Thursday, January 31, 2019

Ebb & Flow: January 2019

The highs and lows of the month.

Solstice Scents Hidden Lodge

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Venus Exalted: Tenderness

Body Oil:
Blood Moon Botanica Black Poplar Oil

Pillow Spray:
Poesie Perfumes Queen of Air & Darkness

MoonaLisa Bath Salts

Bohemienne Life Raven's Myst

Bath & Body Works Marshmallow Fireside

Beezy Lavender & Mint

Lip Gloss/Balm:
Bite Beauty Agave Lip Masks

Kombucha, water and teas.

Chopped salads with kale, carrots, apples, nuts and seeds.

Adam play FallOut. SkinWars on Netflix and Stranger Things again but with Savanna.

The last book in the All Souls Trilogy, The Book of Life.

Lord of the Rings soundtracks

Just bought plane tickets for my daughters, sister and I to head to Salem, Massachusetts in October for a girls bonding weekend. I know it seems forever away but I am totally stoked about it already. Pinterest board here I come! Feel free to leave me any tips. I know it will be a crowed, crazy time to go but it will also be magical. The only thing I am stressing on is a place to stay since hotels are already booking up fast. But crossing my fingers one room will still be around by the time I can book it. Hit me up with your fave places to eat, shop, explore!


Sea Witch Botanicals soaps

Recess CBD Sparkling Water... it tasted ok... kinda herbal in flavor but I couldn't tell a difference in my relaxation or alertness. And for the price I kinda want to tell a difference ($30 for a 6-pack sampler which is what I got). If I did go back for an 8 pack it would be either the peach or blackberry chai ($40). So basically a semi-miss. I *might* try it again to be sure but I am not sold.

Still feeling blue about missing Pop-Pop. Drove by his house the other day and missed him terribly. Trying to get into a routine again. A healthy one. Some days I rock it. Some days I don't. 

Have been reading a lot. That has felt nice. Also have had several vegetarian days which made me feel good. I enjoyed the garden my friend Giffe took me to, that was a lot of fun. Planting the garden in the backyard into a fairy filled wildflower bed has been nice. I won't even begin to tell you how many poppy flowers I planted. I am riding the high of teaching Life Science right now. Gimme all the bugs and plants and cells and animals. So much fun to teach. 

How has your January gone? How do you feel about CBD sparkling water? The ultimate hipster drink or maybe there is something to it?

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft: Haint, Tinderbox and Krampus Cones

These are the babies I picked up from Julia at Arcana Wildcraft back in November/December. Julia recently opened her webstore back up after a little holiday hiatus to chill and revive. As of right now and until February 15th, Krampus Cones and Tinderbox ($26 each) are currently in stock but if you come across them in a destash or they return one day they are certainly worth checking out.

Haint- Notes: The sweet, melancholy essence of a Southern ghost drifting through dark mountain hollows and neo-classical mansions. White musk, vanilla musk, Madagascar vanilla, sugarcane and a faint trail of white pepper.
Haint is a legend among Arcana fans. Often revered and highly sought after for years, Julia was able to bring it back to life after a long hiatus. If I was to be an indie perfume blogger worth her salt I needed to buy this. I am glad I did. It is lovely, indeed. On my skin Haint hovers like a vanilla skin musk ever so gauzy and gossamer. The white pepper lends a human element to the musk so that it is more earthen and suggestive rather than scrubbed clean. A Gothic beauty in every way. 

Tinderbox- Notes: The essence of a baroque case filled with tempered firesteel, flint and linen charcloth: resinous black amber, woodsmoke, sweet mallow root, frankincense, cubeb and sandalwood. 
Tinderbox has been a long time coming. I have eyed this one for a good five years. The notes all ring my chimes but then I would ask myself how many smoky scents do I need? I was remiss to wait to long to pick this one up. It is the king of smoky scents. The reigning royal of all things charred, warm and fiery. This has that cozy hearth fire appeal like warm sooty bricks and black bellied wood burning stoves. It is not sweet, not acrid, not ashy but realistic and comforting. I do feel like I want to wear a flannel shirt and jeans on a chilly day when I wear this. A delight. As it wears, arid woods and sun warmed spicy resins make an appearance. 

