Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Ebb & Flow: January 2018

The highs and lows of the month.

Bird of the Month:
Tufted Titmouse

Sonoma Scent Studio Sienna Musk

Perfume Oil:
Sixteen92 Death by Stereo

Cosmic Cleanse ScentSations Apparition in the Garden

Handmade in Florida Spa Time

Lip Gloss:
Shiro Cosmetics Pumpkin Butter

Nui Cobalt Designs Cloak of Evergreens

Ten Digit Creations Patchouli Mint

Celestial Seasonings Extra Sleepy Time tea

Perky Jerky

Enya on Pandora

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

Every Sunday afternoon we watch the next in the series of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings with Savanna. She is on the last book in the trilogy and we are gearing up for her party. I love it.

Savanna's birthday. Adam's Gandalf costume arrived and my bits of the Radagast costume arrived that I will be sporting. I still need to pick up a nest and a couple of birds. There are Hobbit shaped door cookies, hand sanitizers from Fortune Cookie Soap, teas from Adagio and copies of The Hobbit that Savanna wrote in for her friends. I bought beards for the girls to wear while they embark on a quest in the woods behind our house. My sister Lindsey has her first wedding dress shopping in February and I am over the moon happy for her. It will be a wedding in Maine (in June) and I have always wanted to visit Maine. To top it off I am also looking forward to having a three day weekend in February for President's Day. 

Catching this flu bug that is going around. 

Lowe's. I picked up my Rabbit's Foot fern and a nice container garden that had a ton of full grown herbs in it: parsley, cilantro, thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil and mint. 

A bookmark order I placed on Etsy went south. Granted, they came from France, but when they arrived the chains and beads were busted. The lady wanted me to pay to ship them back to her so she could fix them. Um. No? Why would I pay additional money to get something that should have came the way I ordered it? So I am making lemonade out of broken lemons, or rather bookmarks, and making my own cute dangles for them. 

Worried about my dad. He had to have more surgery for his neck. Long story short, the first surgeon did a hack job and tried to anchor his bolts and supports in his neck into a fracture vertebra. The hardware was floating about his neck and the pain was immense. He now has a titanium plate there after a new surgeon took over his care. Healing has been a long road for him. 
I am struggling with getting back into the healthy mind frame I was in during the second half of 2017. It will come. Just need to push myself.

Done with school! Huzzah! Ready to get those transcripts in the mail so I can get my certificate and hang it back on the wall. 

How was your first month of 2018? I would love to hear from you.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Warmed Wax: Dessa's and Ten Digit Creations

A few Dessa's Homespun Scents warmed reviews:

Peppermint- Strong throw and a crystal clear sweet candy cane peppermint aroma. Classic. Repurchase.

Fireside Hearth- Medium-light throw and a generally warm Fireside dupe, a touch smoky, not acrid but nothing to really "wow" my nose. Not a repurchase. 

Smoky Mountain Berries- A strong throwing deep berry and evergreen scent. It is beautiful for Christmas and creating a cozy atmosphere, but I will melt this one all year round. Repurchase.

Smoky Mountain Christmas- Similar to Smoky Mountain Berries but more evergreen and bayberry leaning. It is another strong throwing scent. Repurchase. 

Ten Digit Creations

Rosewood and Amber- Strong throw. A beautiful fragrance that whispers of airy rosewood which smells of a sweet, light and more feminine version of mahogany to my nose, and golden resinous amber. It is as plush and fluffy as a cashmere sweater and has a delicate musk wafting about it. Still one of my favorites for a sophisticated home fragrance. Repurchase.

Blackberry Frankincense- Medium-strong throw. A rich and deep blackberry, almost like a stewed fruit rather than a fresh berry, that blends beautifully with a spicy frankincense. I love this one too and made a blend with it for TDC's anniversary opening (to be featured soon!). Repurchase.

Patchouli Mint- A solid medium throw in the larger areas and medium-strong to strong in my bedroom. The rich grounding earthiness of patchouli pairs well with the clean invigorating aroma of peppermint. Unfortunately, I don't think this one can be blended but maybe Amber has a straight up patchouli lurking somewhere that she could use to make more of this...? Repurchase if I could.

