Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Ebb & Flow: February

The highs and lows of the month.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

Serge Lutens Nuit de Cellophane

Perfume Oil:
Nocturne Alchemy Myrrh Ombre (I like it layered with Nocturne Alchemy's Diplodocus)

Chi Candles Old Books

Ten Digit Creations Rosewood and Amber

Marta Oms skull earrings

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton, just found out it is a TV series... the seems to be happening quite often with my reads. 

Alias Grace on Netflix. It was brilliant. Just like the book. Now I am excited to watch Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. That book was brilliant too.

Anything from Old Blind Dogs on Spotify

lots of coffee


Watering, weeding and otherwise tinkering in the garden.

Spring Break, a whole week of bliss at home. Reading, gardening, sewing perhaps. A day at the beach. Whatever suits the girls' fancy and mine as well.

The return of the mosquitoes.

Society6 All Over Print shirts... they are super cute, comfy and I love the patterns and artwork. The only caveat is that there are imperfections on them where the material folded and there is white non-printed material but that doesn't bother me too much. They are spendy at $35 a pop but I wait for the 25% off and free shipping codes that pop up frequently.

Lush Toothy tabs. My friend kindly let me use some and I won't be buying them in the future. They didn't leave my mouth feeling clean, my breath wasn't fresh and they tasted like cardboard and chalk. 

None really. Just trying to figure some things out for myself. We had a Mind Fuel workshop at school for a staff development where the speaker proposed to us that our mind and experiences are completely dictated by what is inside of us, that the world or circumstances or things that happen to us are each unique experiences that are played much like a film in our minds and that the more we realize this the better we can adapt and cope with hardships, the better we can problem-solve, the more happiness we can experience. That quieting the mind and clearing away the clutter will unfold our ability to perform at peak function. I am not saying he is correct and it might sound like a bunch of hooey but I think there is some nugget of truth for myself that I can glean from this. I will be thinking on this and chewing on it until I see where it takes me. Not sure why this is in the "Low" but I think it has the potential to be a "High."

Planting the garden with Scarlette was one of the highlights of the month. She helped sow the seeds, we water and weed it each day and exclaim how big the plants are growing or each time we spy a new sproutling. Savanna's birthday was great fun. I earned my teaching certificate back (agriscience 6-12th grade) and now I will be taking another test to add on the K-6 subject area.

I had a nice month. I don't think I placed any wax orders?? I need to go back and check but I don't think I did. The majority of my mad money went to buying endless bags of soil (about a dozen cubic feet in all I think...), seeds and garden accouterments. I also picked up two mugs which I will show when they arrive, stained glass and some bath and body items from Bohemienne Life and a ring from Theeth Jewelry. Next month I want to keep up the low-buy/no-buy of wax (I do want to pick up more LSC when she opens for RTS) and try and cut back even more on frivolous spending. I have many financial goals for myself and my family and I want to set those wheels in motion.

How was your February? Any favorite things that got used? What are you reading? Watching? Listening to? Do you have any goals? Do you spring clean? I think I want to do that too.

Monday, February 26, 2018

Nocturne Alchemy: Blue Vanille and My Valentine

These two scents are part of the Resurgence Valentine release that is currently on the Nocturne Alchemy website ($24 each). These particular scents will be offered until they sell out or until March 30th, whichever comes first. 

Love of Bastet: Blue Vanille- Notes: Crimson Egyptian musk, blue cardamom of Nepal, blue sugar, blue Crystalline, a drop of blue chamomile from Hungaria, Kobalt vanilla and a touch of caramelized French vanilla.
Sniffing from the bottle reveals crushed blue velvet, cobalt and cool. Musky sweet chamomile makes its presence known. Normally chamomile and I do not mesh in fragrance as it tends to smell of plastic fishing worm bait to my nose but this is very much not the case here. Dabbed onto the skin, Blue Vanille smells cushiony and downy, an azure chenille throw wrapped around the shoulders. Serene chamomile buds float in a pool of creamy sweetness, almost like a plush yet tempered blueberries and cream aroma. But this delicacy is experienced through a veil of musky gauze that filters out the normally gourmand tones of such a treat. It is a beautifully unique scent in my collection and I adore how it works its calming spell.