Krampus Cones- Notes: Cold black pepper ice cream with vanilla bean specks, a swirl of dark caramel and a bit of accursed waffle cone. 
I love Krampus Cones. It was a gift with purchase scent for the Yules back in 2017 and I fell hard for it. In the bottle it is an intense vanilla with almost a touch of human gaminess to it, don't be scared. Once on the skin it morphs rather quickly, passing through that awkward intensity, running through a vein of spice and then landing into this stunning chilly vanilla that smells expensive and charming. The dark caramel is infused with tonka and musky pepper and curls and ribbons through the scent like an embroidery floss of smoke. It is one that needs to be worn to be appreciated. It is subtle, sweet and softly smoky, drying down into a sweet golden amber syrup. 

These two lovelies were gifts with purchases. 

White Fire- Notes: Incense-laced red musk, white amber, tart kumquat, woodsmoke, caramel, maple sugar and a curl of smoky frankincense and myrrh. 
Like many perfume oils this one simply cannot be judged by sniffing from the bottle. Putting it on is totally necessary. Tart citrus and bitter pith flicker up from the wrist when dabbed on. Within a few minutes a sinuous dragon of incense smoke swells underneath, allowing the snappy kumquat to shimmer unabated in green and white hues. There is a push and pull dynamic to this one. It is complex. There is earthy incense and smoke with a powerful grounding feel, yet there is also bittersweet wild citrus and stark white amber and these poke and prod with their intensity. The deeper incense resins pull though and shine in the base of the scent. This is one that needs to be worn, it is worth exploring. I have a feeling it is a shifter on people. 

Riot & Dishonor- Notes: Broken glass, smashed pumpkin pie, spilled ale, rum-laced eggnog, cannabis, whiskey and shattered gold and amber jewelry.
Fresh on the skin Riot smacks of honeyed whiskey sauce on a cooled pumpkin pie. Boozy hops joins the festivities briefly. It must be a spiced lager from the local brewery. It smells divine and it only gets better. The tipsy gourmand aroma melts into a pool of creamy vanilla in the heart of the scent. There isn't tobacco listed in the notes but that insinuation develops on my skin and I adore it. It settles in to a marriage of honeyed vanilla and amber that wafts beautifully from the skin.

The Yules do come down the 15th of February like I mentioned but the Valentine's scents are up there right now. Anodyne sounds like one I would want to wear to bed: peppermint, chamomile, honey, rice wine and copaiba. Mmmmmm. What scent notes are you craving right now? I have a mean hankering for patchouli and vanilla and evergreens right now. I think it is all this cold weather. 

Monday, January 28, 2019

Fox Fire Wax & Bath Co.

These wax tarts were sent free from Fox Fire. All opinions are my own.

Fox Fire Wax sent over some fantastic looking wax not too long ago for me to try out. Fox Fire is a sister company to Baroness X, a nail polish company. The company derives its branding and theme after a Finnish fox tromping in the arctic with snow and the Northern lights abound. The wax molds feature icebergs, faceted snowballs and geometric bars as well as scent shots in prices ranging from $2 (scent shot) to $8 (6 ounce iceberg). 

Everything arrived nicely with only one geometric bar broken along one of the facets. Their wax is a parasoy blend with the shapes being in limited RTS scents while the scent shots appear to be poured as ordered in any scent choice.

I originally saw these geometric bars offered from Purple Fox wax but have never actually had them for use. I like the way they snap easily and store easily. They are a little over 3 ounces and run $4. The wax is decorated with some fine glitter that is within the wax and not just laying on top. I have three scents in the Ice Crystal Breakaway Bars to show you. 

Old World Christmas- Notes: Inviting notes of citrus, cinnamon and clove.
This one is a lovely warm scent of sweet candied oranges and soft spice. There is almost a gummy quality to the oranges and a mouthwatering intensity. I snapped a few pieces off the bar and put them in my living room and kitchen warmers. They threw a solid medium strength that created a cozy atmosphere. The spice was very chill and the majority of the scent was that nice warm citrus.

I Want A Pink Xmas Tree- Notes: Light powdery evergreen with a touch of berries, tart green apples and whipped sugar.
I was wondering if this would be a Pink Sugar Christmas blend but it isn't. The Christmas tree scent is indeed powdery and light while the fruits are sweet and flirty. It smells like a blushing pink body splash that would be glittering with holographic shimmer on a Bath & Body Works shelf. This one I melted in my bedroom and it gave a medium throw. 

