Sunday, September 30, 2018

Ebb & Flow: September 2018

The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Manor

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Holy Terror

Body Oil:
Nocturne Alchemy Santalum 

Firebird Cabin

Bath Potion:
Witch Baby Holy Smokes

Lip Balm:
Blood Moon Botanica Bourbon Vanilla

Wick & Fable The Burrow

Wax Tart:
The Bathing Garden Sleepy

Pillow Mist:
Blood Moon Botanica Lavender Water

Caramel M&Ms and soups

Peppermint and Sleepy Time teas

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Endless amounts of ASMR Rooms thanks to Kate, along with Charmed and Harry Potter

Tony Elman and Harry Potter soundtrack

Chilly weather, sweaters and hot cocoa, bonfires. We have a surprise for the girls coming up soon. My sister Heather is flying in from Houston for the Five Sisters Crafternoon. I am also looking forward to the October collaboration with Deb here on the blog too. 

Nothing really. Maybe October flying by as it tends to do.

Starbucks Maple Pecan Cold Foam

Maui Moisture Curl Quencher Conditioner

Scarlette had a strange allergic reaction and her face became swollen and red. She had to do allergy testing which was very painful for her. It ends up she is highly allergic to ragweed. I felt bad for her about the whole thing but now we know what to stay away from.  

Meeting the Weasley twins! Reading books. Teaching science. Just enjoying the small things this fall. 

How are you doing? Any news? Highs? Lows? Loving anything in particular?

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sihaya & Company: Autumn Delights Box

The Autumn Box was given for free from Sihaya & Co. for photography purposes. All opinions my own.

The deliciously gourmand Autumn Delights Box from Sihaya & Company has landed. Normally the seasonal boxes run $65 each but this one was a little less at $50. 

It included a candle, a wax tart, a lip balm, shower cream, perfume, soap and a trio of lollipops all handcrafted by various talented makers.

Hickory Ridge Soap scented in Pumpkin Apple Butter caught my eye immediately. It is a generous size and smells like pure autumn bliss. Pumpkin pie with gingered spice and a side of apple cider. I took it in the bath last night and it felt wonderful on the skin. It bubbled up merrily and the scent became a little more sweeter with the apple once it was wet and lathering. It rinsed without any tightness. The whipped meringue topping was used as a nice exfoliant. I am very happy to have this soap this fall. It normally runs $7.99 but is currently sold out on the Hickory Ridge Soap website.

Nui Cobalt Designs perfume in A La Mode was nestled inside the box. I am a fan of Forest's scents and was thrilled to see this. 

A La Mode- Notes: A marvelously melty concoction of vanilla bean ice cream, warm dulce de leche drizzle and toasted honeyed almonds. $19

In the bottle this scent fluffs up with pillowy vanilla and sweet soft almond. I can practically taste the Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream on my tongue. Sprinkle some slivered almonds on top with a ribbon of caramel and this is the aroma. On the wrist the vanilla lifts up with a touch of the orchid it derives from wafting gently about. The tender floral aspect fades beautifully, morphing into honey so that the skin is drenched in milk and honey. There is a sweetened condensed milk richness that makes this a warm fragrance. 

I recently had some Epically Epic lip balms gifted to me so I was happy to try this one too. 

Pumpkin S'mores- Notes: Pumpkin spice graham crackers, melted marshmallow, whipped cream, white chocolate and a spoonful of pumpkin pie filling. $3.75

This vegan lip balm goes on buttery smooth and feels nourishing on the lips. The scent is... well... epic. The pumpkin and white chocolate pull through the most with graham crackers coming up close. I don't get any of the spice but it is wonderfully creamy. There is no flavor to the balm. After it fades it leaves the lips feeling nice and smooth and hydrated.

Blooddrop Shower Cream scented in Autumn apple, lush caramel, cream and salted popcorn was included. This is a 4 ounce size when Blooddrop normally comes in a 9 ounce size for $16.50, so this would hover around $8.25. Blooddrop recently closed and the owner, Astrid, has opened up Astrid Perfumes.

