Thursday, December 12, 2019

Melting Basket 147: Christmas

From the Thanksgiving basket I wouldn't mind melting the following again: CFTKR Apple N Spice, VCS Cozy Jackie O, any of the LSC but I am pretty sure that is a long shot. I filled my Christmas melting basket to the brim with most of my holiday types of scents and I think it will last me a couple weeks. 

Sea Witch Botanicals- Wold Night (Fir, Peppermint, Citrus and Spice) Been melting this for the past few days and it is amazing. It throws strong and smells like the holidays- full of essential oils and yummy notes.
Ten Digit Creations- Apple Pecan Sage/Gingerbread/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations- Mulled Cider & Chestnuts/Orange Clove/Indian Sandalwood Sad that TDC is closed up. I understand Amber needs to blaze her new trail but I will miss melting her goodies.
Vintage Chic Scents- Christmas Time Is Here
Vintage Chic Scents- Smoky Mountain Christmas
CFTKR- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies
CFTKR- Winter Flannel
CFTKR- Balsam and Citrus
CFTKR- Cedar and Spice
CFTKR- Frosted Pine Noel
CFTKR- Mulled Wine
CFTKR- Blue Spruce
CFTKR- Roasted Pine Cones

These are most of my festive and wintery scents. I might pull our Peppermint and Cypress or a couple others depending on the weather. If you are curious about any of these just holler.

I wanted to do a tiny Christmas decor tour. I don't have a ton put up in the way of decorations but I do have some.

The wall of photos/cross-stitch/book art is not Christmas but I am happy with how it is coming along. It is a little busy but I don't care. Hardly anyone goes in the sunroom except me. And I like looking at it.

This tall skinny fake tree used to go outside by our front door in our old home but we don't really have an entry way at the front door to this house so I brought it inside. It turns out it fits nicely in the corner.

Some festive pillows, Christmas quilts and afghans crocheted by my Mema keep us cozy. I am still working towards getting us some furniture next year (I hope).

We got our tree a little late in the year this time around but we hit the tree lot Monday and we decorated it Tuesday night. I still need to nail in our stocking over the mantel. I am kind of nervous to nail them in but I can't really think of anything else that will hold them up (they are stinking heavy when full). Hard to believe Christmas is in less than two weeks.

I have a Bath & Body Works Fireside candle on the kitchen table and lots of evergreen wax ready to melt. What scents are floating about your home this time of year? Are you ready for the holidays? I still need to finish shopping. Yikes.

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Sixteen92: Winter Collection

Sixteen92's 2019 Winter Collection is themed after poisons. As a Circle member I was sent a sampling of each scent in the collection. I have enjoyed my two years as a Circle member but I am debating on whether I will continue comes April for next year. On one hand I am loving the access to the scents early, along with the generous discounts, however, I am also wanting to greatly reduce my perfume buying and sampling these gorgeous scents has me wanting to continuously add to my rather expansive perfume collection. Are you a Circle member? Are you planning on re-subscribing?

Cyanide- Notes: Amaretto liqueur, pink heliotrope, honey-soaked dates, hawthorn flower, nutmeg and rum
Sweet cherry-almond infused rum possesses a marzipan chewiness to it that creates body decants from the tiny glass vial. On the skin there is a honey, drunk with almond blossoms, and it drips tantalizingly. Dates lend a dark toothsome quality while the heliotrope continues to perfume the scent with its musky marzipan bouquet. Booze and honey and quiet florals make this a heady yet elegant almond fragrance. Butternut tobacco and vanilla suggestions creep into the dry down as it lingers on the skin.

Laudanum- Notes: Sticky opium, whiskey, oud, black pepper, brown leather, hearth smoke, saffron and dark amber.
Pitch black oudwood, smoky and leathery with the texture of tar from opium residue snakes its way out of the mouth of the vial. Dabbed onto the skin, sweet tannic whiskey sparkles in the top notes but deepens quickly with the addition of leather, raw and uncut, stiff with newness. Sunset hued and pollen heavy saffron anthers highlight the leather and warm wooden oud. This is a dry yet warm scent of smoke and woods.  

Strychnine- Notes: Black tea, Calabrian bergamot, Moro blood orange, black figs, cedar heartwood, and anisette cookie crumbs.
Grand Marnier cookies with thick orange liqueur and a shortbread crunch flavor the air with their aroma when inhaled. Milky figs with a cup of warm earl grey tea, sweetened with a cube of sugar and a splash of cream alight on the skin. Thin, crisp orange zest and almond cookies grace the afternoon tea plate as well. The airy bergamot, soft floral quality of the tea and hints of cedar keep it from being overly gourmand. Creamy citrus and anise delight the senses though and makes it a stunning scent.