Essence of Greenery- Notes: Mac apples and a bushel of greenery and a touch of citrus.
I love this beautiful scent. The apples and greenery are a match made in heaven. Sweet and sap filled and spring-like. The plants possess the airy vegetal perfume of hyacinths and freesia.

Three faceted Snowballs were included (2.5 ounces for $3.10).

Spektroliitista- Notes: Smells like a fire on a cool beach with scents of sea salt and light smoke.
This one is a strange bird for me. It does have a salty smoke aroma but the freshness of the sea salt doesn't seem to meld well with the fire aspect. The smoke is more charcoal and ash rather than beach bonfire but it does lend that chilliness to the effect. It is is reminiscent of laundry and spent embers. 

Black Fig & Cedar Sachets- Notes: Fruity, earthy black fig and fresh cedar.
I appreciate this scent. The dry cedar pairs well with the green milky coconut vibe of the fig and it makes for a sophisticated fragrance. It threw strong in the living area and kitchen but the figs became a little cloying after a while.

Chai House- Notes: Freshly brewed chai with a touch of cinnamon and a coconut macaron on the side.
This is one of my favorites from the bunch. The chai is sweet and creamy and the coconut macaron also carries a touch of pistachio or almond creaminess. The chai is true to scent, brimming with all the savory spices characteristic of the tea. I really love the ivory whipped cream color of the wax with the smattering of coppery glitter that reminds me of cinnamon dusting a frothy chai latte. It melted with a medium strength in the kitchen and living area.

Three mini icebergs were part of the package but I do not see these listed in the store. I think these may be their free sample format? They are cute and one iceberg would make for a good sized melt of about 1 ounce or so. 

Blood Orange & Black Pepper- Notes: Tangy blood orange, bergamot, spicy peppercorn and a hint of oakmoss.
This is a vibrant and wonderful aroma. Juicy technicolor oranges entwine with suave spice. Very well done.

Woodland Medley- Notes: Bright citrus, muscadine, violet leaf, patchouli, clove and mixed berries.
This is a scent fit for Dionysus. Plump clusters of grapes, harvest fruits, spiced wine and earth all combine to make a heady experience straight out of Napa Valley. Lovely. It also threw strong.

Demi's Waffles- Notes: Pecan waffles with extra whipped cream and Vermont maple syrup.
Delicious! This is a well done sweet pancake scent with just a hint of maple syrup. This is not the full blown dense fragrance of Pumpkin Pecan Waffles that typically accompanies a pancake scent but it does have that toothsomeness that PPW is famous for. This one threw strong in my bedroom, making a sweet cozy environment.

- Crisp branding.
- Easy to navigate website.
- Affordable prices.
- Actual shipping rates (one large wax tart was $3 to ship).
- Nice wax blend.
- Interesting scent blends.
- Professional customer service.
- Pour dates listed on label.

- Small scent list.
- Not clear if there are any house blends or if they are all straight fragrance oils, many of them certainly are single oils (Purple Cow, Snow Fairy, so on).

Overall, Fox Fire is a wonderful place to get a wax fix. I really love the look of their large iceberg wax tart with a wee polar bear on it. I would be happy to place an order there when I get back to ordering wax after the move. 

Have you tried Fox Fire or any other new-to-you wax vendors?

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Mermaid Treasure: Dida Metals Necklace

The moment Rachel from Dida Metals released a photo of these Luna Lovegood Spectrespecs she created by hand on her Instagram account my ears rang with the buzz of nargles and I felt like I had swallowed a dram of amortentia. I sweetly asked Adam if Santa could perhaps stick this necklace into my stocking for Christmas. And Santa came through!!! 

The Spectrespecs are made with faceted pink and blue chalcedony stones set in a silver hand sawed frame. This necklace is dainty but present and looks amazing when worn. 

I cannot wait to go back to the Wizarding World with these cuties on my neck. 

Do you have any artisan geeky jewelry you love?

Friday, January 25, 2019

Melting Basket 135

Wax melts from the last basket, the last one of 2018, that I enjoyed and would melt again: Beezy Amish Quilt, VCS Central Park Snowglobe, CFTKR Warm & Cozy and Three Ravens Covenstead.