I have tried a few things from Blooddrop in the past: bath truffles, perfumes, soaps and her Bath Froth (which I freaking adore). I have never tried her Shower Cream though. It smells of apples and caramel corn. It brings to mind carnivals and fairs, festivals and fall snacks. Unfortunately I am not a fan of popcorn in fragranced items. I will be passing this one on to a friend.

Sihaya & Company always contributes a candle to the box. I love the artwork on the label, the glitter that coats the top and the wonderful scent blends. 

Pecan Toffee Pie- Notes: A decadently sweet slice of pecan pie topped with caramelized pralines and melted toffee bits. $12

This 6.5 ounce candle burns well and throws the scent of dark brown sugar and caramel into the air. It has a cozy and warming aroma that compliments a fall evening without having to be doused in spice (not that I mind spice- but a change is good). It throws about medium-light in the larger living area and a solid medium on the nightstand in my bedroom.

Three sweet lollipop confections were in the box from Leccare Lollipops. These look to run at about $1.25 each on Etsy (linked to their shop in their name above if you want a fast click over). Flavors: Apple Pie, Pumpkin Spice and Chocolate with Caramel and Sea Salt. I ate up the Chocolate one and it was delicious. The sea salt studded into it was the perfect touch. It had a light sweet flavor that was not over powering. It reminded me of a chocolate liqueur flavor. I am tucking the other two away for later enjoyment.

This is the first time I have tried a wax tart or have seen them offered by Sihaya & Company. I believe of these three fall scents, only one was randomly added to the boxes. I have all three so I want to share my thoughts with you. I am not sure what the price point would be on these individually. 

Blackberry Bergamot Tea smells fantastic. The blackberries are clear and sweet and really do have that white tea crispness that makes me yearn for a cup. The bergamot keeps the dark berries from being syrupy or jammy. I am wowed by this blend.

Spiked Oak Barrel Cider holds the spiced apple cider sweetness in check with a small glug of oaken bourbon. Two cubes threw strong in the living area and kitchen. 

Oak Lawn (hot coffee and fresh cinnamon buns) is all about that coffee. The coffee does have a bit of cinnamon laced in there, but the coffee is there, front row. Thankfully it is not the puppy toes coffee some wax vendors use. It actually does smell roasted and toasted. 

The wax is soft in these, making for easy breaking. Sometimes they will pop out of the clamshell in one piece and sometimes they don't. But the fragrance load is high and I am looking forward to melting the Blackberry one next. 

If the retail value of the clamshell is $5 then the total value of this box is $60, which is a nice box to get for $50. 

I am on pins and needles awaiting the Sisterhood of the Moon box that is shipping in mid-October. 
Have any plans this weekend? We are about to go and pick up some trash around a lake for the girls' school then I get some lunch and sister time with Lindsey. Other than that I am fully absorbed with reading and maybe some perfume testing.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Fall Fun Friday: Reading & Watching

Today on the Fall Fun Friday series Jay, Sandra and I will be chatting about what will be reading, watching and/or listening to this fall. 

For my part I will mostly be gushing about all the books I want to read. 

In the photo above you will see the first two in the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I have been wanting to read these books for ages and witchy books and October go hand in hand. You will see Name the Wind on that shelf too. I aim to read that this winter or next year. I hear great things about it.

I picked up House of Leaves at the library not too long ago. It piqued my interest due to its unique ergodic style and its description as both a horror story and a love story. I have a feeling it will stretch my brain. I just hope it doesn't frustrate me too much. 

I am currently reading Steinbeck's East of Eden.

I love the bright orange cover and animal illustrations. It is a beautiful read so far.

This is a book I picked up while in Savannah and I think it would be another fun October read. The Graveyard Book is a children's story but an award winner that I think I will enjoy.