My Valentine: Sandalwood and Cinnamon- Notes: Sri Lankan cinnamon bark, SL Santalum absolute, Tahitian sandalwood, sandalwood infused Egyptian musk flower petals with a drop of Egyptian musk and Bastet Amber absolute.
In the beautifully decorated bottle lies a fragrance of heady cinnamon that sparks and smolders amid a small collection of loosely corked vials that cup precious musks inside their glass bellies. These treasure lie in a hand carved sandalwood box. Once on the skin, cinnamon gleams like a polished sienna stone, a shining and smooth carnelian. It glows and shimmers with vibrancy, not fiery or hot, but luminous. The cinnamon lies nestled in a golden sandalwood setting. Treasures harvested from trees to fragrant the skin. Gossamer musks, laced with sweetness, spice and woods are the heart of the aroma. Warm and red and gold.

These two scents really snagged my heart. I love how both of these turned out and they will be welcome additions to my collection. As these are both resurgence scents, they are very unlikely to return in the future (though there is always a small chance they may I suppose). Regardless, these were my favorite of all the Valentine scents I ordered this year. I will still feature a few more that I picked up but I wanted to show these first incase either might interest you. Pink Vanilla sold out quickly but Blue Vanilla is still there. 

Did you partake in any of the Valentine's releases this year? Are you looking forward to any spring releases? Where the heck did February go?!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Arcana Wildcraft: Bonfires at Dusk, The Ulda, Cake Lust and Small Cottage in a Clearing

Some Arcana Wildcraft perfume oils featured today, for your viewing please. Even though Julia's eBay shop is closed at the moment, some of these can be purchased at Nui Cobalt Designs or in the new Arcana Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group. 

Bonfires At Dusk- Notes: Woodsmoke, sweet beeswax, Oregon lavender, sandalwood, charred juniper and the scent of swiftly appearing stars. 
From the dark bottle, sweet herbal lavender and prickly green juniper and woods germinate and grow. Moistened onto the skin, stalks of lavender and green herbs gather in bundles, freshly tied with twine, a bouquet garni hanging from an oak branch. The tree acts as sentinel to an old A-frame house that nestles in a copse of deciduous trees. Half burned candles line the porch railing, their wax crying tears down the pillars and onto the uneven wooden planks making honeyed pools of sticky sorrow. As the sun sets and the stars poke through the violet velvet sky, the small backyard leaf pile is set ablaze and sends smoke ghosts out to the surrounding woods to watch and lurk. One heads for the oak in the front yard and wraps its tendril fingers around the tied lavender bundle, it grasps, smudges, blurs the lavender into a silhouette. A shadow against the taupe night sky. The soft smoke ends with a muted honey sweetness in the deep drydown. 

If you love smoky lavender, this is a must.

The Ulda- Notes: The elusive fairy folk of the Nordic Sapmi region are said to live underneath the Earth and travel in reindeer-drawn sleighs tinkling with silver bells. White almond, resinous Baltic amber, crisp bayberry, warm cardamom and pink pepper.
Sweet almond and the softly bitter evergreen-like essence of bayberry greet the nose from the vial. Daubed onto the skin the bayberry feels wild and a touch feral. Cardamom warms up the fragrance and the almond adds a gentle nectar. The cardamom evolves to smell like white pepper infused with a whiff of peat smoke and a morsel of frankincense resin.

Unique among my collection, this one is sadly discontinued but you might still find one being destashed somewhere.

Cake Lust- Notes: Golden bakery cakes spiked with blonde tobacco, Balsam of Peru, cardamom and mace. 
Island rum cakes dripping with honey and thin transparent dribbling tear drops of caramel served in a quaint Cuban cafe waft up the street while the scent of raw and sweet tobacco leaves floats in from the tobacconist shop next door, this is the aroma that ascends from the bottle. It almost has a caramelized banana richness to it. Drizzled on the tender skin of the inner forearms, the same sweet cakes and dulce de leche aroma fill the nose. Slowly the snug scent of mace warms up the perfume like a velvety cinnamon stick. This mild and mellow spice transitions the cake into vanilla tobacco, flawlessly. Here, on my skin, the drydown remains that softly spiced and deeply caramelized vanilla tobacco. Golden and balmy.

This is one I would love to have in a 15ml. I bet it gets even better with age and it is pretty damn good right now.