Bohemienne Life- Mabon
Bohemienne Life- Medieval
Bohemienne Life- Blackberry Bordeaux Cookie
Bohemienne Life- 3rd Eye
CFTKR- Alpine Cheer
CFTKR- Smoked Vanilla
CFTKR- Woodland Festival
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Country Store
Zeep- 221B <3 gift
Sniff My Tarts- Blue Sugar/Frostbite/Fireside
Black Violet- Alone in the Forest <3 gift

The birbs are back! Most of my winter birds have returned to visit the feeders. The suet cake is whittling away, the seeds are scattered every evening and the chirps and birdsong wake me every morning.

I am spotting some new fellas and some old friends have yet to return but there are still a few months let before they leave me again. I decided against replanting the garden with neat rows of veggies. Instead I threw caution to the wind and randomly planted wildflowers all over. Honestly, out of everything I grew last year the wildflowers offered me the most joy and right now that happiness is all I am looking to harvest. 

These photos of my very first Eastern Bluebird sighting are fuzzy since I was deathly afraid of scaring them away. I took the photo from inside my house where a sliding glass door and a screened in porch separated us. But they were so cute and I am thrilled to have seen them.

Getting back into the routine of school and work offers a solace of its own. Strangely I find myself looking a calendar in shock and realizing January is just about gone. 

Some things that I will be working on posting about in the next week:
Fox Fire wax tarts
Sawdust & Embers candles
Arcana Wildcraft perfumes
the most killer Luna Lovegood necklace ever

Are you glad January is almost over or do you wish it would linger?

Monday, January 21, 2019

Sea Witch Botanicals: Soaps

Sea Witch Botanicals drifted through the threshold of my home via two separate friends at two different times within a few months of each other last year. One friend Jay sent me some incense and an unscented Hufflepuff bar soap and my other friend Julia gifted me three scented soaps. Everything I have tried has been exquisite. Sea Witch Botanicals utilizes only plant based, all-natural ingredients, their business practices meet high social and environmental standards and 1% of their revenue is donated to environmental conscious charities. Sea Witch products are organic, fair trade sourced and green as possible. 

Each bar soap came wrapped in a hand stamped brown paper bag with a kraft paper label decorated with beautiful artwork. The tops of the soaps were dusted with mica or charcoal and hand stamped with a nautilus in the corresponding color. I enjoy the rustic and organic styling of these soaps. 

The Owls Are Not What They Seem ($12 for a 5 ounce bar) is packed with fir essential oils. I appreciate the Twin Peaks reference and the scent. The fir smells of the forest, bright and crisp with subtle undertones of earth and bark and needle. The aroma is rejuvenating, like bathing outdoors in a mountain stream under a pearl moon surrounded by protective evergreens. This soap lathers bountifully and exfoliates lightly. The texture reminds me of fine volcanic ash or river silt. It feels amazing on the skin. This is my new favorite bar of soap in my shower (and I have about a half dozen soap slivers in there right now that I love).

Hermitage brims with sparkling citrus and orange oils and is grounded with a breath of natural patchouli herb. The citrus really lifts this scent and makes it an invigorating yet comforting blend. This soap is soft with clays and feels like I am lathering with a fat dew covered mushroom cap. Silken. Bubbling. Blissful.

Quoth the Raven is generously scented with orange, clove and cinnamon oils and packed with activated charcoal. I love how deep and rich this one smells. It makes my whole shower bloom with the dreadfully cheerful scent of a spiced pomander. It's perfect. So is the Poe inspiration. You know how I feel about my Poe. This bar soap has a similar velvety smoothness as Hermitage. Plush and cushiony with abundant lather. This one is more intensely scented than Hermitage though if you are comparing the two. 

These soaps are a joy to bathe with. They rinse clean, leave my skin feeling its best and they give me peace of mind knowing they are Earth friendly. The price is worth the quality.

I am already eyeing up the candles and more incense. This won't be my last Sea Witch Botanicals post. 

Do you have any environmentally friendly small business makers you love? What are you bathing with?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

MoonaLisa: Winter Bath & Body

Many moons have passed since my last MoonaLisa order. Two things aligned to spark this haul: I was out of bath goodies and the Sihaya and Company box with the 4 in 1 from MoonaLisa rekindled my appreciation. For a second I had thought MoonaLisa was going to close up shop but it turned out she shifted the business model to where she makes the perfumes and Paul makes the bath and body. Once the Winter collection was released I headed on over to restock my bath cupboard. 

Of course the 4 in 1 Fine Bubble Wash had to come home to me. In a few scents. 