Pink Coconut and Sandalwood Marshmallow- Medium-light to light. This is her old formula wax I believe, but so were the others I reviewed here. A pale creamy woods that smells nice but lacked some ooomph. Not a repurchase. 

Sorry I didn't take many melted wax photos. I was just swapping and melting and trying to get dinner and what not done. So here is a gratuitous photo of a Painted Lady butterfly, I believe, that I took as I was walking in the woods behind my house to take some deep breaths.

I am on a low buy right now... I made a total of four wax purchases this month which is a great start for me. Next month I am going to see if I can get it down to three, then two in March. I think by then I will have saved what I want to, as well as melted a good chunk of my wax collection. Three of my orders were small and one was pretty... well... healthy. But we all know how I feel about Carol's wax. 

I did pick up some conditioner and shampoo from FuturePrimitive since I was out. 

My husband and I went to the Pro Bowl on Sunday with his boss and a couple of agents and their significant others. It was way more fun than I expected and I think I am officially cheering for the Vikings now. I took a picture of one of Deb's favorite players for her. We tried to chat during the game but my phone had terrible reception (in the middle of Orlando.. really?!). 

What did you do this weekend? Are you on a low buy or no buy? How is your melting going?

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Candy Panda: January Restock

January 5th I placed a small order with Candy Panda wax. This was a restock and I was surprised, having come in well after it began, that there was still lots of nice stuff left and even some at a discounted price. I picked up one scrub and two wax tarts. 

Fir Sure- Notes: Pine, cedar and musk. $12
Pine and spruce with magnification set at 100. Not much sweet going on here so not a sugared spruce, and almost a touch astringent. The flip top containers are very nice, much easier to use in the shower when accessing the product and not trying to screw a lid back on so the rest doesn't get wet while still holding a glob of scrub. I enjoy the consistency of Candy Panda scrubs, nice and dense, however not quite as dense at The Bathing Garden. Altogether, still very nice and wonderful to use.  Scrubby, a touch of lather and strong scent.

Minthogany- Notes: Peppermint, mahogany, coconut and sandalwood. $6.35

This 4.9 ounce small bundt is a scent combination that I immediately needed to smell. I love the coconut mahogany blend from Bath & Body Works and any vendor I have tried it from. It smells like a dead sexy surfer with his manly deodorant on, some SPF still clinging to his sun warmed skin after a day on the long board who just popped a piece of Orbit into his mouth and is ready for a snog. Lay it on me. The wax. The wax. Lay the wax on me. 

The little cakes came in these cute brown boxes with a nice label. 

Wonderful Christmastime- Notes: Peppermint and toasted marshmallow (Marshmalloween). $5.85

This four ounce cruller is a repurchase as I love Wonderful Christmastime. It is a brilliant creamy vanilla peppermint. It throws well and lifts the atmosphere. 

Shipping is $10.75 so make sure to order enough to get your money's worth. Candy Panda is extending their line with a sister line called Le Botanist that features all essential oil products. I think a few may release during their next restock on February 1st at 8pm EST. 

Who makes your favorite scrubs? What mint combinations blow you away?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Firelion

Firelion by Nocturne Alchemy- Notes: Guaicwood, Bourbon vanilla, green cardamom, fire coriander, vanilla musk, Egyptian saffron, Ozymandias amber. ($25)

Firelion swells out of the amber bottle on a green wave of herbs, charred wood and amber. It smells salty and warm yet green somehow. Once dabbed onto the wrists, the creamy pepper of cardamom lies beside the intimate musk of saffron and they embrace to create a warmth on the skin. The drydown lulls the senses into calmness with a sultry skin musk and amber that hums with a drop of vanilla sweetness. A swarthy undercurrent of oudh sneaks in on its belly and shadows the scent like a vignette, just darkening it around the edges. 