Lastly, I hope to start the Mercy Thompson series. My friend Tricia gifted me these and I cannot wait to tear into them. 

I am still watching Charmed and of course some mandatory Harry Potter viewings will take place. The girls, Adam and I are looking forward to the next installment of Fantastic Beasts on the big screen. 

I am listening to Tony Elman's Appalachian music and the Potter sound track and Midnight Syndicate at the moment. 

Don't forget to check out:

What are you planning on reading, watching or listening to this fall? Have you read any of these? Any favorites? Will you watch the newest Fantastic Beasts film?

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Wick & Fable: The Burrow Candle

A new Wick & Fable candle was lit last night. 

The Burrow- Notes: Freshly baked treacle tart and whipped cream. $16 for 8 ounce candle

I mainly wanted this because I do love everything about The Burrow but also treacle tarts taste delicious. This one was an anomaly as far as how it burned. This one is tunneling a little, leaving some unmelted wax on the sides despite burning for long periods of time. The scent smells of warm caramel and cream. The throw was lighter on this one too. Pretty much light to medium-light in the larger living areas and medium-light to medium throw in my bedroom. 

So pretty much just an atmospheric candle with a hint of scent which is not cool for a $16 candle, but I guess they can't all be winners. I have certainly had this happen with Yankee and Bath & Body Works from time to time. 

I will put this one by the bathtub and light a new one for the living room this weekend.

Even though I cannot visit The Burrow I can still visit the Weasley twins. And that is just as cool. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Vintage Chic Scents: Stranger Things Release

After placing a very small order with Kirby at Vintage Chic Scents during her Rocky Horror Picture Show release, it finally hit me... Kirby isn't just sticking to 1960 and older themes any longer! And sure enough when the newest release was announced and it was Stranger Things, I had to admit I was excited that she broadened her branding. The older "vintage" themes are fun of course, but I am sure after so long that they become hard to keep up, becoming more and more obscure as ideas are used. 

I have discovered after years of melting Kirby's goodies that I am a huge fan of her spiced bakery scents. Edelweiss is my personal favorite of the bunch. But I did branch out and try other blends this time. 

I picked up a loaf in:

Spiced Pumpkin Embeds with Gingersnap Jackie O Overpour  for $19.10 plopped into my cart. All the spicy pumpkin with marshmallow birthday cake and Vanilla Bean Noel sounded just like what I needed. And I did. It smells like a chewy gingerbread cookie sandwich with fluffy vanilla frosting smeared in between. The spice is not overwhelming but it is definitely gingerbread with lots and lots of sweet vanilla creaminess. It threw medium-strong in the kitchen and living areas. I am thrilled with this choice and will be looking into exploring more spiced Jackie O scents.

I also picked up a few Four Packs of her coins. 

Should I Stay or Should I Go? - Notes: Sugared apple pumpkin clove butter. $5.30

I saw apple clove butter and was sold. It is one of my favorite scents from Beezy. This one proved to be just as good. Just a hint of creamy spiced pumpkin is joined with the sweet spiced applesauce of apple clove butter. I love this one on cold so much that I went ahead and picked this scent up in the bars just last night.

Remember my love of Edelweiss? I picked up two Four Packs of Pumpkin Edelweiss for $5.30 each. Gently spiced gingerbread cake with thick frosting is blended with pumpkin pie. It is less gingery than the loaf above but a touch more rich in pumpkin. I saw that Edelweiss is offered in pie slices so I put a few of those in my cart last night too.

Hawkin's Lab  interested me with it's description of spiced autumn wreath. It is nice aroma of crisp leaves and dry apple cinnamon. It has been ages since I have sniffed Yankee Candle's Autumn Wreath but this makes me want to. I think between the name and the scent, that this is a happy combination.

I am excited to see that the individual leaf shapes are for sale now. Sometimes I just want to sample a scent before I dive into a Four Pack or a loaf. These were $2.90 each. 

Murder House Coven- Notes: Spiced pumpkin, cinnamon bark and cloves.

