Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ebb & Flow: June 2019

The highs and lows of the month.

Imaginary Authors Every Storm A Serenade

Perfume Oil:
Whisper Sisters Bastet

Witch Baby Secret Order

Face Oil:
Astrid Perfume Lotus Serum

Mianra Pomegranate

B. Perry Studio Citrine

Candles From the Keeping Room Fuji Fruit Pineapple

Bath & Body Works Smoked Birch

Sugar Kiss Cantaloups

Water and coffee and Blackberry Cucumber Le Croix

Santa Clarita Diet, The Office, Midsomer Murders

Nothing at the moment but thinking of picking a book or two for vacation. 

Havana Day Dreaming album by Jimmy Buffet

UNPACKING!!! All day. Every day. 

Being done unpacking, setting up my classroom and mostly vacation so I can unwind from the craziness and be better prepared for the new school year.

That birbs won't come visit my feeders. And perhaps starting back schooling for myself. And that the summer flies by.

Rubbermaid bins. Bubble wrap. Water. Records to make unpacking more enjoyable. And Walmart's Equate Tea Tree Shampoo in the pump bottle. 

Rubbermaids that seem to be propagating in the night. The fact that I *ALMOST* missed making this post. Swollen feet from being on them all day. The weird prepackaged chicken from Walmart that ended up with a rubbery texture when I cooked it last week.

All the money going out right now. Seeing my husband stressed about it. 

Being in our new home and making it ours. Hearing the girls laugh and play out in the pool or on the swing. Planting a butterfly garden outside the front door. Watching the Monarchs cycle through life. Visiting the cutest nurseries for plants. Having fat bookshelves to fill. Sleeping well at night because of all the hard work that day. 

How was your June? Crazy good, crazy bad or just crazy? 

Friday, June 21, 2019

B. Perry Studios: Salt Soak and Rose Gold Soap

I had a mini shopping spree over at B. Perry Studios a month or so back. These two items were used daily and now are a thing of my past but I wanted to share how fabulous they were as they are still both for sale in Brooke's Etsy shop

Strawberry Lovin' Salt Soak is a treat for the bath. It contains real strawberry bits and is scented with ylang ylang essential oil and vanilla bean fibers. A tub runs $12. About 3 tablespoons is the recommended amount to use and disperse under hot running water but I am a bit of an overboard bath junkie and this lasted me three uses as I poured way more than that. It smells incredible. The dried strawberries smell just like dried fruit leather strips and mixed with the peachy ylang ylang and vanilla it made for a summery roadside market atmosphere. There wasn't much bubbling or frothing but I didn't expect any with a bath salt type of product, however, it did make for a relaxing bath salt soak.

I am a big fan of Brooke's soaps. She has definitely rocketed up into my top four soaper list along with Zahida, Tiggy and Kyme. I picked up Brooke's Pumpkin Spice line of soaps but I want to save those for closer to fall for use and review but this bar of Rose Gold was put in the shower rotation very quickly.

Rose Gold- Notes: A cocoa butter cold process body soap with red raspberry and sheer pink magnolia blooms over glowing gold resins. $10

This rich soap is made with not only cocoa butter but also olive oil, rice bran oil and lye. I like that Brooke's soaps aren't made with palm oil. This luxe mauve soap with a fine dusting of gold mica lathered beautifully, cascading frothy bubbles with minimal friction. My husband, girls and I used this whole bar up within a few weeks. It's soft amber and magnolia scent with hushed raspberry tones was a fast favorite. It rinsed cleanly without any tightness or residue but also left the skin soft and supple.

I will be picking this one up again and I did order Brooke's wedding soap and Tiger's Eye soap. By the way, the Pumpkin Spice soaps are on sale for only $5 each and all three scents are still available! I picked some up for myself and for gifts.

I still have my Abalone facial oil I would like to chat about once I start to use it, along with the Pink Pearl mud mask. Brooke has some of those left in her shop too right now. 