The guaicwood and amber in this scent appeal to my senses greatly and pull through on my skin the most. I love this scent. It is smooth and warm. It holds closer to the body but I can smell it as I go about my day, here and there, a glance of scent. I enjoy the amber in this scent enough that I picked up a bottle of Ozymandias. 

This perfume oil is part of the collaboration collection based on Dan Brereton's Nocturnals comic book series and still available. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Nui Cobalt Designs: Cloak of Evergreens Candle

It is too late to buy this candle.

But I still want to talk about it. You see, Nui Cobalt Designs makes some great products. Forest, the owner, is crafting a perfume line too that I happen to thoroughly enjoy. She has candles, bath products and a plethora of other goodies. Even though this particular candle is long gone, it is still available as a perfume oil and there are other candles at hand as well (and one of them even smells really close to this one... so there).  

Cloak of Evergreens- Notes: Snow covered spruce, iced cedar tips, golden pine sap, icicle musk and the fading memory of tea by the fireside. ($12)
 These soy candles come in sturdy tin containers and the soy formula is clean burning. This candle smells of tender evergreen needles laced in amber. It was a nice bedside candle but probably wouldn't work for a large room. It gave off a medium-light airy aroma of that gorgeous amber and evergreen duet. 

If this scent does sound like something you might like, try her Owl in the Evergreen candle. It is in a very similar vein and I own the perfume and love it. But be warned, there are only two left. 

Do you have anything on your nightstand that you are enjoying? 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Hand to Earth Ceramics: Mug and Bowl

These two pieces I snagged from Hand to Earth Ceramics were truly meant to be. Deanna, who I featured before, creates some seriously creative and beautiful pottery pieces. Her use of color gradations, sgraffito and slip trailing all combine in natural themes to enchant the eyes and mind.  

I do have a whiskey tumbler that I use for tea, a goblet and mini planter in my collection which I blogged about here. I really wanted a coffee mug and another planter so I set my alarm when she announced her next restock.

I picked up this coffee mug and a small bowl that I ended up using as a planter. Just look at the striations in this mug?! It is a dreamy galaxy of color and texture and layers. I love the deep teal shade with the grey hues. The mug is nice roomy, holding at least a full cup and a half of coffee comfortably. I like the sharp looking foot and that the walls of the mug are a nice thickness, not too thick, not too thin. 

This small bee bowl is adorable. I love the wreath of flowers and plants and the light aqua and ivory combination. The sunburst on the thorax of the bee is very cool. As it is a bowl, it doesn't have a drainage hole so I layered some rocks in the bottom for drainage and I will try not to over water this spiky succulent that I planted in here. 

These pieces hovered around $35 to $40 dollars each. I love them so much and will continue to try and add a couple more pieces. In particular I love her full moon artwork and would love to try for a planter in that. 

So far my plants are doing pretty well! I am shocked! My black thumb seems to be slowly turning green. I found my beloved rabbit's foot fern at Lowe's this past weekend so I will show y'all that soon. What is your favorite house plant? Do you have a favorite potter? 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Sixteen92: Fall and Halloween Scents

Fall and Halloween scents? Really? Yes, yes, I realize I am showing my true slacker colors. But for the sake of these scents reappearing one day or just even in the interest of smelling things I am going to review them. I know I encounter many scents in the indie perfume groups for sale and sometimes it is nice to be able to read a review or two. Here are my two cents... or three scents... from Sixteen92 that I picked up over the various fall releases. I also picked up two scents during Sixteen92's Resurrection but those won't ship out until much later. Most of these run $15 each.

The Bell Witch- Notes: Sweet cider barrels, orchard wood, blonde tobacco leaf, cave and forest moss, glowing pumpkin, dry leaves, turned earth.
The sweet tempting effluvia of golden tobacco and fluttering foliage uncoils from the small vial, it's wreathed in the aged spice of cider with an earthy wisp of joss stick smoke. Pressed into the skin, apple cider swirls warm and fragrant in a carved applewood cup with dusty cinnamon spirals floating on the steaming surface. Desiccated leaves and fertile soil loom, rich and loamy. As it dries down that glorious tobacco emerges and fares beautifully with the dank earth.