Winter Solstice- Winter 2018 version. Tune into quiet winter mysteries with a blend of different sacred resins, such as frankincense and myrrh, nutmeg and labdanum absolute. $11.95 for 8 ounces.
These 4 in 1 washes really shine as a bubble bath for me. I have washed my body with them with success but I prefer bar soaps to liquid soaps, so bubble baths they remain. They can also be used for shampoo and fabric wash. Winter Solstice smells amazing. The resins really shine and offer refined comfort. 

Sugared Forest- Sugared spruce, frosted berries and fir trees.
Sugared Forest smells deliciously like chewy almond marzipan and sugar crystal coated fir needles. The fruits don't really emerge for me but I quite like it just how it is. It makes for a beautiful winter scent and not exclusively a Christmas scent. 

Cinnamon Forest- Piping hot mulled cinnamon drink with vanilla beans and cedarwood. 
Candied Red Hots made dusky with tonka and dark woods. I really love how the sweet spice is tempered with the velvety vanilla shadows and cedarwood. It is a divine scent I will use up quickly. 

Kris Kringle Winter Salt Soak- Blend of various woodland accords, Yuletide spices, vetiver and Douglas fir essential oil. $10.95 for 12 ounces.
This Winter Salt Soak lent a calming experience to my bathing ritual. The salt soak wafted up with a billowy fragrance and the citric acid offered a gentle foam and imparted a milky water.  It left my skin soft and silken. The scent evokes Christmas trees and gingerbread snaps and a touch of earthiness from the mud coated boots from friends and family hastily left by the front door. 

Shire- Rich soil, earthy bark, dried grasses, stones and pinecones. $10.95
I adore not only the scent of these salts but the label art too (and of course the subject matter). This must be what Bilbo's garden was redolent of that fateful morning he smoked his pipe when Gandalf came upon him asking about an adventure. A base of sweet soil and dewy plantlings, cool minerals and a breath of pine all swirl around a Shire breeze that lifts those smoke rings high up in the clouds. Brilliant.

This wee Krampus guy in a small foil pouch must be something good but I am so enamored of the wrapping I am hesitant to open it. I am guessing it is either a chunk of soap or a bar lotion. I guess I will find out eventually. 

I am thrilled with these bath goodies. They will get used fairly quickly as I take a bubble bath about 4.5 times a week. 

Did you order from the latest Moona update? What are you using in your bath tub or shower?

Monday, January 14, 2019

New Moon Beginnings: Sacred Smudge Candles

I had a hankering for some tealights after I used all mine up. I tend to light them around the bath tub, my nightstand and on my bookshelf. Etsy called out to be explored and I ended up at New Moon Beginnings. Spying all those crystals and botanicals embedded into all natural candles sold it for me. A six pack of tea lights ran around $11 and was $14.92 total after shipping. 

I chose the scent Sacred Smudge which merges cedar, sage and lavender essential oils.

These burned beautifully. No tunneling and strong wicks. The gemstones and juniper sprigs were generously sprinkled within. The candle threw velvety herbal sage and smoky lavender within a wooden backdrop in a medium-strong throw.

I love these tealights and will be back for more. I love the scent list, the careful packaging and eye to detail. I will be trying larger candles with confidence too. 

Do you like extra touches in your candles? Are you into all natural candles?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

FuturePrimitive: Three in One Whipped Soap and Conditioning Hair Rinse

It was time to stock up on my tried and true shampoo and conditioner combo from FuturePrimitive. Tiggy really is a super star. She can blend up a delicious scent, put it in a high quality product and send it out in style. My thin, curly, dry locks love shampooing with Tiggy's Three in One Whipped Cream Soap and they love moisturizing with her Hair Rinse. The Rinses are about 9 ounces for the ballpark of $11 and the Whipped Soaps are about 3 ounces for around $9.50. The prices vary as they need to be converted from pounds to dollars. I listed the current US dollar amount here. 

I have tried several scents from FuturePrimitive and these two are some of my very favorite:

Shadow Show- Notes: Blackened pomegranate juice, plum compote, spiked with pink pepper, clove and cinnamon, and the rising smoke of frankincense tears, patchouli leaf, sticky amber resin, tree moss and caramelized sugar. 
Shadow Show is intense and brilliant. It is a dark sweetly spiced patchouli where a dark vein of deep purple and burgundy fruits add a touch of sweetness and mouthwatering texture. I freaking love this scent and it is currently in my show and in rotation right now. It is perfect for fall and winter. The whipped soap cleans the hair and washes out beautifully without leaving a residue. The hair rinse conditions without adding weight. The make a great duo for my hair type.