Small Cottage in a Clearing- Notes: The cozy scent of milky coffee with white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and a faint undercurrent of dangerous black musk.
This smells of the loving gift my husband brings me every morning as I get ready for the day. The warm mug of roasted and almost chocolatey bold coffee, a touch bitter, tempered with sweet cream. This treasured moment is encapsulated right in the bottle and greets me like an old friend upon opening. The very same dark, full bodied roast of brew dwells on the skin once applied. It almost smolders in its smoky warmth and darkness. As it ages on the skin the teaspoon of sugar and glug of milk dissipates and that black musk strengthens the morning drug and transforms it into a rippling pool of blackest coffee. This makes for a warming winter scent. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

FuturePrimitive Soap Co.: Spring Order

I was slap clean out of hair conditioner. I popped over to FuturePrimitive Soap Co. and Tiggy just happened to restock all her general catalogue scents so I took that as a sign to splurge a bit. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I moon over Tiggy's Conditioning Hair Rinse. It is light on my curls but moisturizing and smells delicious. They run 9.25 pounds which is about $12.95. I don't keep up with economics like I should be either the dollar is failing or the pound is gaining or a mixture of both because it is gettin' on up there. Ah well. It won't stop me from enjoying my FuturePrimitive, I am here to say. Let's discuss scents...

Sylph- Notes: Clouds of fluffed up marshmallows infused with a glug of classic French lavender oil. 
I love Sylph. In perfume oil, wax and bar soap. If lavender vanilla combos speak to you, you will want to try out Tiggy's. The lavender embodies herbal steel coolness that holds a touch of jammy rosemary and pine in its aroma. The marshmallows sweeten it up with a crystalline vanilla syrup that pairs so well with the French lavender. I am thrilled to pieces to have this as a conditioner (and shampoo!).

Cordwainer- Notes: Rows of brand new button-up shoes made with the finest new leather, vanilla scented handkerchiefs, a splash of amber cologne and rich resinous patchouli.
Cordwainer first tickled my fancy as a wax tart but really, I knew this leather patchouli would be divine as a bath and body scent. The patchouli comes through in the hair rinse and whipped soap much more than it did in the wax and that is just fine by me. This is a calming and polished patchouli accented by supple leather and amber. Earthy yet refined.

Orange Coconut Mallow- Notes: Sweet orange with a splash of coconut water and a dollop of marshmallow cream.
I have not had the pleasure of trying this scent yet and I must admit that I might not have if I hadn't had such great luck with Tiggy's Clotted Peach Cream and Strawberry Patch. I tend to shy away from fruity scents but Tiggy works magic on them. They are never artificial or cloying. I never get cavities just by smelling them. Orange Coconut Mallow is brilliant. Juicy and tart orange segments mingle with light and airy coconut shavings. 

I like to pick up the matching Three In One Whipped Soaps to be my shampoo. They make for nice shaving creams too. Don't let the super light and airy texture fool you... these bad boys go a long way. They cost 6.95 pounds.

Light yet surprisingly dense goodness.

I also picked up one bar soap. It is my weakness. I chose Gothica which is a Clinique Aromatics Elixir dupe. Notes of heady florals, soft aldehydes, bluebell sap, dusky rose, heliotrope, patchouli and dark woods mark this fragrance. It smells boozy and rich like a spiced oriental fragrance. A joy to bathe with in the shower.

Tiggy's soaps seem to just get better and better. 

What types of scents are you craving right now? I ended up deciding to use the Orange Coconut Mallow first since it radiated spring time to my nose.

I also find I am craving florals and light woods and amber and honey at the moment. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Holly's Dazzling Designs Wax

These wax tarts were sent free from Holly's Dazzling Designs for reviewing purposes.

Holly from Holly's Dazzling Designs sent me some wax a couple weeks ago to test out and review. She sent some clamshells, a room spray and two hand sanitizers. At the moment, Holly mostly has an RTS inventory of clamshells for $4 each in a wide array of stock scents. Out of the dozens and dozens of scents offered I counted about four as being "exclusive" blends which I am taking to mean house blends. I have one of those today to showcase. 

Sweet Dreams- Notes: A soft, sweet blend of creamy peppermint. *signature scent
Fluffy mounds of buttercream iced with peppermint candy canes. Quite a nice vanilla mint. 

Rugged Steel- Notes: A very fresh, clean manly scent.
This smells like it might be an Acqua di Gio dupe or some aquatic cologne as such. Two cubes threw strong in a large area for about 4-5 hours.