Dr. Van Helsing- Notes: Hellfire, black leather, dark chocolate, sweet smoke, cold whiskey, wild musk and a charred wooden stake.
Dr. Van Helsing's fine chocolate and rich whiskey proclivities pour out of the opening when the cap is lifted. I want to throw caution to the wind and drizzle the whole bottle all over myself. Once it pierces the skin that oaken whiskey intoxicates. Almost immediately an edgy dark leather joins the fray and all of a sudden I really want to get to know Dr. Van Helsing. As he settles seductively into the flesh, a creosote laden inky smoke ignites the senses. 

Death By Stereo- Notes: Night air on the boardwalk, spun sugar and cider, melted ice cream, cannabis accord and whirling tendrils of nag champa.
From the vial this scent seduces me with raw nag champa and crushed earthy leaves. There is a briskness that pushes against the nose and nuzzles under the collar like a cool November breeze that gives the nag champa a crisp freshness. Wet on the skin the scent remains very similar to the vial sniff impression. It does open up a touch to smell even more like a brilliant fall evening walking with a beau who happens to burn incense in his apartment and it gently fragrances his sweater. His scent is a vine of comfort that curls into the mists of memory. The freshness gently falls away and hint of that cannibis wafts in, in a very subtle manner. It smells more earthy, like roots and leaves, rather than clouds of marijuana smoke. The musky earthy nag champa does linger with a small touch of sweetness. In the deep dry down the creamy vanilla ice cream laces the nag champa. It is a lovely combination.
I got a sample of this scent in the linen spray and it made for an incredible way to snooze off at night when misted onto my pillow. I wish I had picked up a full sized bottle in the linen spray. 

I look forward to all the linen sprays and hair serums I picked up at the Resurrection release. Did you partake? What Sixteen92 fragrances do you love? 

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Melting Basket 115

Wax tarts from the last basket that I adored and would like to fragrant my home again include: VCS Central Park Snowglobe and Pink Twinkling Lights, Beezy Cracklin' Birch and Mrs. Claus' Cookies, TDC Blue Me Away, Handmade in FL Eastern Oudh (strong and sexy), Candy Panda Wonderful Christmastime.

Ten Digit Creations- Rosewood & Amber
Ten Digit Creations- Blackberry Frankincense
Ten Digit Creations- Patchouli and Mint
Ten Digit Creations- Pink Coconut and Sandalwood Marshmallow
Rosegirls- Lavender Violet Swizzle Sticks
Dessa's- Peppermint
Dessa's- Fireside Hearth
Dessa's- Smoky Mountain Berries
Dessa's- Smoky Mountain Christmas
Beezy- Butterscotch Marshmallow
Bohemienne Life- Saturnus
Sniff My Tarts- Candy Cane/Marshmallow/Lord of Misrule
The Bathing Garden- Coconut Crystal Cake
Bath & Body Works- Cactus Blossom
Vintage Chic Scents- Pink Twinkling Lights <3 gift
Gypsy Monroe- Minty Fresh Fluff <3 gift

If you would like me to review any of these please drop a line... if you can. For some weird reason Blogger is acting like a Pistol Pete. I have had a few people comment recently and I get the email notification but for some reason it won't show up on the post at all! Ugh. Jay asked for my opinion on the Barrett Wax Snoozy Melt but I couldn't really pick it up in the large area I melted it in. The light scent I did get was a pleasant herbal mint but maybe I should have tried it in my bedroom. Not a repurchase for me.

So hey! I'm back! Thank you for not shunning me if I have not replied to IG or FB or been by to read and comment on your blog or text you, message you and in general have been ghosting. I was spending every waking moment I wasn't working, trying to complete my assignments for school. I finished my last one Friday (by midnight! yay!) and now freeeedommmmmm!

Now I will be waiting to see what my final grade is (I must get a "C" or better to get my certificate renewed) and enjoying my evenings and cooking dinner and all those things I have been neglecting. 