What bar soaps are you using? Any skin care stuff you are currently loving?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft and B. Perry Studios Precious Stones Collaboration

These perfumes were sent as a gift from Julia. All opinions are my own.

Julia at Arcana Wildcraft and Brooke from B. Perry Studios are deft hands when it comes to collaboration. Formerly as Villainess, Brooke and Julia would come together for scents, soaps, scrubs and all things fragrant for the body. I tickles me greatly that they are continuing their fragrant partnership as Brooke transitions into B. Perry Studios. In fact, that is where these amazing scents can be found in both perfume and scrub form (though I do think some of the perfumes may be sold out- don't miss those scrubs!). These items are all vegan. Including the scrubs which I will feature later.

Rhodochrosite- Notes: Cheerful pink rhodochrosite is believed to stimulate happiness, love and youthful vigor. Fragrant Monoi de Tahiti with pink lemonade, citron, fresh gingerroot and pink labdanum. $20

Summer. This is summertime on the shore. At first when I sniffed the bottle it hit me with tropical gardenia but then oiled beach skin, bronze and glowing, came to mind too. Living on island time where people amble to the beach front cafe' for lemon spritzers, sand crunching between their flip flops and heels, sunscreen fragranting their shoulders and wild jasmine and gardenias blooming somehow among the cast off shells that roll in dunes. Fresh and wet on the skin the citron and tiare flowers possess a kinetic effervescence that pulses with summer brightness. I need to wear shades. I love it. The heart of the scent is tart and sour, a nod to the lemonade, with a bracing breath of soapy ginger that plays beautifully with the Tahitian gardenias. The dry down is interesting. A cottony clean labdanum and musk that reminds me of stones and shimmery sheets of mica flakes. I think the pink lemonade left a touch of the powderiness behind which translates into the clean cotton scent for me. Unique and lovely and cheerful indeed.

Chocolate Opal- Notes: This burnished stone filled with mysterious reflections is used to bring mindfulness, healing and psychic visions. White chocolate, fizzy raspberry soda, German cocoa CO2 extract, marshmallows and a sliver of young spruce. $20

Sniffing from the chocolately amber bottle reminds me of walking into The Ganachery at Disney Springs. It is this quaint artisan chocolate shop that features exquisite milk and dark chocolates along with a handful of truffle flavors. Dark cocoa, silken and dusky, melts in ribbons, pooling with magenta raspberry sauce. The white chocolate and marshmallow lend a creaminess to the robust chocolate. It is delicious. Soaked into the skin of the wrists the raspberries drizzle out like the sticky syrupy centers of a cordial, dense and flavorful, mouthwateringly delicious. This is easily the most appealing rendition of a raspberry that I have laid my nose on in perfume. It moves from a plump candied berry surrounded by juice and encased in a thin layer of artisan chocolate to having just the merest breath of cherry tobacco within the heart. As it dries down the cocoa takes on more of the nuances of woods while that sliver of spruce lends credence to that feel. All the while the raspberry cordials linger in the background, keeping the scent plush and constant. This is a beautiful chocolate aroma, so much more that it appears from the notes alone. One not to be missed.

Celestite- Notes: The soft, gentle sweetness of ethereal blue celestite helps to alleviate anxiety and calm the soul. Delicate iris, lavender, violet, orris root, confectioner's sugar, vanilla bean creme and white musk. $20. 

Darkly glimmering florals reach out from the vial, as if these rare purple and blue hued flowers existed in a sacred clearing at midnight and were beaded with moon dew and strung with pearls of spiders' web. Draped on the skin the orris root, which comes from an iris plant, exhales its tarry notes with a breath of mint and mystery. The heart of this scent is all about those tranquil florals. Powdery and beautiful like moth wings, iris and violet float like gossamer ghosts on a nightwind, lulling the senses into repose. The orris resurrects itself in the drydown but with soft leather and violet tones that merge with the faint suggestion of powdered sugar. However, on my skin this is never sweet. I think I am naturally drawn to this particular perfume not just because of the notes alone, but also because this time in my life does need soul calming and anxiety soothing. I appreciate having this elixir to wear. I do want to note that when I state that something is powdery, I do not mean "baby powder" it is how I envision a light ethereal softness in a scent. If I mention talc, then I am thinking more like baby powder. Powdery in a fragrance is not negative in my esteem. It is a tactile beauty that has a place and a texture in the fragrance. 