Cinnaberries- Notes: Cinnamon and clove meet juicy orange and war spiced berries with a hint of vanilla.
Spicy sweet fruits that would make a brilliant Christmas scent. I love how much this smells like a jolly Christmas punch. It threw at about a medium to medium-strong for a few hours.

Cinnamon Fireball- Notes: A fireball of cinnamon explosion. 
Just like the Atomic Fireball candy. Candy sweet fire. It threw medium-strong in the kitchen area. 

Cinnacedar- Notes: Cinnamon sticks, cedar and light clove. 
The cinnamon fires up the senses but the cedar in this one is a touch sour and musty. I was hoping it would melt off but it didn't really. It filled the house with comforting cinnamon with a strong throw but that staleness lurked just underneath like an after taste. 

- Easy to navigate and nicely designed website.
- Affordable prices.
- Wide range of scents.
- Good throw on the majority of the tarts.
- I like the hand sanitizer.
- Good customer service.
- Pour dates on the clamshells.

- Could use a few more house blends.
- The labels are nice and simple but the outline shows and instead of a Facebook promo it would be nice to have the scent description.

Overall I am happy with Holly's Dazzling Designs. I am curious about a few of her scents like Lavender Dream and Campfire Marshmallows. Have you heard of Holly's Dazzling Designs or had a chance to try them out?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Blooddrop Perfume

I made this purchase several months ago and decided it was high time I got around to talking about Blooddrop. Blooddrop Clothing & Fineries is run by Astrid, a lovely and generous lady who is talented on many levels. She creates and sells corsets, purses, throw pillows, bath and body toiletries and perfume. Her perfumes are housed in attractive metal capped Austrian amber glass bottles that hold about 6-7 mls of perfume oil for $18 each.

A Baby Raccoon- Notes: Animal crackers, vanilla sandalwood, nutmeg, soft woodsy sticks, thyme and a little buttercream frosting.

Fresh from the vial comes the aroma of childhood, animal crackers and graham crackers with a thin layer of frosting, snapping and crumbling between milk teeth and dusting cheeks as round and smooth as two glowing peals. I miss my babies toddling around. Snuggled wetly on the wrists, A Baby Raccoon gains an herbal green edge that must be the thyme, but only just barely. The vanilla soaked crackers and cookies still feature foremost. Slowly the woods gather about and lean over the shoulder, their creamy pithy breath mingling with the gourmand. These are nursery rhymes and milky dreams and circle time snacks mingling with mother's garden stained hands and dark dusky embrace. 

Atlas Moth- From the collection "The Entomology of Miss Amnesty Mapleleaf" Notes: North African amber, sweaty tree bark, humid dirt, sandalwood, green myrtle, cinnamon leaf, vanilla oleoresin, mushroom absolute, anise, vetiver, lavender, juniper berries and moonflower.

In the quaint vial there hides a breezy sunlit meadow, a stretch of nurturing land showcases its pelt of fragile green stems and shoots while yellow flowers quiver like so many dollops of sunshine splashed like raindrops from the heavens. From the nearby village a melody of warm tea catches the nose, dulcet with anise and sepia from tannins. Once on the wrist, the sweet tannic anise weaves a shimmering pattern with soft florals and verdant hues, much like in the bottle, but more alive and as delicate and cool as the scales on a moth's wing. As it ages and dries on the skin it creeps and shifts and in a metamorphosis that straddles between forest, meadow and village and the scents associated with each. Sandalwood and tree bark ground the green floral light, they tie it to the earth. Grassy vetiver tamps the sweetness down as the scent draws down into a pillowy nest of meadow dreams. 

I will admit that at first I was a touch overwhelmed with the scent notes of some of Blooddrop's perfumes, but once I jumped in, I realized how fluid and melodious they wear. There is no need to hesitate at all and now I have much catching up to do. Astrid has a few collections out right now. Have you tried Blooddrop? What are some of your favorites? 

Friday, February 16, 2018

Candles From The Keeping Room: Anniversary Opening

Carol opened up on Saturday the 27th in January and she was my fourth and last order of the month. I try to catch a Candles From the Keeping Room opening if I can help it. I missed the last couple ones so I was due to pick up a bag or two... or some. This opening was extra special as Carol celebrated 19 years of wax making on January 10th and in honor of that huge milestone she had a 10% off sale. Most bags were $5.35 each. Items marked with (*) are repurchases that I have picked up in the past and enjoyed enough to get again. 