My low buy is trucking along pretty well. I did make a four clamshell purchase from Geek Fire Labs. I also picked up two or three tiny plants to add to my porch. Savanna wanted a pitcher plant and I saw a couple ferns I wanted. Scarlette chose a Dusty Miller. 

My birds say "hello!" and this adorable tiny Yellow Throated Warbler is the cutest thing ever. After I chase off the squirrels he immediately flies over to partake of the grub with me standing right there. I did pick up a refurbished zoom lens and that makes me happy. 

So how have you been since I have been gone? What did I miss??

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Darling Clandestine: Inked

Darling Clandestine is a small indie perfume house that operates out of Etsy and does a pre-order for a few scents at a time. I purchased this scent when it popped up due to the love it gets from various fragrance lovers. Scents hover around $19 for a 15ml bottle or $7-$8 for a one dram vial. 

Inked- Notes: Sea salt, leather, communion wine and raw skin.

Sniffing from the bottle is reminiscent of sipping from a cold pewter goblet that has been rinsed in a chilled frothy sea and then filled with watered down wine. A touch mineral and sweetly musky. Wet on the skin the wine swishes in a leather wineskin for a moment and then sea spray feathers salt crystals onto leather pouch. On my skin the scent fades in and out between a dark musky wine and a salt encrusted strip of rawhide leather. I have heard this scent referred to as a sexy merman and I can get that. For my chemistry it comes off more as an evening of debauchery, wine soaked memories and sweet salty skin musk and leather. 

It is unique in my collection and I enjoy the aesthetic of Darling Clandestine. I have Supernova on hand too. I plan to review it in the future as well. Do you have any wine centric scents that you enjoy?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Book Beau: Fabric Book Covers

Jay sent me a birthday box last month and she included a really cool squishy book cover (the mushroom one in the middle) called a Book Beau. I immediately put my current read, Murder on the Orient Express, in it and I found it to be a great way to keep my book in better condition while it was rattling around in my purse. Soon I found I was picking my books in order of size so that I could use the book cover. I set out to see if they came in other sizes and happily they do! Currently there are 3 sizes, mini (6 x 8.5), indie (7.5 x 10) and XL (8 x 10.5). 

The mini size usually runs at a $15 price point and is great for paper backs and e-readers. I got this particular spider web design on sale for $10.50 (at the time of writing it is still available- both in the peachy pink colorway and a grey shade). Jay mentioned to me she picked the one she gifted me at a book convention a little while ago. Since then it looks like they added an elastic and button feature to keep the books more snug. The label in the corner has changed since too.

The indie size is perfect for medium sized hardbacks and larger paperbacks. This larger Maggie Stiefvater fits perfectly in it. It might not look to, but that is just because I already have a book in it so it makes it appear smaller. Indies are priced at $20, but there are a few patterns on sale for $14.

This is the XL and the biggest size they offer right now. This is great for those beefy books you might have. My version of Pillars of the Earth won't fit in here but it will hold the vast majority of my larger reads. The XL size is normally $25 but this skull pattern is on sale for $17.50, though I do think it is sold out in this size. There are other XLs on sale though. 

For reference, Caraval is a huge book and fits in there perfectly. I am using this book cover right now to hold All the Light We Cannot See (this book is flipping amazing by the way). 

Book Beau does do pre-orders for special fabrics and collections or you can purchase from in-stock items. I recommend you spin the pop-up wheel for a discount. I earned 25% off my sale priced order so I bought two book covers for about $20 shipped. You also get a 10% off coupon for signing up for their newsletter. I definitely plan on picking up maybe one more of each size as new fabrics come in. These are nicely padded and well made, but I am sure with regular use it will be nice to have a back up. 

Do you use book covers? My friend Tricia, who was a librarian in the past- I love bookish friends, has this fun crimping/embossing tool that allows her to "stamp" her name into the first page of each book and it says something like "from the library of Tricia."

 Photo from ($26)

I love this handmade copper reading ring (30 pounds) from Rising Tides Jewellery. I might have to pick it up too.

 Do you have any neat bookish accessories? 