These three scents are beautifully created. I love the theme behind them and hope more precious gemstones emerge from Julia and Brooke with scents, scrubs and perhaps even lotion and bar soap? Hey. A girl can dream. I am rooting for a moonstone muse. I knew I would love Celestite but Chocolate Opal was a surprise favorite for me. Normally chocolate and I do not get along but this one will be worn often. You should go get it. 

How are you doing? What gemstones would you like to inspire a fragrance?

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft: Classics

More Arcana Wildcraft! Wheeeee!!! These are some of Julia's Classics that can be purchased at any time and are not really seasonal so much as part of her general catalog of signature perfumes. The Arcana Classics run $26 each.

Swashbuckler- Notes: Proof that you can be the scourge of the high seas and still breeze into port smelling divine. Concocted from West Indies bay rum, scurvy-preventing limes and a dark blend of spices. 

Ernest Hemingway in a bottle. Masculine, swarthy, disreputable and brash but undeniably engaging. Bay leaf and spice swirl in the eddies and currents of tannic rum and salt water. This is the scent of shaded grottos in the keys, places where a drink can be had to escape the heat under a cobbled together bar made from palmettos and bamboo.  This is the scent wafted when passing an older gentleman in a straw hat and white linen shirt with the devil in his eye. It is dead sexy and I love it. On the skin anise and clove seep into those tannic and sepia toned aromas first, backed by the brittle wood and herb appeal of the bay leaf, though traditionally Bay Rum is not made from the familiar kitchen bay leaf.  Spices and rum from the Caribbean marinating in wooden barrels. The heart dries up some of the stronger aspects of the clove and anise to reveal black pepper, dried sage and hay-like vetiver suggestions. A more virile bounty, but still one I quite enjoy wearing. This is the portion that reminds me of my stepfather applying his Dominica Bay Rum aftershave. Bay Rum with its spicy woody scent of clove, pepper and lime oils infused into a dark rum with cinnamon. Arrrrrg. It is so good. I am so happy I picked up Swashbuckler. Bay Rum really is a huge scent memory for me but also is an ideal fragrance for Florida with its heat and humidity. The Bay Rum and sub-tropical climate jive well together.

Last Hours of Empires- Notes: A rich blend of precious oils, evocative or regret and resplendence, featuring highest quality Omani frankincense, true Indian sandalwood, delicate top notes of bergamot and tangerine and the smallest wisp of black patchouli. 

Rich golden bergamot and luminous tears of frankincense rest on a velvet pillow, weaving a fragrant tapestry of sacred aromatics from long ago. Painted on the skin the bergamot and tangerine glow beautifully against the nuggets of frankincense resin. The illumination is burnished and blended out by powdery citrus notes.The sandalwood even possesses the suggestion of orange wood. This is a Moroccan palace courtyard glinting with blue and white tile, forested with rare citrus trees with brass censers hanging like gilded fruits from the boughs. I don't know if it is just me that the bergamot and orange tones shine brightest on but I love it, as I don't have many orange centric scents in my collection. 

Tess- Notes: Rustic violets, fresh cream, vanilla bean, amber and soft, milky musk. 

In the vial Tess is a violet creme delight that has just the merest bite of baked goods in the belly of the scent. Dabbed onto the wrists the candied violets are dried and pressed into the centers of shortbread cookies, perfect for an afternoon tea. The milky musk and vanilla bean with cream possess a definite buttery crunch to them that lends the impression of a toothsome cookie but without all the sugar. Shortbread at its best. As the scent lingers the bready aspects of the cookie abate and the milky musk gains a touch of amber highlights with the violet's ghost still present. I tender scent for nurturing souls.