Peppermint & Cypress- I picked up two bags of this scent as I fell hard and fast for this one. The simple briskness of the arctic mint and woodsy cypress makes for a peaceful melting experience. *

Blueberry Cream Type- A strangely satisfying blend of sweet blueberries and floral musks that would probably make a cute perfume spray for a tween. It throws well and I like it for spring. *

Ultimate Bakery Noel- I am pretty sure I have had this in the past but if I have, it has been a good long while. This is Carol's Ultimate Bakery mixed with Vanilla Bean Noel. It is a robust vanilla bakery scent that does have a chewy sugar cookie note that I love. 

Gretel's Treats- This one is new to me from Carol. This is different than Hansel and Gretel's (which I love too). Despite being described as a cinnamon bakery and gingerbread treat, there is more to it than that alone. It has a brown sugar and sweet potato richness that I quite like. I look forward to melting it. 

Strawberry Noel- I had this as a sample once and vividly remember how much I sniffed and huffed and opened and closed that single ziptop bag to get at the yumminess inside. I finally brought myself to melt it and it was just as good as I hoped. A crystal clear strawberry sweetness heightened by vanilla cream. I finally scored a bag of it and I am thrilled to pieces.  

Creamy Peppermint Serendipity- Normally I hate peppermint and fruits. But can I confess something? I rarely think of Serendipity as a fruity scent. Weird right? For some reason I love peppermint and Serendipity together. Yes there is obvious coconut and yes the cherry is cheerfully singing its maraschino melody but my nose always reads it as a creamy tropical cotton candy type of scent. At any rate, I love this blend. Carol's Serendipity Marshmallow Delight is amazing too. *

Mahogany Coconut- I really do enjoy this Bath & Body Works dupe. It reminds me of driftwood and coconut shells covered in sea salt and a dash of sexy merman. How cute are the flip flops? This will be a great summer scent.

Strawberry Salt Water Taffy- A couple summers ago this was my new found favorite of Carol's Fresh Picked Strawberry variations. I have been out for a while now but when I saw it restocked I had to buy one. Now, typically Salt Water Taffy scents don't ring my chimes but this one is an exception. The Fresh Picked Strawberry with the taffy smells like refreshing strawberry iced treats on summer boardwalks by the shore. *

Merlin's Forest- This must be my fifth or sixth bag over time. I have a few tarts left in my last bag but I love this hippy woodsy scent so much I try to keep a full bag on hand. It is a fresh cedar and amber scent that throws well and always hits the spot. You know? That weird earthy craving spot? Gosh darn I love a well turned earthy scent. *

Nag Champa- This is my first ever bag of CFTKR Nag Champa. I knew if Carol decided to carry it, it must be good. That classic woodsy floral effluvia underscored by earthy patchouli will fit the bill when I am craving incense and calmness.

Pumpkin Firewood- I had to have one more bag on hand for next fall. I held on to the bag I purchased last year and was afraid it might not come back like Pumpkin Lager (darn I miss that one!!!). I love this. It is pumpkin woods but elevated. Much like the fancy but warming Pumpkin Peppercorn, this one has that same sophisticated pumpkin vibe. I mean it has guaiac wood as a note. It has to be lovely. Well, to me at least. *

Free Samples:

Ultimate Waffle Cone- Yes. Carol's "Ultimate" blends really are something special and this one is no different. Freshly pressed vanilla waffle cones in an old fashioned ice cream parlor. 

Pistachio Marshmallow Sugar Cookie- Pistachio is normally too cherry-almond for my liking but the added sugar cookie and marshmallows are nice here. I am actually looking forward to melting it!

Green Apple Smoothie- Bright and summery. This is not an overly tart or overly sweet apple. It smells of juicy green apple flesh.

Blueberry Meringue Torte- Vivid and bouncy blueberries with a lemony twist. Like a lemon meringue pie with blueberries in syrup poured on top.

Basil Sage and Mint- Fresh, green and herbal. I enjoyed this blend from TDC years and years ago, it is nice to have it on hand again. The mint is fresh from the garden and the sage and basil have a fuzzy warmth.

Acai Berries and Satin- Bubblegum and pink fruits.

Apricot and Fig- Watery clean mellow fruits with cucumbers and spring tagging along. 

Cottontail- Berry laden cookies and granola.

Avobath- Brilliantly strong Avobath Lush dupe of lemongrass and citrus.