A deep pumpkin and heavy spice fragrance. It is strange but there is almost a sweet black tea vibe to it. Maybe all the spice is bringing chai to mind. But I like it.

Cozy Jackie O meshes warm spices and marshmallow birthday cake noel. Simply put. I need this in a loaf. Please. Another great example of Kirby's talent with creamy spiced bakery. Deeply in love. 

Have you picked anything up from Vintage Chic Scents lately? Are you excited about fall? 

What are you melting?

Monday, September 24, 2018

Solstice Scents: Guardian and Flintlock

As much perfume oil as I have been collecting over the last few years, I still have a soft place in my heart for EDP fragrances. I love to have the scent of a beloved perfume lingering on a sweater or in my hair. I enjoy encountering a snippet of aromatic memory on a soft scarf or cardigan.  Plus sometimes spraying with abandon just feels good.

Angela at Solstice Scents was experimenting with creating EDP fragrances right about the time I really fell in love with her scents. I remember being over the moon about this new venture, and I still very much am. I have a few of her scents in a full 60 ml bottle and recently acquired two more when The Rhinestone Housewife closed her doors. I actually bought three but one came broken and completely emptied. I was a touch heartbroken (it was Wolf Spirit).

Thankfully Guardian and Flintlock arrived intact. I had sampled Guardian previously and knew I delighted in it. Flintlock was a blind buy with no regrets. 

Guardian- Notes: Natural forest amber chypre blend with amber, sandalwood, vetiver, patchouli, oakmoss, white sage, desert sage, pinyon, spikenard, oud and more in undenatured organic cane sugar alcohol. 

My review from the first time I sampled it:
A crystalline chypre that starts with an aged bergamot and golden aldehyde nuance that reflects tawny motes swimming in liquid late afternoon sunlight pouring into an old growth forest. The dancing orbs float down to rest in the carefully formed nest of a forest creature. Quietly animalic, plush with oakmoss and grassy vetiver, crisp pine needles and sage, soft as a lamb's ear. The base of the scent cradles that classic chypre finale of smooth creamy sandalwood and sepia toned musk. The sun has set and the gloaming rolls in. The motes settle and rest for the night in the warmth of the wood.
Stunning scent. Beautifully executed.

I still feel the same way about this scent. It is an oakmoss and bergamot masterpiece. Gold dappled ferns and peachy citrus glimmers melt into smooth velvety soft moss and woodsy musk. This is a beautiful scent to wear in summer and fall. I have a feeling it will be wonderful in a Florida winter as well.

Flintlock- Notes: Tobacco, saddle leather, Virginia cedar, black pepper, woods, bayberry and evergreens.

Flintlock reminds me of the horseback riding excursion our family took last year in the Smoky Mountains. Creaking saddles and the warm flannel blankets that lie underneath to pad the horse, peppery bayberry and Eastern Red Cedars line the trails along with wild hemlock and pine. The lead trail guide trails the faint scent of chewing tobacco, sweet and mild from a pouch. Closing my eyes under the sway of the trot I can imagine how this would be for Jamie and Claire Fraser riding horseback through the Appalachians up to their home on the Ridge in the late 1700's. 

Flintlock is dead sexy. The cedar, light leather and tobacco are spiced by the bayberry and pepper and meld beautifully. The leather is marvelously tame. My skin pulls the trees and spice forward the most. It is a perfect scent for this time of year. But I will definitely wear it during the other seasons too.

I picked up Hidden Lodge in the full size EDP which is an old favorite of mine from way back. I would love to have Night Watcher one day too. 

What is your favorite Solstice Scents EDP?

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Good Morning

Good morning! 

The last few weeks full of parent/teacher conferences have finally come to close as of yesterday afternoon. I enjoy chatting with parents and having students lead their own conferences and set their own goals. I will admit that it does take larger amounts of emotional energy from me than a typical day teaching does. I am happy to have them checked off the list. 