Herne- Notes: Horned trickster, lord of the forest, god of the wild hunt. Cassia cinnamon, Atlas cedarwood, fir needle oil and a whiff of Herne's holy oak tree. *All natural.*

I love Herne. That cassia cinnamon is a huge draw for me. I adore spicy cinnamon perfumes but I feel like most lean towards the pumpkin spice side of life, which don't get me wrong- I do love, however I do sometimes crave cinnamon scents that aren't just about fall or food. This is a great one. I will warn you that the cassia cinnamon is a touch tingly so if that type of things bothers you, it is something to consider (I like the tingles). Taking a whiff from the bottle is a tactile experience. The cassia warms the nose down into the back of the tongue and into the core of the body. It is dark and rich yet green and alive. I imagine it would like like gouging the bark of the evergreen Chinese cassia tree and its green pith oozing out its rich spiced sap. There is a natural sweetness to it, a sticky molasses hue to it. On the skin a touch of dank leaf litter and decay from felled evergreen firs and spruces mirrors the fecund sweetness from the bottle sniff and the cinnamon shines darkly within too. Even though it is primarily an evergreen and fiery cinnamon scent on my skin it does not read as holiday or Christmas to my nose but speaks rather of a mysterious and primitive melody of ancient woods and feral sprites that collect their offerings of fragrant spice with glee.

I was at work this past week doing pre-planning with the upper elementary team at my new job. I am really excited. I will be learning a lot this year. 

I am also really excited to be sharing some new perfumes from Julia from her collaboration with Brooke from B. Perry Studios. So stay tuned for those. I will also be drawing the winners from the Arcana/B. Perry giveaway from the end of May. Thank you for your patience, friends.

How are you doing? How is your June? Crazy it is half over already.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Witches' Lace

This Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab scent was sold at Dark Delicacies for $26. 

Witches' Lace- Notes: Moss-green sugar spun lace dusted with mandrake root and sweet aged patchouli, dusty cedar and crushed toadstools with a cauldron splash of nightshade accord, tobacco flower, green cognac and woodsmoke... plus a pinch of ethically- harvested, naturally sourced vegan eye of newt and toe of frog. 

In the bottle this brew smells of dusty roots and aromatic wormwood. There is a dark murky musk that lingers in shades of brown and dark green in the background that is alluring. On the skin an earthen mushroom sends its powdery spores into the air like a hazy musk to drift in and out of the trunks of trees in the woods. On my skin the fragrance has a vellum and parchment aroma to it, like leather bound books, paper and adhesive with a fine coating of dust. A witch's old cottage with roots and herbs hanging from the rafters, wormwood tinctures sending their green perfume into the air and grimoires bound in age by a stone lined fireplace. The drydown is soft and powdered, subtle with its drab olive cedar and patchouli tones. 

Though this scent is sold out at Dark Delicacies, I have seen it pop up in the BPAL sales groups on Facebook.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Blood Moon Botanica: Perfumes and Oil

Britton, the original founder and former perfumer behind House of Gloi, continues to release some amazing and thoughtful self care items at Blood Moon Botanica. She has settled on doing announced openings periodically instead of keeping her store open 24/7. She is trying to work out her shipping and restocking while out in the wilds of her new home.

Lavender Amber- Notes: Rare high altitude Kashmir lavender, organic local Buena Vista lavender and a base of amber accord. $18

This was created to be a calming and grounding scent to be worn as a personal fragrance or as a deodorant oil. On the skin the lavender shines. It is full-bodied and smooth, not too herbal, not too medicinal but a balance of both with a natural mellow sweetness highlighted by the amber. The lavender possesses an almost lemony bergamot brightness on the top and a camphorous evergreen tone in the heart. The base is a melding of woody lavender stems and dark labdanum. Resinous and dusky. It is a beautiful fragrance and will be worn often. I love using this as a deodorant but also as a bedtime scent or a grounding aromatherapy fragrance. If you have an affinity towards lavender, please treat yourself to this.