Alpine Frost- Snow capped cedars and evergreens outside a ski lodge spa. 

Supernova- A lovely Supernova Lush dupe of bubbly grape wine spritzers and musk.

Iced Wine- I can't really place what this smells like but dry oak cordwood comes to mind. Wine does try to come through but by and far it is a musty old cabin scent on cold, one that has been neglected and needs the windows to be opened. I must melt this soon to see what happens to it. Curious.

Citrus and Teakwood- I quite like this one. Dusky aged citrus with dry woods. 

I am very happy with my Candles From The Keeping Room order. As long as Carol is selling, I will be in line to fragrant my home with her wares. February is half over (actually more!!! Where did that go?!) and I have made no wax purchases yet. I slated myself for three this month. I do know the Lasting Scent Candles will open up for RTS soon so I am hoping that will be one of them. I may just end up having less than three this month which would be nice. Did you pick anything up form Carol's anniversary opening?

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Wild Beast Pottery

I bought a teeny tiny pot and I love it. 

I picked up this beautifully glazed tiny hanging planter from Wild Beast Pottery on Etsy for $20. The gorgeous bleached out sand tone clay with the dreamy aqua drip glaze really fits my tastes. My new succulents seem to enjoy it too! There are no drainage holes so I placed rocks in the bottom and made sure to use a sandy succulent soil for good drainage. 

We are feeling some hot summer days already. I think this weekend I will be able to buy more garden soil and start planting on Sunday or Monday since it is a nice long weekend. Adam will be gone hunting next week for a few days so it will be incense burning in the house 24/7. I will miss him of course, but I am actually excited to burn some incense. What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day!

1. Do you celebrate Valentine's Day?

In the past I would write things I loved about my daughters and husband on a paper doily and tape it to their doors every night from February 1st until Valentine's Day. I didn't do that this year. Valentine's Day is Savanna's birthday so that is the most important thing to celebrate that day. She turns 11 this year. I will still swing by the Dollar Tree and pick up some balloons and things for the girls to see in the morning. I don't think Adam and I are doing anything other than singing Savanna "Happy Birthday."

2. Do you send Valentine's cards?

No. Usually the girls and I spend the night before filling out Valentine's cards for them to give out at school but this year they aren't celebrating for whatever reason. Instead they are practicing random acts of kindness all over the school. So no cards at all this year.

3. Do you like candy conversation hearts?

I do. Of course I do. I like candy corn. Why wouldn't I like conversation hearts? 

4. Are you romantic?

I think so. I love date nights. I enjoy thoughtful gifts and candlelit dinners. Well written love songs and love stories make my heart flutter and eyes glisten. I do think I am a romantic. No Hallmark movies though, please.

5. Would you rather receive flowers or chocolates?

I enjoy coming home to a nice bouquet of flowers from my husband but I also love to eat chocolate. Any gift is one that lets me know he has thought of me. 

6. Who is your favorite fictional or celeb couple?

Claire and Jamie from the Outlander novels.

7. Who would your dream date be with? (current significant other excluded)

Adam will always be my dream date. 

8. What would your dream date consist of?

My dream date with him could be relaxing in a fluffy white down bed after a day of swimming and snorkeling in Fiji in one of those huts over the water. It could be eating grilled octopus in Santorini, Greece in a quaint cafe. It may be bundled up gazing the aurora borealis in Alaska after a day of whale watching. Who knows... it might just be dinner and a movie in Orlando. Or a jaunt to Dave & Busters. I just love going on dates with him.

9. What scent will you be melting/burning/wearing this Valentine's Day?

You know what... I have not even thought of that! I am thinking Pink Twinkling Lights from Vintage Chic Scents would be a good one to melt on Valentine's Day. 

10. Finish in your own way:  Roses are red, Violets are blue ...... 

I am so very grateful for friends like you. 

Happy Valentine's Day! Check out Deb's blog at It's Always Something to read her TAG as well and Jessica over at The Melt Down Blog! What are you up to today? Any traditions or plans?

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Nui Cobalt Designs: Winter Release

In an effort to not be a completely procrastinating blogger, I am going to post these two scents before they disappear from the Nui Cobalt Designs website on February 15th.  I eyed up many of Forest's releases during the holidays but Owl in the Evergreens was the one I absolutely needed to add to my collection. Perfume oils run $19 each. 