My students are currently working on two big projects, a Creation Story project based off of any culture of their choice and research of their Historical Timeline person of interest from the 1700-1899 time period. I am learning so much about The Golden Chain, Pangu and more. There are some really cool creation stories out there. 

This weekend we are trying to relax a bit. My debit card was compromised (again- it was this summer too). So I have to go to the bank and get a new one. I am thinking someone at Sonic has a card reader and is up to no good. It is quite coincidental that both times it was right after I went to Sonic. Not going there any more. 

The most exciting part of this weekend is MegaCon in Tampa! I hope to share some photos from that later. <3

What are you up to? How do you keep debit card fraud down? I am thinking of just taking cash out and going the old fashioned way. Have you ever been to a Con? SHOULD I DRESS UP????

Friday, September 21, 2018

Fall Fun Friday: Fall Scents Abound

Welcome to Fall Fun Friday! This six week series will be hosted by my friends Jay, Sandra and myself. I will post links to their blogs down below. 

This first post in the series will feature some of my current favorite fall fragrances. 

Lately I have been craving tobacco and leaves, resins and spice. Some of these are old loves and some are newer.

Serge Lutens Chergui is a stunning aroma full of deep woodsy fruits and tobacco. 

Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles slinks about with juicy pine that is warm and flush.

Solstice Scents Foxcroft tumbles about the skin like leaves blown in an autumnal breeze. 

Solstice Scents Vanilla Pipe Tobacco feels right anytime to be honest but adds an extra layer of cozy during the fall. 

Tauer L'air du Desert Marocain and Tauer Attar are perfect once the air becomes more crisp. Again, truly they are perfect anytime but I tend to enjoy the comforting spice of Desert and the smoky warmth of Attar once it gets cooler.

Wylde Ivy Autumn Twilight's sweet spiced cider musk is sugary and sparkling, light hearted and easy.

Sixteen92 Death By Stereo wears like a leaf strewn nag champa and The Bell Witch is a wonderful blend of earthy apples and pumpkins.

Arcana Wildcraft Cake Lust and Undead Gentleman scratch that sweet gourmand tobacco itch that I get sometimes. 

Arcana Wildcraft's Quelle Horreur brings to life a spooky French Quarter evening with dark gardenias and haunting musk. Again, more tobacco. Mmmm.

Arcana Wildcraft Cottage Witch also rings my chimes this time of year. Spiced ginger cookies and a bounty of fall harvest treats delight the senses.

Nocturne Alchemy Halloween 2017 delights with rich vanilla and a side of cardamom and sandalwood. 

Nocturne Alchemy Pumpkin #15 is full of copal and oudh and those resins make the pumpkin pie so smooth and deep. This one has sold out already but a quick restock is taking place later this morning. It is one not to be missed.

My fall candle collection houses a typical classic or two and some newbies from the Wick and Fable line.

Bath & Body Works Leave because I am perfectly fine being basic. 

Timberwick Ember Glow warms with its softly spiced woods and crackling wick. 

Wick & Fable candles in Mordor, Gryffindor, The Burrow and Hog's Head Inn will all be reviewed as I burn them but they have components of spice, woods, fireplaces or some other snug note that makes me think of fall. (You know, since I am from Florida and I have to borrow the typical temperate fall that we lack).

Wax scents that I look forward to melting this fall:

Ten Digit Creations Practical Magic is a lovely earthy incense that reminds me I need to read the book. Also the Haunted Soul/Pipe Tobacco/Vintage Vanilla skull is going to be pretty spectacular. 

Dessa's Homespun Scents October blends all my favorite fall notes.

Candles From The Keeping Room Butternut Pumpkin and Pumpkin Firewood both won me over as some of my favorite pumpkins. Butternut Pumpkin is rich and spicy and a touch rustic while Pumpkin Firewood is simple the best pumpkin bonfire/fireside/campfire scent I have smelled yet. 