The Gloaming- Notes: The twilight time between sunset and darkness, a cold north wind, the onset of snow, distant campfire and marshmallow. 
I am familiar with The Gloaming from Tiggy's wax tarts and it was love at first sniff. The Gloaming is predominantly realistic marshmallow with vanilla undertones wrapped with a thin sweet tendril of fireside and cool ozonic frost. It is a multidimensional aroma and will be gorgeous as a hair scent. 

I highly recommend FuturePrimitive bath goods. They feel like an indulgence and never disappoint me. What are you washing your hair with currently?

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Popping In

Oh boy. Here goes. Things are a touch hairy. It is that time of year.... reports cards! I am burning the wick at both ends currently trying to get grades in, type up paragraphs of comments on the students and documenting their test results, attendance and all that paperwork. I am about half way done. 

And to top it off I haven't packed yet for our cruise which sets sail on Saturday. Oh lawd. 

I will try my best to set up some posts for while I am gone but I am not quite sure how I will be able to manage that. 

Strange things I have done lately:
- Cut my own hair (hey, I didn't say they were good ideas.... just strange).
- Picked a weed and ate it from my yard randomly (later found it was Yellow Wood Sorrel- learning my plants).
- Accidentally applied a solid perfume as a lip balm (that was a bad idea). 

How are you doing?

Monday, January 7, 2019

Sixteen92: Poe Collection and Circle Exclusive

Belonging to the Sixteen92 Circle has been very enjoyable. Normally I am not one to sample scents often. I like to buy full bottles based on scent notes and in general that has been pretty successful for me. The drawback to that is that I don't take many risks and I tend to avoid particular notes or genres. Being a part of The Circle means that I get to sniff and wear every perfume in a debuted collection and often I am pleasantly surprised. A perk to being in The Circle is also the Circle exclusive scent which was generously gifted during the Poe winter collection. I love that I just finished reading many short stories and poems by Edgar this past year. It makes these perfumes even more special. 

Ultima Thule- Notes: Burning black woods, warm resins, cashmere musk, chestnut, clove bud, black pepper, toasted vanilla. 
In the bottle vanilla floods the senses in a current of lush creaminess with pepper and smoked spice sliding underneath the rippling vanilla as dark shadows. The hefty vanilla base acts as the foundation for piling smoking resins and incense and spice on top. On the skin this ignites like marshmallow on the tip of a nobby stick held to the flame. Briefly I think I am wearing Arcana's Holy Terror mixed with Krampus Cones on the wrist. But as it wallows into the wrist that suggestion shifts ever so slightly as the cashmere musk and buttery chestnuts waft in to give a gourmand warmth and sweetness. I adore the clove bud in this. It is russet and sugared. As the heart gives away to the base, incense pours back in and smudges the scent into churchy resins and smoke. It is a lovely scent that will get worn until it runs dry.

Ligeia- Notes: Ash, gardenia, opium haze, aldehydes, white iris, honeycomb, ambergris and cold skin.
Drenched on the skin the honey drips in viscous strands from familiar pale lips, infused with the last breath of cool papery iris petals. This is ephemeral like the wraith of a long-lost love come to life under the gossamer veil of the moon for a brief moment. Chalky ash gathers in drifts in a mausoleum bereft of warmth, shrouded in stone. As it lays itself to rest the perfume takes on a warmer skin musk that is feathered with light leathery tones. It might be the ambergris which always smells strangely human and warm to me. Perhaps because it comes from a fellow mammal. I love the transformation this one takes from cold and aloof to a tactile embrace of amber musk. It is a beauty.

Spirits of the Dead- Notes: Lapsang souchong, guaiac wood, saffron, black birch, Italian bergamot, styrax, vanilla pod.
This one starts off illicit and foreboding immediately. The pines-on-fire image that lapsang souchong rustles in my mind merges with leathery styrax and darkens into a sooty shadow. If seances could be bottled it would take on this aroma. Tragic and ashen, coal black and mystical. This smells like shadows. Resurrection stones. The veil ripping. As it drifts further into its journey the vanilla and bergamot somehow entwine to create a suggestion of sweet tobacco, sun warm and rich. The seance ends on a calm vanilla waft. I adore this leathery smoky wooden experience. Full bottle worthy.