Owl in the Evergreens- Notes: Douglas firs, icicles, sweet resins and smoldering birch wood in the firelight. 
If this name sounds familiar it is because I recently reviewed a candle from Nui Cobalt Designs in a very similar scent called Cloak of Evergreens. Owl in the Evergreens is touted to be a warmer and more cuddly version of this scent. In the vial, a sweet and clear drop of honeyed amber mingles with a scant crumbling of evergreen resin. Freshly perched on the skin the owl hoots in a crisp night air. There is freshness here. Softly aquatic icicles hang from rough branches and sharp emerald needles. Almost immediately that honeyed amber pulls through to sweeten and assuage the intense greens and blues of the forest. This is a fragrance that gets more dulcet and snug as it wears, as if walking in from the chilled woods into a loving hearth. I will wear this one all year. 

All Is Bright- Notes: Home brewed chai with fresh ginger and saffron, cranberry gelee and a cozy seat by the fireplace.
This one abounds with festive cheer. That tart cranberry jelly tickles the nose and pinches the jaws in a mouthwatering pucker of flavor. Fiery ginger laces the cranberry treat. Drenched on the wrist a cheerful wassail emerges, full bodied and bursting with red fruits and mulled goodness. As it dries the ginger comes in dusty and warm with a soft floral tone from the saffron. The cranberries continue to emit their fragrance but they are dried now rather than buoyant and fresh. Maybe a touch of woods? It is a lovely wind down from a jolly evening. 

I picked up a few from the January release that featured bees. One is a gardenia and honey scent that is lush. I will try and post those soon. Have you tried Nui Cobalt Designs perfume oils yet? Forest has quite the hand and nose when it comes to perfuming. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Tauer Perfumes: Attar and Solar Engineer Bar Soap

I have sung Andy Tauer's praises in the past as an incredibly talented perfumer and I am here to do so once again. 

I believe it was early last year that I purchased a small sample vial of Andy Tauer's Attar that he released as a tiny sample only and in very limited quantities. I did not review it as I was not sure if it would ever be available again. Fortuitously, Mr. Tauer did indeed release his stunning Attar again and this time in a slightly larger 5ml version. I fell deeply in love with this fragrance the first time so I gifted my sample to my sister who was enamored as well, and purchased the new 5ml version for 89 CHF (Swiss Francs). Thankfully the Swiss Franc and US dollar are pretty equal so no hefty currency exchanges and Tauer ships free to the US. I want to say I spent $90 in all. Keep in mind 5ml is a small amount but the liquid inside is a pure perfume oil without any alcohol or filler oil of any type. It is brimming with exotic woods and florals. Basically, it is liquid gold. 

Traditionally, attars are composed of florals that are steam distilled to capture their essential oils and then combined with sandalwood oil to created a concentrated perfume oil with which to delicately grace the body. A few drops will do, warming on the skin to create the most stunning aura of aroma. 

Attar AT- Notes: Mysore sandalwood, Arab wood accord, Egyptian jasmine absolute, Javanese vetiver, Spanish black cistus oil.
I recommend not judging this scent in the bottle or even on immediate application. This one blooms after settling in the skin after a time. This one smolders. Charred agarwood, a touch of guaiac wood and lavish sandalwood all ignite on my skin. Slivers of the most precious woods kindled into incense sticks. Dark, raw and intensely intimate. I love this scent. If using a few drops it holds close to the skin and lasts ages.  

Andy crafts highly fragrant and generously lathering glycerine soaps. Currently he has four aromas in soap format for $15 each. This one came free in my order. I believe he was generously including a free soap in every holiday order of a perfume over the month of December.

It comes shrink wrapped in a sleek box. The soap then lies in a thin sheet of paper.

This vegan glycerin soap includes activated charcoal, which provides a soft exfoliation, nootka tree oil, lavender oil, nutmeg oil and rosemary oil.

Solar Engineer- Notes: Fresh spices, bright herbs, ambergris and warm, dry woody musks. 
I am almost at a loss for words on how splendid this soap smells. On one inhale it smolders like a green smoky guaiac wood with undertones of sepia musk and sandalwood. The next inhalation brings sage and rosemary and a whisper of steely lavender to the nose, along with leather and woods. It is warm and bright. Vivid and complex. I cannot stop breathing it in while I shower with it. It lathers beautifully and cleans without a hint a of tightness. The charcoal feels amazing on the skin. My whole bathroom is fragrant after I use this soap. I am eyeing up the other scents to use in the future, furthermore these would make excellent gifts.