Summer Dreams Conceived in Winter Days- Notes: A 100% botanical blending of peach accord, lemon juice essence, calendula extract, magnolia blossom, sweet Bulgarian lavender, soft notes of sweet hay and a solid base of creamy Himalayan cedarwood. $25

I had not, up to this point, found a peach scent that I loved. Many I disliked, some I tolerated and none I loved. Until now. This is not a heavy peach or a cloying peach or a tin of syrupy canned peaches. The peach in Summer Dreams is living and embodies that one shimmering drop of nectar that spills from the lip as a juicy bite is taken. Clear. Honeyed. Light. Sunny thin slices of lemon lend a subtle tartness to the peach while the florals suggest the blossom from which the peach emerged, delicate and vulnerable. The heart reveals the meadow of lavender and apricot hued calendula. The peachy aroma is a theme that carries out through the life of the scent. In the drydown it takes on a little of the dry grassy tone of the hay. A beautiful perfume to wear this time of year. 

Saint Johns Wort Oil uses a base of sunflower oil and is infused with the yellow flowers of Saint Johns Wort. This 2 ounce bottle was $15 and can be used for aches, wounds and burns. During the past couple weeks I was dealing with what I think was a case of stress induced hives. My arms and back were killing me, itchy and welty. I went to the doctor of course, but she thought I had an allergic reaction to a bug bite and prescribed steroids and antibiotics. I don't think I was bit but I took the meds anyway. Meanwhile, my arms still bothered me. I used this oil and it helped sooth the pain and itching morning and night. I love this stuff.

My order was delayed in the shuffle of Britton moving. When I noticed it had been about a month and I hadn't received a shipping notice I messaged her. She is very sweet and easy to work with. She shipped it right away and included this flower essence too. 

This sample of English Daisy Flower Essence fuses bellis Perennis  with well water and alcohol to ease transitions and overwhelming situations. A couple drops under the tongue is recommended. I believe I should be partaking of this right about now at this point in my life. 

Britton announced that her next opening and release of product will be on June 9th. She is currently on a social media hiatus so not sure how often she will be posting what is slated to be sold but I did share her restock countdown on my IG stories. 

Have you tried any of Britton's wares from her new company? What are some of your favorites?

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Summer 2019 Bucket List

Hey guys! Thank you for being patient with me while I try to transition into summer break from teaching. The end of a school year makes me feel like I have aged 3 years some times. I have two out of the three Wylde Ivy giveaways ready, still waiting on one person to give me their info- if they don't soon I will re-draw. The Nocturne Alchemy winners will be drawn tonight after we get back from the springs. Then the Arcana and B. Perry Studios will be drawn last. I am still brewing up a few more giveaways but trying to get them aligned. 

Meanwhile, it is time for me to release the work of the school year and daydream about what I would love summer to look like with my girls.

Here are some things I would like to do with my daughters and Adam, if he can come along- work permitting, this summer:

- Visit Wekiva Springs
- Dinner and a movie at Universal Studios/City Walk
- Plot out a garden
- Visit a new state park to hike
- Ice cream at a new parlor
- Read a book outside
- Beach trip on the east coast (Daytona? Cocoa? St. Augustine?)
- Buy a plant at Florida Cactus Farm in Apopka
- Catch a play or movie at the Garden Theater in Winter Garden
- Drive the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Make ice cream or sorbet at home
- Build a fairy house near an oak
- Plant wildflowers
- Paint for fun
- Sew something

It might sound crazy, but two months goes by so very fast. The summer to a teacher is a mere blink. Making a list of things I'd like to do with the girls gives me some intention for how I want to use our time. Otherwise, it is here then gone. And this summer will go fast as lightening.

Do you have any plans for summer? Any ideas of what the girls and I should paint or sew? Any good ice cream or sorbet recipes?