Ulalume- Notes: Moonflower, toasted almond, tonka bean, sweet fennel, narcissus and mourning veils.
A lush aroma of heady flowers with peppery hearts help mask a sweet cyanide of honey coated almonds, some sugar and poison. Where Mercy Lewis is more wooden with powdery musk as if experienced through gauze, Ulalume blooms with tension and clarity, viewed under an electric moon. The open faces of the moonflower and narcissus outlast the sugared almond sweetness and weave into a freshly tatted linen and lace shroud. Cottony. Billowy. Serene.

The Fall of the House of Usher- Notes: Pine and fir needle, frozen hemlock, amyris, sweet myrrh, shadowed stone, precious woods.
Claire does work magic with her ability to craft notes that truly do invoke cool and chilly sensations without making the skin tingle. On the wrist ice encased evergreen needles cluster in bunches within a desolate landscape. Their frozen shards fall away as the dilapidated manor comes into view. Funeral flowers, lilies and bulbs, struggle to emerge from tangles of brambles and clods of soil that bracket the house. A trembling hand reaches for the rusted door handle and cracks it open. Surprisingly the soft and beautiful aroma of incense and dusty musk creeps from the cracked open entry. This home is melancholy but still inhabited. For now. 

The Raven- Notes: Tea leaf, plum wine, silver mirror, library dust, dried tobacco and black feather.
The Raven starts dulcet and sweet with fruity tobacco but then quickly develops a steely spine. The tea prickles and the mirror shatters within the heart of this scent. This is the raven as he turns from innocuous to malevolent. This is the beak in the bosom. The sharpness eases as the scent settles into the skin and the tobacco dries into brittleness. The raven flies from the bust, disturbing the dust bunnies and sending motes into the air. Dried tobacco, desiccated wood and a drop of ink. 

I love the Poe Collection. It is brilliantly fleshed out and the scents evoke their muses wonderfully. Spirits of the Dead needs to come home with me. Do any of these resonate with you?

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid: 2019 Reading Challenge

Welcome fellow bookworms!!! This is the third year I have posted a reading challenge, and this is the second annual Bookish Jay and the Reading Mermaid reading challenge! Last year's challenge was a lot of fun for me. I enjoyed trying to check off all prompts in creative ways. Jay, my sweet friend from The Scented Library blog, and I put our heads together once again to provide another 30 book challenge. Please join us for as many or as few as you think you want to attempt. 

1. A book set in your home state, or province for our Canadian buddies.

2. You saw the movie but didn’t read the book…. now read the book.

3. Carpe read ‘em- a title on your TBR for 1+ years.

4. Flora: flower on the cover.

5. Fauna: beastly book.

6. Scandinavian setting- create your own Jolabokaflod, or Yule Book Flood.

7. Flavor- a book built around food.

8. Passport required… set in a country you have never been to. 

9. Yellow/Gold is the color of novelty, so read a yellow novel. 

10. Something witchy this way comes. Witches, man, read a witch-centered tome. 

11. A novel that is now a Netflix series or adaptation.

12. Shallowness: pick a book based on its spine appearance alone. 

13. Nature Lover: non-fiction about the environment.

14. How old are you now? Read a book from your birth decade. 

15. A book written by an author with your same initials.

16. Gothic read.

17. A retelling.

18. A guide. 

19. BINGO Free Space- pick your own.

20. A book discovered by scrolling #bookstagram.

21. Bildungsroman: a coming of age tale.

22. Turn and face the strange- an out of your comfort zone read.

23. A last book written by your favorite author. 

24. Hygge: a book for comfort.

25. A happy little accident… or a book that has a title Bob Ross would appreciate.

26. A numeric title.

27. Crossover- a book written by a beloved artist, musician or figure.

28. A tale where the main character loves to read. 

29. 1890’s- a great Victorian vintage.

30. Celestial object on the cover or in the title. 

If you do decide to tackle any of the prompts please share your book on social media with Jay and I by using the #bookishjayandreadingmermaid tag.

My mind is already buzzing with books I want to use for the various categories. I am think the All Souls Trilogy will fit in there nicely under witches. As always, feel free to interpret the prompts as you see fit. They are fluid. It is meant to be fun and get us out of our reading ruts. 

Plus, I tend to have fun at the used bookstores looking for interesting covers. <3 

Will you be joining us? What looks like a prompt you would enjoy?