Friday, January 12, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Devilish, A Terrible Enchantment and Quelle Horreur

Quelle Horreur- Notes: Black musk, French tobacco, sweet ale, gardenia, sage and orris root. Only available as a 3ml as a gift with purchase.
Moon white gardenia blooming under a tarry black orris night is the mirage that rises from the vial when inhaled. Graced on the skin, a leather pouch of dark sticky tobacco leaves rests on a mossy stone bench in a neglected French Quarter garden. Herbs, leggy and spindly, reseed themselves, propagating under silver strands of Spanish moss, chandeliers hanging from oak trees lit with fireflies. Creamy gardenias open up their tender hidden hearts to the gibbous moon. Tarry orris and black musk dwell in the shadowy corners and underbrush of the ancient garden where goblins and spites rustle in their warrens. An inky, almost creosote note comes from those mystical burrows. What happened to the soul who left behind the leather pouch?

What is quelle horreur is that it isn't available in a full sized bottle for sale. I would buy it up lighting fast. This is one dark and magical southern gardenia and tobacco scent. It smells like an Anne Rice novel.

Devilish- Notes: Shaking off vanilla's reputation for namby pambyness, this infernally dark and smoky fragrance comes complete with licks of fire and sulfurous wafts of brimstone.  
The fumes from the bottle emit the scent of sumptuous vanilla smoke with a lick of honey fire. Crackling wet on the skin, this is the Devil's wedding cake, smeared with buttercream glowing with coals and flame. Tongues of fire licking at vanilla bean ice cream. This is what Calcifer the mischievous fire demon who dwells in Howl's moving castle smells like. More brimstone than campfire with a touch of that velvety incense that brings to mind Holy Terror. In the drydown the vanilla takes on a tonka bean richness that mimics whiskered vanilla woods. Something purring and sweet, yet naughty. 

A Terrible Enchantment- Notes: The scent of a powerful curse created in the dark forest, with oudh, opium smoke, fir, pine, cypress and juniper.
From the glass, blackest oudh and viscid opium burn in the dip of a slipware shard in an old growth forest of immortal trees that know no beginning nor ending. Brushed onto the flesh, fir and juniper boughs weave a camphorous wreath of scent that wraps around the limbs. As it dries, the base smells of dark and furred guaiacwood slivers and sticky smoky opium. Velvety and haunting. Slightly ominous. I adore it.

Initially when I grouped these together for a photoshoot and review feature, I thought it was pretty random. But after testing and wearing and experiencing these scents I can see the common thread of moody darkness that unites them all. These are three very different but very noir perfume oils that will delight those looking for something a bit darker. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Handmade in Florida: Winter Pre-Order

Another easy peasy Handmade in Florida pre-order is in the books. I did repurchase several items so I will just glaze over those and spend more time focusing on the newer items if that is ok with y'all. I don't remember when this pre-order took place... I want to say in November? I misplaced my invoice and email like a naughty blogger. But it arrived around Christmas and was a joy to open.

I did pick Adam up another Moroccan Mint bar of soap ($8), I ordered more Serenity (an amazing spearmint blend $6 for three tarts), Ritual Lavender (soothing herbal velvet lavender $5.50), Lavender Ice (a mellowly minted lavender $5.50) and French Oak & Vanilla (a sweet woodsy delight $5.50).

The Winter Wonderland mystery sampler was the number one item I was eager to buy this go 'round. Zahida teased the most adorable pastel winter village homes and I just knew I needed to have them. They ran $25 per bag and held about 15 ounces of wax. 

Adorable gilded snowflakes came in packages of 3 or 4 and weighed just under an ounce each.

Frosted Berries- Notes: Sweet and spicy blend of berries, amber, vanilla, cinnamon and caramelized sugar. 
This is a charming blend of fruits and spice and sweetness. I love how the caramel adds an element of richness that is unique in a spiced fruit blend like this. I am normally a seasonal melter but this will go in when I am craving a deep comfort scent.