Lasting Scent Candles Toasted Pumpkin Latte is one of the few coffee scents I enjoy. Creamy, sweet and delicious. Pam's Pumpkin Poke Cake is yummy too. 

MooScents The Rumpkin is bittersweet. SO much lavender pumpkin beauty but this is the very last one I have and there is no more to be had. Especially since Moona herself announced her stepping back to only do perfume while Paul (the guy who ran MooScents) now takes over everything else for MoonaLisa. So I doubt he will be doing MooScents anytime soon. Or ever.

Please pop over to:

We hope you join us for this series and please chime in with your current fall favorites in fragrances. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Mermaid Treasure: Freyja Jewels

Check out my new mandrake buddy. Isn't he the sassiest?! This mandrake was hand crafted by Freyja Jewels and sold through Kate and Marie's Etsy store. I have only had interactions with Kate but I am not really sure who forges which creations. These mandrakes are hand cast and hand sculpted. These are truly one-of-a-kind pieces. Only 50 will be made in total. 

In fact, he is lightly numbered on his back. I think mine is 32/50. 

Look at those legs. They make me chuckle.

He comes on an 18" necklace with a 2" extender. I love to wear him with my broomstick (Nimbus 2000, ahem) necklace from Sam Ryde. 

The customer service from Freyja is fabulous, the silver jewelry pieces are fanciful and unique, and they accept payment options. 

Do you have any fandom jewelry? 

Monday, September 17, 2018

Melting Basket 127

Wax from the fall basket that I would love to melt again are Beezy Apple Clove Butter, Dessa's Harvest Moon, LSC Cabin Fever, CFTKR Olde Town Bake Shoppe and Warm and Cozy, Golden Willow Wax Fall on the Fruit Loop.

Bohemienne Life- Stache
Bohemienne Life- Bella Bohemienne
Vintage Chic Scents- Cookie Monster in Salem
The Bathing Garden- Sleepy
Beezy- Apple Clove Butter
Dessa- Apples & Cinnamon
CFTKR- Fire Roasted Marshmallow
CFTKR- Country Charm
CFTKR- Leaves
CFTKR-Ultimate Sugar Cookie
Rosegirls- Ooey Gooey Caramel Tobacco <3 gift
Zeep- Gather 'Round <3 gift

If you would like me to review any of these scents in detail, just holler. Below are a couple that were requested last time.

A couple warmed reviews:

Golden Willow Wax Fall on the Fruit Loop. This one, well, threw me for a loop. I was expecting the Spiced Apples and Peaches but I figured Fruit Loops would be in there too. I really only picked up the spiced apples in peaches but they were yummy and it melted medium in my kitchen. You can see this one in the warmer above. I would consider repurchasing it. I have yet to order from Golden Willow but I think I should.

Vintage Chic Scents Riff Raff's Cozy Cocktail is a bourbon pumpkin bonfire blend. It sounds like it would be right up my alley but that bonfire smells similar to Bonfire Bliss FO and I don't really care for that sweet version. It melted strong and after the bonfire wore off it did smell like a nice woodsy pumpkin but not one I would repurchase. I did order some wax from VSC from the Stranger Things restock. 

So normally I have begun the Fall Fun Series around these parts on the first week of September but things are a little different. Jay and Sandra and I will be doing a shorter fall celebration and then Deb and I will be doing an October and perhaps a November word of the day type posting. My typical reviews will still be posted but the word or theme of the day will follow after or be tied into it. 

I cannot believe September is already half over. I see some cooler temps in the forecast and it has me giddy. I ended up baking the first apple pie of the season on Sunday. Today I have a teacher work day so it is pretty chill. I will be attending a few conferences then planning some lessons. 

What are you up to today? How is your week looking? 

Do you like apple pie?

