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.


  1. I'm usually a stickler for traditional Christmas colors but pastels really caught my eye during Christmas 2017 and those pastel snowflakes fit in with that gorgeously.

    Some yummy sounding ones in there! Is HiF nudging out your beloved TBG??

    Well for a LotR party you obviously need rings of some sort. Oooh, a scavanger hunt to find The One Ring? Perhaps a Balron pinata? A Mount Doom cake? hehe


    1. I am like you and enjoy the bright twinkling colors of reds and greens and blues at Christmas but Zahida really did a beautiful job with these colors. I like that she sticks with her color scheme no matter the season and it stills comes out looking amazing.

      Yes. Yes it is. I still love TBG but honestly, I am kinda not enjoying missing out of sold out scents and such. I will still order every now and then but if I had a choice between the two it would be HiF for sure.

      RINGS! Doh! I will get some cheapy gold ones and I love your idea of a scavenger hunt. We have woods behind us and I can send them into "Mirkwood" and have landmarks and scrolls to follow, along with a map. Thank you Deb! For the cake Savanna did request a ring shape with some elvish writing inside. Wish me luck as I always make their cakes myself. <3

    2. Fun!!! I wanna see pics after!


  2. Oh, I enjoyed reading this!
    I refrained from the last few openings, since I'm still working through my Summer preorder haul. It was hard not or order, cuz I love her goods so.
    Were those all tarts you mentioned above that you repurchased- Serenity,Ritual Lav., etc., cuz all of those, I need more of those!! Lol So good!!

    1. Thank you April!!

      Sounds like we are both trying to behave and use up some of our goodies before restocking... look at us being all responsible! LOL!

      Those repurchase ones are SO GOOD! Yes! I have more in depth reviews of them if you search my blog. They are my favorites. Eastern Oudh is too. Just melted that the other night and it was so gorgeous!

    2. Thank you for the clarification.. those are all scents I'd love to repurchase in a larger amount in the future. I wasn't sure if you bought those scents in soap or wax- I confused myself while reading. Lol
      I did go back and look at her site to see what had been available last opening. Her earthy scents are just so beautiful. I feel so lucky to melt them and enjoy their fragrance.

  3. Ooo right now Fortune Cookie Soap has a LotR themed line out, if you want some bath and body products! I think it was the winter release but there was still a good amount of it left when I ordered last week. Definitely necessary for a LoTR party is some Lembas bread and some sort of second breakfast food items.

    I had to order a Handmade in Florida holiday mystery bag for those adorable houses. I was afraid of the amount of foodie/bakery scents that could be in it (not my olfactory wheelhouse at all) but I’m a sucker for cute shapes and packaging. There are definitely some that are sweeter than I would choose myself but nothing is so sticky sweet that I won’t melt it. She really is a master scent blender. I also had to pick up some Ritual Lavender and Lavender Ice, because lavender is my jam. I didn’t order in the most recent pre-order either, but likely the next one I will find myself giving in. I love her new pre-order system, no more hovering around the computer or phone at exactly the right time in fear of missing your favorites.

    1. Joanne... you are the best. I popped over there during my lunch break at work and I ordered a bunch of the mini hand sanitizers to put in the goodie bags. How hilarious! I even got my husband (who loves LotR with us) a large one (he loves hand sanitizer too) in You Shall not Pass. I am trying to brainstorm how to make Lembas bread. I love the challenge of delving into my favorite fandoms and making them come to life. By the way... that was my first Fortune Cookie Soap Co order ever. I kinda want to go back and order some of their wax. Have you ever tried it? Does it throw well?

      I am happy you enjoyed most of your order!! Zahida's lavender is beautiful. And I concur, the ordering process is very relaxed and easy. How have you been? Are you keeping warm up there?

    2. I would imagine Lembas bread could be some sort of shortbread wrapped in banana leaves and tied with twine. I would make a savory shortbread but for kids maybe plain butter would be best.

      Fortune Cookie Soap was actually my gateway into indie bath, body, and wax. I like their hand sanitizer, it's less drying than the store brand stuff and anything that smells good is a bonus. Their wax is soy so it's soft and messy to get out of the packaging, and I just don't like those 4-cube clamshells they have. After all that, their wax does have a decent throw. I tried one cube in my glade warmer and it had a strong throw in my bedroom.

      I am planning on getting into the Ritual Lavender or Lavender Ice tonight, I am looking forward to it! We had a couple of unseasonably warm days after the serious deep freeze and we're back to cold again now. Lots of hot tea and blankets are my go-tos for staying warm inside!

  4. Thoughts that occurred to me while reading that you certainly don't need me to tell you:
    Your daughters are amazing.
    A LOTR theme b-day party is going to be so incredibly epic!
    Lapel pins?! OBSESSED.
    OOh Adagio Teas! <3 Did you try the Moonlight Earl Grey (Grey Wizard)? Also love!

    Zahida's products are beyond incredible. Her SKILLS! And the Wonderland sampler may be my favorite wax mail ever. I resisted the valentine's sampler because I was waiting on this one, but I will have to reorder when the Rose soap is restocked.
    Unfortunately, I didn't get much from Warm Mittens, it was the first I melted, perhaps more curing?
    Yep, Peppermint Place does remind me of RRM, a smokier version with mint.

    Thoughts you may not already know:
    Zahida's pistachio is the best 'cookie' type I've tried, how does she do it?
    I fell in love with her Crushed Roses soap!
    I'm on a wax no-buy for a looong time, due to other financial priorities *sigh*
    And lastly, I have never read LOTR:( Maybe The Fellowship will be my epic challenge book? Hmmm

    1. That is so sweet. Thank you! It is one thing to have fandoms and enjoy certain books and movies but having others close by who do too make it all that sweeter for me. Thank you so much for turning me on to Adagio Teas and those super cute geeky tins. I bought an insane amount so I will be sharing some back with you. I only have the two you gave me right now... the Elevenses and the super sexy... I mean yummy Dr. Watson one too. Savanna is excited about the Grey Wizard one so we picked up a couple. I bet I will enjoy it.

      Zahida is absolutely skilled. Yes ma'am. Wax is a funny thing! Who knows what goes on when throw is different from one to another. LOL! I did melt that Barrett's Sleepy wax that you were curious how it went and honestly I only picked up a little whiff of the eucalyptus. I was hoping to get that all powerful mint in a nice throw. I probably should have saved it for a smaller room. Ah well.

      I agree with your pistachio thoughts. Most pistachios I try are way too cherry almond smelling but hers is dreamy. Crushed Roses? I will add it to my list. And no-buys, though not always fun, are necessary sometimes. I am not far behind you. More of a low-buy, but I have things I need/want to do and wax I can use up in the meantime.

      I would love for you to give LotR a try! I read them all just a few years ago. I knew I was being remiss to not give them a whirl when I loved the movies so much.