Warm Mittens- Notes: Warm mittens, a toasty fireplace, crisp greenery and musky base notes.
This is a fresh take on winter. It does manage to be warm yet clean, herbal and musky. It smells like a cashmere sweater that has just been shed after a day out in the snowy woods. Warm skin and ozonic snow. I did not think this would throw well on cold, so I put two snowflakes in the warmer and headed to church. When we returned the house smelled fresh and lovely and just like Warm Mittens. It threw a solid medium in the kitchen and living area. It was much better than anticipated and that is always nice. 

The Sugar Mill- Notes: Caramelized sugar, warm vanilla, gooey marshmallow and crisp peppermint.
This one was more subtle that I anticipated on cold. I pick up a cooling soft mint and a touch of plastic vanilla. I melted the house version of this scent in the kitchen and living room warmers and got a surprisingly nice throw of medium in the large areas. The plastic note melted away to reveal a nice creamy vanilla. Very little mint made an appearance in the large area but it might show up better in a smaller room. I liked the scent and would buy it again.

Welcome Winter- Notes: Crisp Pine needles wrapped in warm spices.
This smells like Bath & Body Works Winter candle to me and I love it. Evergreen needles and spice and citrus and a touch of smoke. 

Merry Main Street- Notes: Blackcurrants, raspberries and apples blended with creamy vanilla peppermint and warm musk. 
The blackcurrants and raspberries are wonderfully tart and plump. They pair well with the muted vanilla and beautiful musk. This is a merry Main Street but perhaps in a quaint French village with a touch of refinement and elegance. I don't get much peppermint but maybe it helps to lift the scent so it isn't heavy or syrupy or cloying... because it is not any of those despite the sweet fruits.

Wonderland- Notes: Sweet orange, cinnamon and clove with creamy French vanilla and warm musk. 
This is another unique take on a fruit and spice delight. It is as if instead of a fresh juicy pomander you have the dried orange peels and dusty curls of cinnamon bark sitting in a cupboard in a hand hewn wooden box. The musk and clove combine to make a dusky wooden image. I quite like it.

The Sugar Mill (already melted and reviewed above).

Frosted Gingerbread- Notes: Vanilla frosting, cinnamon sticks, toasted graham crackers and juicy raisins. 
I thoroughly enjoy this toothsome blend. It brings to mind scents like Hansel & Gretel's House and frosted graham crackers. This one is a touch less sweet and a pinch more bready and yeasty. 

Peppermint Place- Notes: Apples, berries, peppermint, pine, clove and warm firewood.
I was reading Jay's review of her Handmade in Florida haul and saw she had this scent. I got excited when I realized I had it in my Winter Wonderland pack. Jay mentioned that this reminds her of Radiant Red Maple and I can see that too. The peppermint in this is a nice addition! I love how the woods and touch of smoke and sweetness really sing with this one. 

Pistachio Macaron whipped sugar scrub ($8) smells like a French delight. It makes the past four seasons of binge watching The Great British Baking Show come to life under my nose. The rose is candied and the pistachio has the most subtle almond marizpan and chewy sugar cookie aroma. The edges are gilded with the light tang of sunny lemon and garnished with one ripe raspberry. I love this scent. 

A sample of Iced Berry Bliss came along with my order too and it smells scrumptious. Like a warm gooey cinnamon roll drizzled with a dark mixed berry syrup.

Free Samples:

Orange Scone- Notes: Freshly baked scone with sweet cranberries, warm butter and a drizzle of orange icing.
The cranberries and orange are vibrant and tart, juicy and mouth puckering in their realism. They are backed by a thick and warm crumbly scone, a touch sweet and definitely bready. This almost reminds me of French baguette and hot orange danish having a baby. 

Mischief- Notes: Dark patchouli, sandalwood, citrus, vetiver and black pepper.
This is a fabulous dupe for Lush's Lord of Misrule. I love this classic take on creamy sweet vanilla patchouli and black pepper. 

Florida Winter- Notes: Juniper berries, fresh eucalyptus, spearmint, sage, midnight jasmine and oakmoss.
This is a lovely fresh and dewy aquatic. No harsh tones at all. Just dripping petals and streams of cool sweet spring water. That fresh Florida water right out of the aquifer and filtered by water cress and limestone. Delish. Good enough to bottle. 