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Wick and Fable: Tea With Hagrid Candle

Good morning! I am ready for a lazy Sunday. Well, not too lazy. I have plans today of sweeping and picking up my clothes and baking the first apple pies of the season with the girls. My grandfather is not doing too well so we will be swinging by to give him a small apple pie. But other than that I plan on being kinda lazy. Watching some Charmed, reading some Poe. And having this lovely candle nearby to sniff. 

Wick & Fable's Tea With Hagrid blends Early Grey tea leaves, shaved nutmeg and spiced caramel into a cozy tea blend. The nutmeg and spices are very, very tame in this one. In fact, I don't even really pick up on them. This is mostly a tea scent. A clear, sweet tea that is lightly steeped and softly floral. It burns beautifully with a white wax that swirls with fine glitter. The throw is medium in my large living area. It pairs companionably with my current fall wax melting. I love the label art. 

This 8 ounce candle runs $16 at regular price but I purchased it during their BOGO 1/2 off sale. 

I would consider purchasing this candle again. I am slowly coming around to tea-based scents and this a well crafted, subtle tea to cut my teeth on. I do wish the spice was a bit more prominent but I am sure those who are spice adverse appreciate it just the way it is. 

I just mostly wish I could actually have tea with Hagrid.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Guest Post- Nocturne Alchemy: BES

Good morning! Today I have a guest post from a fellow fragrance lover and friend, Lizzie. We met in the Arcana Wildcraft group and when our paths crossed in the wax community we struck up a friendship.

I had an opportunity today to try out a scent from the Nocturne Alchemy permanent collection.

My first experience with clove as a scent note in perfume oil was with Nocturne Alchemy "Vanilla Rose and Clove" from their Limited Edition Valentine's Day release. As a committed a Rose hater, I fell surprisingly hard for this one. I told a friend of mine that Vanilla Rose and Clove was like the movie Heathers. I envision the scent as Winona Ryder looking bored while smoking a clove cigarette over one of the other Heathers' Rose strewn coffin (!). She was so cool, so aloof, so beautiful. Dirty and gorgeous. Just like Vanilla Rose and Clove. It's my idea of goth magic... anyhow, this scent put clove on my radar (and made me rethink being a Rose hater!) and thanks to a Facebook connection, I had an opportunity to try another clove scent: Nocturne Alchemy BES

"Vanilla Cream Vapour, Caramelized Egyptian Sugar Dust, Vanilla Musk, Cardamom, Sandalwood and Egyptian Black Clove Buds"

BES is absolutely drool worthy. The cardamom and clove notes when inhaled from the bottle together remind me a bit of Garam Masala, an Indian spice blend which is similar to the American Pumpkin Pie Spice which is so readily available in autumn. Garam literally means "heat the body", and in that vein, this is a very warm foodie scent. Minus the cinnamon, and adding in the cream and caramalized sugar, this smells like a decadent Indian spiced version of Creme Brûlée. Dripping the perfumed oil upon the skin akin to breaking the crisp warmed burnt sugar crust and beneath finding the delicious spicy vanilla custard. Every sniff of the wrist allows you to experience chipping away at the caramelized crust and digging into the cool custard waiting for you all over again. It's linear, it's fabulous and it's "Nom, Nom" good. I would imagine that layering this perfume or Vanilla Rose and Clove with NAVA rice milk could create a lovely interpretation of my very favorite Indian dessert, Kheer. If I can detach my nose from my wrist long enough to apply a second scent for layering, I could confirm. I believe Heather would approve. 

(Photo from

(Garam Masala will include coriander, cumin, cardamom, cloves, black pepper, cinnamon, and nutmeg. You can find the blend at most grocery stores which carry Indian foods. The next time you make Pumpkin Bread, try substituting Pumpkin Spice with Garam Masala) 

My name is Lizzie. I am a northern transplant and a mother of two sets of twins living outside of Atlanta, Georgia. When I am not contemplating the latest Indie Perfume releases, you can find me carpooling children to dance classes, sketching on my art pad, reading from the library of Golden Age Detection, and teaching aerobics. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Poisoner's Guild: Ave Victoria

I am a card holding member of The Poisoner's Guild. No, no. Adam is fine. No need to rush off and alert the authorities. The wizard cops need not fear this mellow muggle. The Poisoner's Guild is a group of scentcrafters that curate boxes of fragrant darkling offerings. I missed the inaugural box but this second collection made it to my doorstep. It is named Ave Victoria, how was I to miss a Victorian themed aroma experience? The box was $45 and arrived a little later than predicted due to some supplying issues. Not a problem for me as they kept the FB group posted, however if I was not a member I would have been concerned.