Arsenic- Notes: Juniper distillate, chlorophyll, English ivy, frozen tomato leaf, white cotton, powdered rock candy.
Sugar coated berries, sweet pea flower blossoms and doilies on a nightstand kept company by a tintype photograph develop in the mind when sniffed from the sample. Honeyed cotton blossoms and candied berries start sweet and playful then veer into sharp greenness as it is brushed onto the skin. It is the potent scent that clings to the fingertips with you gently touch a tomato stem. Arsenic is a powerfully verdant fragrance that warns of its poison.

Chloroform- Notes: Crystalline glass, snow flurry, grey ozone, sugar cube, oxygen, frozen iris, tattered lace.
In the vial it is a breathtakingly classic, stony yet chilled, iris that Claire does so well. And on the skin it begins as a silvery iris but then a cloud of Cool Water comes in and I have to take it off.

I have not had a scrubber in several years but Cool Water is a hard No-Pass for me and that is what those notes translated to in my brain for some odd reason. 

Of the Winter Collection scents I would happily buy larger quantities of Laudanum, Cyanide and Strychnine. What poison would you think would make for an interesting perfume interpretation? Ether might be cool.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft: Witches

Some of these perfumes were purchased by me and some were sent as gifts from Julia.

Julia at Arcana Wildcraft released several of her past Witches fragrances and even brewed up a few new ones to add to the line. These were part of a late fall collection for this year. I am thrilled to have been able to spend some time with these beauties these past several days and I hope you enjoy reading my interpretations of them. It is kind of a birthday celebration to myself. Today I am 39. <3 

Sample sizes are $6, 5 ml are $26 and 15 ml are $76.

The Bone Mother- Notes: The scent of an ancient forest with Russian pear, hand-cured tobacco, warped wood, 20 year vintage iron-distilled patchouli, dark, Slavic musk and tea tannin. (This was a gift with purchase in November).

I have had a fascination with Baba Yaga for a little bit now. I first read about her in a fictional story and have since encountered her in various forms. I also have an appreciation for well-aged patchouli, Julia's tobacco and ancient forests. This was bound to be an ideal match. Sniffing from the bottle invites the scents of boozy pears and whiffs of green tobacco leaves and tree sap to the nose. Woven onto the skin a teasing of that iron-distilled patchouli shows itself. However, first and foremost, the tart green pears and fir tree boughs weave rough garlands about the fragrance with a bouquet of crinkled leathery tobacco leaves in the heart. There is a soft sparkling sherry quality to the scent that reminds me of a wee tipple before bedtime. The patchouli is smooth as satin shadows and blends with the supple musk and tea leaves seamlessly. The Bone Mother is a scent I could crawl into and never leave. 

Witches Wear Big Black Stompy Boots- Notes: Billowing clouds of smoke over perfectly aged black vetiver and black musk.

Cold, damp ash and dank plutonian leather. The stuff of gothic legends. From the vial the vetiver has a dark fecundity that almost leans to wet leather. This is going to be a black perfume for a black soul. Ignited on the skin it smells like the first drag of a filterless cigarette, the smoke burning hot from the glowing red cherry ember and the freshly shaven nicotine almost bitter on the tongue. It is the effluvia of risk and youth. Crawling out of the second story window to sit on the roof in the chill of the night, blowing smoke signals up to the stars, asking them if they have seen this all before. The smoke has a brimstone flavor that reminds me of the same reckless mouth turned older. It houses a sour flavor between the teeth when it lectures youth to stay away from smokes. Now don't get me wrong. This perfume does not smell like cigarettes. It just takes me back in time with its smoke and ash and black as night mood. It is brilliantly done. My daughter who loathes the scent of cigarettes immediately said she loved it when I wore it around her. This is the perfume of smoke. It settles down into an inky dark musk with hints of patchouli and creosote.

Witches Draw Down The Moon- Notes: Infused vanilla oleoresin with sweet maple creme, maple sugar, dry Madagascan vanilla and moon-white marshmallow.

Mouthwatering vanilla cakes soaked in maple cream. Vanilla decadence turned into perfume. On the skin it transforms into creamy maple candy that melts on the tongue. There are caramel tones and chewy vanilla bits in this silken sugary treat. The maple makes it an epicurean pleasure, adding amber richness and texture. If gourmand vanillas and caramels are your delight then give this one a whirl. 

Witches Run A Farm Stand In Oregon- Notes: Green, uncured hemp with lavender, vintage patchouli, spearmint, fir needles, zucchini blossoms, Oregon roses, honeysuckle and white amber. 

