Dark, Ember, Pyramid Santalum, Hessonite and Moonstone.

Solstice Scent's 10 pack perfume sampler for $30 makes a thoughtful fragrant gift. You can choose any scent you think would appeal to the person upon whom you are bestowing but here are some of my Solstice Scent stars: Manor, Basilica, Vanilla Pipe Tobacco, Gibbon's Boarding School, Foxcroft, Night Watcher, Pinyon Truffle and Lavender Vanilla.

Bath & Body 

Latherati is a company I tried from a Sihaya & Company box. I loved the body lotion. These bookish scents make lovely gifts. Julie currently has bath, body and personal fragrance items based upon the Nutcracker which is perfect for this time of year and the new movie that just released. Some of my picks are: Sugar Plum Fairy body lotion ($8) which showcases sweet almonds and musk,  Mouse King soap ($6) that sparkles with fruity citrus and melons and is grounded by light oakmoss, and the perfume and body gloss companions would be nice as well. Drosselmeyer (caramel, leather, tobacco and sandalwood) sounds like a warm and cozy scent as well. 

B. Perry Soaps at Sihaya & Company would be an indulgent gift for the bar soap lover. I have tried and adore the Dangerous Places soaps ($15) and I am eyeing up the Pumpkin Spice Latte ones ($10) pretty hard. I also recently bought the Arcana Haint version and cannot wait to tear into it.

If you have a bath lover in your life then a "Most Wanted" bundle set of CBD infused bath bombs from Life Flower Care would be the ultimate gift ($60). These bath bombs have become my very favorite. The addition of botanicals and crystals along with nourishing and healing essential oils makes these a wonderful experience. 

Bookish Gifts

I never really understood the practicality of book sleeves until I began using them myself. Book Beau's sleeves are brilliant. I enjoy the button and loop closure, the four sizes and the whimsical fabrics. They range from $15 to $30 depending on the size. These keep my books in nice condition when they are tumbling around in my purse or bag. Tucking a book inside would be a thoughtful gift.

Bookish candles from Wick & Fable make nice treats for bookworm buddies. It is easy to find cozy scents in pretty much any fragrance genre within each fandom, from herbal and fresh to spicy or gourmand. They are currently having their BOGO 1/2 off candle sale on their 8 ounce sizes. You can grab two nice sized candles for $27 when they are normally $36. 

Book plates and accessories from Sunshine & Ravioli would stuff nicely within a book as a gift. I have purchased and enjoy the Mermaid bookplates for $9.95, they can be customized as well for $11.95. 

Nature's Apothecary

For all natural desires, I love King's Road Apothecary. Rebecca wild harvests and brews all her own products that are meant for healing of the mind, body and soul. I have tried a vast array of her products through her Surprise Boxes. She makes tinctures, elixirs, digestives, slaves, ointments, teas, bath soaks, body oils and more. I particularly enjoy her Deep Woods body oil ($26), Deep Forest tea ($16) and the big ticket gift, a Surprise Box ($56). Honestly, there hasn't been anything from Rebecca that I have not loved. 

Mandy Aftel at Aftelier is a wonderful source of finely made natural products for the body and kitchen and they always come packaged with vibrant beauty. Perfect for gift giving. I have tried and loved Mandy's Face Elixirs, Body Oils, perfumes, teas and Chef's Essences. I highly recommend her Ancient Resins Body Oil ($40), Chocolate Chef's Essence Spray ($24), Vanilla Smoke 2ml perfume ($50) and Mandy's Book Fragrant ($28) along with the Companion Kit ($25) to sniff along with while reading.

Wax Tarts

Of course I cannot have a Holiday Guide without including wax tarts! Wax can be tricky to purchase from some vendors so I am including only tried and true and easy to purchase from vendors.

Ten Digit Creations is always open and always has high quality affordable wax in a plethora of scents. I have gifted Amber's wax many times to friends for their birthdays or Christmas. Currently there are several pages of Ready To Ship scent shots that start at $1.15 for one ounce. 

The Bathing Garden is perfect for gifting too. Shannon makes the most beautiful creations and she always has stock. Her current shipping time is at 2 weeks so there is plenty of time to place an order. Her clamshells are $3.95 and her scrubs start at $9.75. From her current collections I love: Sleepy, Plum Ballet, Crystallized Spearmint and Peppermint, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, and Yuletide Trimmings.

Artisan Jewelry

Nicole at Arrok always has some amazing hand forged pieces in her shop. If you have friends who wear earrings or necklaces this would be the place to go for real silver and gemstone pieces that are unique and edgy while being utterly wearable. Some stars of the show: Mood Stone earrings ($38.50), Small Bee earrings ($34.50- pictured above), All Seeing Eye necklace ($46.50).

Rachel at Dida Metals offers some lovely and affordable pieces as well. I am a fan of her crescent moon studs ($24 for brass and $30 for silver), her midi ($16) and stacking ($18) rings, and the circle studs with chain fringe earrings ($65). 

Marta Oms is one of my favorite places to buy handmade silver stud earrings. She is currently having a 20% off sale in her Etsy store, makign them even more affordable. Though Marta lives and works in Spain, she ships quickly and inexpensively. Some of my personal favorite pieces are: punk studs ($14.18), mini skull earrings ($14.18), turquoise studs ($18.91) and her mini star earrings ($9.46). 


Pitch Pine Pottery is one of my favorite potters. The multitude of hues in the glazes, the whimsically primitive sgraffito and the pure comfort of the pieces speak to me. Tara currently has nine goddess mugs in her shop for around $90 each. 

A handmade ceramic incense burner from Barchilon Ceramics on Etsy would be a nice gift as well. I particularly like my lotus incense burner that was $18. Add a few hand made incense sticks and that would be a nice gift set. 

I enjoy giving gifts that were made with love and passion from talented small business owners. 

Are there any particular gifts you are excited to be gifting this year?