Blackberry Cream Puffs- Notes: Flaky puff pastry, blackberry jam, whipped cream and powdered sugar.
A nice rendition of a fruity bakery pastry. The blackberry jam smells like something I would want to spread on my buttered toast. Seedless and midnight purple jam, dizzyingly lush and dark, sweet and plump. It is quieted a touch by the cream and vanilla and that soft whisper of thin pastry. It would make Mary and Paul proud. 

I am sad to say I withheld and refrained from ordering during the most recent opening at Handmade in Florida. I am truly trying to stick to my low-buy, especially since Savanna has chosen a Lord of the Rings themed birthday party. I have been spending my money on party favors and a Gandalf costume among other things. Shhhhh... don't tell her! But once Zahida has her Valentine's things out for delivery and she opens up again, I will be there. Ready to sniff and melt, bath and scrub. Did you buy anything? 

If you were to plan a Lord of the Rings or Hobbit birthday party, what would you include? So far I have tea tins from Adagio, lapel pins, miniature versions of The Hobbit book, full sized versions of The Hobbit book and the most adorable hobbit hole cookies ever seen.

Monday, January 8, 2018

The Absurd Tales of Mr. Griffs

The Absurd Tales of Mr. Griffs is a cute series of short stories that revolve around a semi-crotchety, mostly quirky, old man and his daily adventures and eccentric behaviors. The authors (a brother and sister team) are based out of Australia and run an excellent bookstagram account. I won this first story and trio of greeting cards in a contest. They arrived and I am more than thrilled with them!

The first short story "Never Assume" offers a great moral in a funny manner. Let's just say that Mr. Griffs and his neighbor Mr. Moran don't exactly see eye to eye and that apparently bush turkeys can cause a ruckus in Australia. It was an entertaining and quick read that was perfect for a couple of bubble bath sessions (plenty of perfumed waters much to Mr. Griffs dismay). 

These short stories would be a great way to fulfill that short story suggestion in our reading challenge, posted here

Do you enjoy reading short stories? Isn't Mr. Griff just the cutest? He reminds me a bit of the old man from the movie Up. He is just as fun too. 

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Vintage Chic Scents: December Restock

I placed one last Vintage Chic Scents order of the year in December. I was gunning for that blasted Pink Twinkling Lights and GUESS WHAT?!?!? I got some! Wheeeeee!!!!

But first up... I did pick up this bag of Fezziwig's Christmas Party. It is a blend of Blue Spruce, balsam, fir, spices and cedar. The Deluxe Blossom Bag is about 16 ounces for $19.70. It smells like a lovely evergreen Christmas scent but was sadly pretty light on throw for my tastes. I am tucking it away for later this year. 

Hey! Look!

Pink Twinkling Lights in the Chantilly Shatter. I picked up two bags. The notes are pink sugar, candy canes, toasted marshmallows and vanilla bean noel. I contemplated picking up more but tried to show some restraint. On cold Pink Twinkling Lights smells of a creamy vanilla and pink sugar confection with just a whiff of icy air behind it. I love it. It threw medium-light in a large area so I think I will save these for my bedroom once I get a replacement warmer in there. There is about 8 ounces of wax for $9.90. 

Finally, I chose a loaf in Mr. Sandman embeds with To Catch a Thief overpour. This Blizzard Loaf was about 15 ounces for $19.10. The rosemary mint of Sandman is quite strong and herbal. Relaxing and minty fresh. I like that To Catch a Thief has some cotton candy mint sweetness to tone down the Sandman a little. It is a nice combo that melts at about a medium throw in a large area. 

I am doing well on my low buy. This and a small Beezy RTS were some of the only December wax purchases I have made. I plan on getting a few things from TDC's tenth anniversary sale in January and not much else after that unless Carol opens. Still trying to save some pennies for some other things. 

Are you on a low or no buy right now? What would you break it for?