Tender herbs with the cooling sparkle of spearmint and lavender jauntily bob beside tied bouquets of honeysuckle and wildflowers in the woven straw basket that lies in the crook of an arm of a lady strolling the outdoor market. Wet on the skin this is a spring-fed watery dream at first with the sap filled herbs and delicate blossoms giving way to a heart of petal soft pink roses with just a smattering of ambered evergreen needles. The rose and amber warms up under the green hemp that smells of hay and sunshine. These notes are brushed with velvety strokes so that the notes are blended beautifully and wear like a halo of verdant fragrance. The plant life in this is spiritual. I will happily be wearing this during spring and summer.

Witches Cast Love Spells- Notes: Created with witchy intent, this is a love-and-sex drawing blend of Autumn honey, intensely fragrant vanilla beans, sweet cinnamon and a dribble of milk.

Intoxicating honey with a mead-like quality is frothed with milk and sweet candied vanilla. It casts a spell simply by being inhaled from its dram. Dribbled on the wrists the honey retains that fulsome mead harvest with hints of swollen fruits and fertile pollen within its glistening beads. The heart warms up with a classic take on milk and honey, cream and sugar. That pairing which nourishes the body and soul. The merest pinch of cinnamon lends the milk a horchata vibe. The simplest things are often the most effective and this perfume is the embodiment of that. Simple notes that make a powerful spell.

Witches Wear Silky Drawers Under Their Witch Clothes- Notes: A heart of strawberry cheesecake and sugar-dipped ylang ylang is enfolded into dark vanilla silk, rose jam, French geranium, and black wool softly infused with incense and smoldering resins.

Lush femininity oozes from the bottle upon mounds of strawberries and cream, honeyed blossoms and incense scented boudoirs. Normally I run away fast from anything with the word cheesecake in it when it comes to fragrance but from the vial there is no hint of the curdled milk my nose normally translates cheesecake into. On the skin a whisper of Holy Terror floats about jammy strawberries and apricot scented flowers when sniffed closely, however, a cloud of dense milkiness from the cheesecake does orbit a little further out from the skin. It dissipates after a few minutes. Then the sugariness of the fruits melts away and the skins and rinds remain to lightly scent the pillows of incense and resin. I applied this at night a few hours before bed. It remains this way for the duration and was a lovely scent to wake up to in the morning. A beautiful play between strawberry jam and incense. Unexpected but lovely.

Witches Want Chocolate & Terror- Notes: Arcana's Holy Terror (burning frankincense, sandalwood, deep myrrh and dusty beeswax candles) with rich, dark chocolate and French cocoa absolute.

Insanely luxurious dark chocolate, almost ganache like with its smooth silken texture, is paired with Arcana's iconic Holy Terror incense. And I am here for it. Darkly drizzled on the skin, because yes this is one chocolate hued potion, the dark cocoa showcases facets of roasted coffee beans and leather in its rich depths. This full bodied chocolate stands up very well against the heady incense of Holy Terror. The chocolate also makes it more festive for the holiday season from Halloween to New Year's. This will be my wintertime Holy Terror variation.

Witches Cavort With Cupcakes- Notes: Pumpkin spice cupcakes are smothered in gobs of cream cheese frosting. Many sugar. Such gourmand.

Mmmmmmm... this does smell delicious. Dense yellow cake and buttercream frosting are served directly from the perfume bottle. Freshly applied on the skin the pumpkin and spice with the cake has a dryness to it, almost like parchment paper. As it wears the papery texture lifts much like the lining of a cupcake peeling back and the pumpkin cake comes into its own. The frosting possesses touches of coconut in its vanilla flavoring. Witches know where to find the good cupcakes.

Witches Fly Through The Forest With Sasquatch- Notes: The scent of a forested joyride on besoms. A knapsack stuffed with graham crackers, gooey marshmallows, and dark chocolate for making s'mores over the fire. Tree tops, black pinewood, delicate juniper branches, black spruce, Atlas cedarwood. A sliver of orange peel and a bit of fur.

Dark chocolate, quiet forests and some graham cracker crumbs lurk in the amber bottle. Perched on the skin it tastes of artisan dark chocolate infused with flecks of fir needle and sea salt. I have tasted a chocolate bar such as this from Immortal Mountain but with rosemary instead of fir. It was marvelous and so is this scent. The evergreens gently give way to the graham crackers and it morphs into that ubiquitous campfire treat, however, there are tones of chocolate liqueur and nuances of vanilla tobacco in this warm dessert and it smells incredible. I would love to fly through the forest with Sasquatch any day. I was wearing this one when I went to the dentist and an assistant came into the room and said "what smells so good?!" The hygienist said "it's my patient here." So I am not the only one who thinks this smells pretty special.