Tauer Perfumes offers beautiful perfumes, luxurious soaps and body oils as well. I like to pop over every now and then to see what Andy is up to over there in Zurich. Follow along on his blog to get great insight on what it is to be an artisan perfumer. 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Melting Basket 116

Wax tarts that I quite enjoyed and would love to melt again from the previous basket include: TDC Rosewood & Amber, Blackberry Frankincense and Patchouli & Mint, Dessa's Peppermint, Smoky Mountain Berries, Smoky Mountain Christmas, Beezy's Butterscotch Marshmallow, Bohemienne Life Saturnus, SMT Lord of Misrule/Candy Cane/Marshmallow and VCS Pink Twinkling Lights.

Vintage Chic Scents- Central Park Snowglobe
Vintage Chic Scents- Wonderful Life/Cookie Baking at Mom's
Vintage Chic Scents- Mr. Sandman/To Catch a Thief
Beezy- Pink Sugar Cookies
Beezy- Country Gift Shop
Candles From The Keeping Room- Mulled Wine
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Country Store
Sniff MY Tarts- Dragon's Blood/Butterscotch Candy/Cinnamon Sticks
Handmade in Florida- Frosted Berries
Bohemienne Life- Havana

If you would like any melted reviews of these scents, just let me know below.

Somebody got some succulents. 

My friend Stephanie directed me towards some succulent groups on Facebook a couple years ago and I became friends with one of the ladies who sells them by the flat rate box. I got a large flat rate stuffed to the brim for $58. I even used every little leaf that fell off in transit to try and propagate. If it works I will be swimming in succulents. Not that I mind. 

I planted them all over the porch and in every pot and crevice I could find. I hope some of them live. :-)

Between the plants and the birds, my sister and I were joking that I should do some Herbs 'n Birbs posts. I am tracking every bird I see to post at the end of the year. The birds did come back after I moved the feeder and now they visit the new bird bath too. 

Are you tinkering around outside yet? Or is it still too Winter?

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Made at Newtown Pottery

I belong to a few groups on Facebook and one of the groups holds some really talented ladies that can create alongside the best of them. One particular sweet lady is named Samatha Hart. She sculpts amazingly gorgeous pottery creations and her partner crafts industrial functional art and together they run an Etsy shop called Made at Newtown as they both live in the UK. 

Samantha generously hosted a giveaway of a custom lidded pot in the group and I won. I could not have been more thrilled as it was my birthday and the stars seemed to align in order to make it the best birthday ever. 

She asked what things I fancied and I mentioned trees, stars, mushrooms and the moon. She made it all come together into the most magically romantic piece of art I could envision. It is a teardrop shape and about five inches tall. The inside is glazed in the same deep forest-teal shade the trees are glazed in. The moon and star embossing is even on the inside bottom. I love the "feet" of the pot and all the incredible details.

I am thinking of storing my incense cones in here or either my hairbands. Or maybe random stones and pebbles I find while one trips. Perhaps I will write a prayer or thought on a slip of paper and tuck them inside. I could collect my perfume samples and store them in here. So many ideas. 

I am beyond excited to have this lovely piece in my home and on my dresser. I am eyeing Samantha's moon phase tealight holder. 

What would you put inside? 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Solstice Scents: Owl Creek Aleworks

Owl Creek Aleworks by Solstice Scents- Notes: Toffee pudding, vanilla, caramel, toasted coconut, hazelnut and sugared pumpkin cream stout. $16

Rolled wet onto skin in a generous layer, coconut caramel rises to the surface. It smells just like the deadly delicious dessert I make featured here. The coconut is sweet and creamy and richly gourmand. My mouth waters with the promise of coconut cream pies, fluffy layered coconut cakes and coconut custards. As the scent burrows into its drydown, a toasted nuttiness appears and the pumpkin stout almost has a barley grain lean to it. The final aroma is a decadent tobacco-leaning vanilla that creates the perfect parting to a sumptuous treat.

This beauty stays close to my skin and the longevity is a few hours. It was a gift from my friend Jean. <3 

I believe Solstice Scents will be releasing their Valentine's collection soon. Have you partaken of any Valentine's releases? I did buy a few from Nocturne Alchemy but that is it so far.