The box arrived and exceeded my breathless expectations. Especially in the packaging arena.

All the dried botanicals were simply lovely. And see how there is a handkerchief that wraps around the description cards? After traveling about with the incense the hankie was so pleasantly scented.

A sticker and two artistic cards arrived in the box. One tells the tale of a Victorian era female poisoner and the other sets the tone for the box with a deathly dessert. Then of course is my membership card.

Alkemia created a perfume oil for the box in the scent Cyanide.

Cyanide- Notes: Creamy oleander blossoms, absinthe liqueur and iron distilled patchouli delicately bathed in a non-toxic perfumer's accord of potassium cyanide. 

From the amber vial rises up the aroma of sweet and boozy almond. Grazed onto the delicate skin of the wrists arises powdery almond sweetness and lightly spiced absinthe. The heart of Cyanide releases a narcotic flower perfume that is powdery with a lemony honey nectar oozing from its intimate bosom. As the toxin runs through its course it dries down into that clear patchouli with subtle traces of the oleander lingering softly on the fringes.

My first vials of Hexennacht perfumes arrived via this experience in the scents Morphine and Laudanum.

Morphine- Notes: Steamed milk, lavender buds, honeyed apricots, chamomile tea, honey and white amber.

Sweet chewy dried apricots and creamy lavender float up like a hazy dream from the dram. applied topically, Morphine emerges with milky notes that merge with peachy apricot to create a peaches and cream blend with honey drizzled on top. The heart of Morphine holds candied lavender amid the apricots and honey. It is delicious and crystalline and I want to like it like a lollipop. The dry down gets a touch earthier once chamomile seeps in but stays nicely sweet.

Laudanum- Notes: Opium, saffron, ambergris accord, black currant, plum, bergamot, nutmeg, vanilla, black oak, cedar, smoked patchouli, amber, amyris, black pepper, vetiver and white musk. 

I love this scent. Laudanum fragrances always appeal to me. From the vial an intoxicating vapor smolders with darkness, black opium and ebony amber. On the skin the opium wraps its sooty smoothness around the senses. It possesses an ambery warmth that turns slightly animalic from the ambergris accord. Laudanum is dark and cozy, woodsy and warm, smoldering with resins. It is gorgeous.

Strange Fire & Fumery included a travel tin candle and incense.

The candle is in Ether which blends elderflower, moonflower and ozone. This small tin scented my bedroom with beautiful gauzy flowers and freshness. It is a lovely candle and burns well.

Opium incense features dragon's blood, jasmine and devil's trumpet. Twenty sticks were generously included and they smell excellent and burn easily yet slowly. Opium produced a heady resinous incense that filled the room wonderfully. 

A tin of handcrafted teas and four parma violet candies were the last bits of divinity to emerge from the petal strewn box. 

Steepology teas in Earl Grey de la Creme, Lemon Mint Cooler and Royal Velvet.  I steeped and drank the Lemon Mint Cooler and it was nice. It turned a bright pinkish red color and had that fruity taste that Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger has. If it was more of a lemon and mint I probably would have enjoyed it a touch more but I do look forward to drinking the other two. 

The parma violet candies are a pleasant hard candy treat. I will happily enjoy them. 

I am happy with this purchase. The box was presented beautifully with great attention to detail. The items within are all crafted with passion and talent. I would be up for purchasing another Poisoner's Guild box in the future.