Witches Trace Sigils In The Dirt- Notes: The essence of a dark ritual in the wild wood. Lush green moss, soft forest floor, blood cedar trees, tangled vines winding over crags, damp patchouli leaves, and a faint trail of rosemary.

Out of all the witches this was the one I wanted to cover myself with the most, given the notes. Moss. Trees. Patchouli. Rosemary. Yes. Yes, please. From the bottle the perfume of the woods germinates into fruition: airy herbs, camphorous sap, loamy patchouli. I could not wait to slather it on. So I did. Top notes lift quickly upon the camphorous and mentholated tree sap and rosemary exhalations. Their green spirits hover about leaves and branches, grasses and needles. This is the scent of the Green Man dwelling in his wild spaces. As it wears the greenness of the leaves and sap fades into the darkness of the understory: cedar bark and soil and aged patchouli. I am over the moon with this scent. It makes me want to run through a forest with my brown and silver threaded curls waving like a banner behind me. 

Witches Stumble Home After A Crazy Night Out- Notes: Black vanilla with blonde tobacco, juniper-infused gin, champagne, green cognac absolute, wine grapes and cassis.

Wine spritzers and laughter bubble up from the glass bottle. Amethyst and peridot grape skins curl on the skin, their natural sweetness kept in check by effervescent gin and champagne. I am really enjoying the subtle fruitiness of this scent and the jubilant bubbling ginger ale that accompanies it. This has to be my New Year's Eve scent this year. The ginger ale moves fluidly into the green cognac while the grape skins begin to blend with vanilla tobacco. This is easily my favorite grape perfume ever. Cheers!

I don't have many plans today other than go to work. I took off the day yesterday to go to the dentist. My crown popped out at work (not even the tooth that was bothering me- that is another dentist appointment for closer to Christmas- yay). Scarlette is stage crew in a play for school tonight and most of the day tomorrow. Adam has something planned for us, but I am not sure what it is. I do know we will be picking out our Christmas tree this weekend and going to a football game. The Bucs, I think. I did ruin my birthday gift surprise. I was digging through the shed looking for Christmas decoration boxes to bring inside and put up and saw a compost bin. :-) Adam was mad, but I was thrilled. I cannot wait to start tumbling it and making my own compost. I think 39 will be good. If I can keep all my teeth in my head. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Bohemienne Life: Small Fall Pre-Order

I am trying to slow my roll on wax for a while since I still have a decent amount left to melt through but I did place a Bohemienne Life order a little while back and just simply have not gotten around to chatting about it. I also have a Candles From The Keeping Room order and a Handmade in Florida order to still feature. Then I think I am caught up on wax. I have also made quite a few changes in the Facebook wax groups I follow in an effort to scale back my feed and temptations. I will talk about that in the Best of 2019 though. Back to Bohemienne Life!

De Clermont- Notes: Warm clove, spicy carnation, incense, wine and sandalwood.
This is a first but not a last for me. I love how descriptive Harkness was in her books about her characters and this one is amazingly rendered by Kyme. The wine and clove are deep and juicy while the carnation and sandalwood keeps it from smelling of Christmas. It is a beautiful fragrance for winter but also pretty much any time of year. 

Third Eye- Notes: Nag Champa incense with lavender, clove leaf, musk, myrrh, patchouli, soft powder, amber and vanilla.
This is a repurchase and I love it still. A softer and more herbaceous version of Nag Champa that is smooth and yet bright. 

Apple Bourbon Chai- Notes: Oak barrel apple cider, twists of orange peel, spiked with bourbon and spicy cinnamon sticks, brown sugar, cardamom, nutmeg, rich vanilla beans and seasoned oak wood.
A deeply woody apple cider with an almost anise-like clove spice. It smells like it will be beautifully spiced and warming for the holidays and wintertime. I look forward to melting it soon.

Pacific Pine- Notes: Evergreen pine and fir needle resins, infused with sparkling citrus, musk and moss with a hint of woody clove.
Another repurchase that I like to have on hand for Christmas. It smells just like the Balsam and Citrus scent I love from Carol at Candles From The Keeping Room with just perhaps just a touch more of pine. This bag will go fast. 

Free samples (I just adore Kyme's wax twists):

Cranberry Woods, which blends up tart vibrant cranberries with a touch of evergreen and oak. I wish I had a whole bag.

Mistletoe and Spruce, which is a wonderful winter woodland aroma of evergreens. 

I am bummed I missed Kyme's last pre-order with her vanilla mint scent I was dying to lay my hands on but maybe another time. What are you thinking of melting for the holidays? 

Monday, December 2, 2019

Arcana Craves: Apple & Pumpkins

Have I mentioned on here that Julia at Arcana Wildcraft opened up a new webstore just for her Arcana Craves line? I love that she did that since she has so many amazing Craves scents. As of right now she has her Blueberries Crave, Apples Crave, Pumpkins Crave, Marshmallows and Peaches Craves lines up for offer. She will eventually have the Strawberries Crave come back I am sure and I think she has a Honey Craves line in the works. I am imagining her Vanilla Craves could possibly come back this winter.

I popped over and picked up a couple pumpkins and an apple.

Apples Crave Resins- Notes: Citron-laced cider with dragon's blood resin, warm myrrh and smoky frankincense. $20 (on sale for $18 currently)

The vial holds a brew of tart apple cider with silvers of citrus and twigs of spice and nuggets of resin floating about within. On the skin smoky and smudged incense enriched with burgundy apple peels and aged cinnamon bark curls up in offering. The apples and gentle spice slowly move to the background as the scent wears on while the resins warm up and sing with a gilded glow. A beautiful apple scent that will be worn heavy and often through the winter and then again next fall. I am picky about apple scents but I figured this would be a winner for me and it is.

Pumpkins Crave Resins- Notes: Gilded amber, black amber, 10 year old labdanum absolute, black tea and boozy golden gourd. $18

A dark and earthy aroma exudes from the bottle, much like a tiny pumpkin who somehow managed to be buried at the back of the cupboard and begins to warm up to its ages pleasantly. A little gourd musk if you will. On the flesh the pumpkin warms but with only a modicum of pie qualities and it still lies in that dark, shadowy place. Perhaps where some witch left the dregs of her incense cones and the embered nuggets of sap and tree resin that she swept up and tucked into a dark corner to gestate. The pumpkin lies there too. And it smells haunting.

Pumpkins Crave Treats- Notes: Rum laced caramel, cane sugar, pumpkin custard and delicate vanilla-infused marshmallows. $18

Creamy pumpkin panna cotta with cream and caramel drizzle rise out of the vial like a perfect fall treat baked by a contestant on The Great British Bake Off. Basted onto the skin a decadent pumpkin and banana custard with heaping mounds of homemade whipped cream and sprinkled with toffee bits comes to life. Rich. Dense. In the heart the sweetness abates and the custard takes on a bread-like sponginess. This delicious beauty dries down to chewy caramelized vanilla sugar. 

Pumpkins Crave Bread- Notes: Sweet pumpkin flesh with warm, baking bread, barley malt, cassia, maple candy and pumpkin spice. $18

Crusty yeast baked bread with a touch of richness from added roasted pumpkin puree greets the senses when the nose is tucked into the bottle. Kneaded onto the skin the pumpkin bread morphs into pumpkin laced cinnamon rolls, light on the icing, heavy on the flavor. It gets darker and chewier as it wears, the maple sugar a burnished amber hue with the warmth of tonka beans not far behind.

I am loving all these but the surprise favorite for me is the Pumpkin Craves Bread as I tend to shy away from bread filled notes. Looking forward to pulling these out next year as a fall treat, though I will be wearing these in the cooler days ahead as well.

How is the weather by you? It has been nice and breezy with some coolness down here. I have a hard time staying indoors. I find myself drifting outside and staring at the sunlight slanting through leaves or to inhale deeply of damp humus. Things are starting to grow more slowly but there is always something to do.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Arcana Wildcraft: Layering Notes of Rich Vanilla and Candy Cane

Arcana Wildcraft Layering Notes (on sale for $20 each)

Rich Vanilla- Notes: A deep, rich gourmand scent laced with French creme and dark Madagascar vanilla extract.

In the vial is housed a creamy vanilla with soft caramel and almond undertones. On the wrist this comforting vanilla has a custard texture and nuances of banana bread that melt into marzipan in the heart. This is a lovely vanilla that is beautifully constructed.

Candy Cane- Notes: Wild-harvested sweet peppermint with French vanilla extract and a hint of bright white musk.

From the glass lifts a crystal clear peppermint aroma veiled with a waft of vanilla musk. Once on the skin the vanilla musk elevates the minty candy cane. As it dries down the airy vanilla musk remains with its chilled and silvery tones. Finally, a minty candy cane without fruit notes. I cannot begin to tell you how happy this makes me. 

These Arcana Layering Notes are complex enough  to wear on their own but the lasting power is slightly diminished. I get about 4 hours of wear from the note on its own. They also pair beautifully in conjunction with other scents. I love Julia's Trees Layering Note. I am very happy with these two purchases. <3

What note would you layer the most with?