Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Wylde Ivy: Fall Perfumes



I found myself yearning for a few more dulcet autumnal perfumes to grace myself with as the weather cooled and the moody afternoon rains began in earnest. How fortuitous was it then that a timely newsletter from Wylde Ivy announced several new fall perfumes? I scrolled through the scents and narrowed down my choices to a full bottle of Dark November and a sampler pack of the Solstice Faire scents. If there is one thing I can count on when I order from Ashlee, it will be beautifully blended sweet musky scents that wear like ethereal vanilla candy floss.

Dark November- Notes: Smoked vanilla pods, dried tobacco leaves, apple peels, pink peppercorns, dry grass, black currants, spiced woods, baked ginger, caramelized sugar, and clove. $30

I chose Dark November blindly based on notes alone. The only note I was unsure of was the black currant since it tends to go very sharp and tart on my skin with an almost bitter, slightly uric edge. Thankfully the other sweet and snuggly notes quickly move in to lessen the power of the black currant. Dark November does open with spritely top notes of tart black currants and the brightness of those pink peppercorns. My nose gets a soft impression of a bakery at first with some yeasty and dry tones just underneath. I have not figured out if this is the baked ginger or the dry grass yet but it is there for a lingering moment. Once Dark November moves into the warm and sweet heart, very mild spices emerge along with the tobacco and vanilla. This is where the caramelized sugar sings. Bit by bit, slender ruby peels of apples twirl and glide into this cozy heart. Rustic apples, tobacco, spice and sugary musk all brew up a potion fit for anointing scarves, sweaters and breeze tousled hair. Now that I am paying minute attention to the scent I think it is the baked ginger that contributed to the yeasty bakery edge to the opening, because I sense a touch of it here still haunting the perimeter of the scent. Dark November dries down into the vanilla sugar musk I identify with Wylde Ivy so strongly. 

The Solstice Faire collection of samples is available in this beautifully packaged gift set with a tin, scent note cards and sprayer vials for $33. They all honestly sounded right up my alley so I wanted to sample them to perhaps pick one for full sized enjoyment. There are several here so I am going to strive for a down and dirty concise review of how they play out on my skin.


Treasure!


The Sugar Witch- Notes: A rich warm autumn sweet cream with a whisper of spiced maple and autumn leaves. Marshmallow, cream sweetened with vanilla and muscovado sugar, tonka beans, caramelized maple, and a shot of bourbon.
Sugar Witch is enchanting. She opens with a splash of maple sweetened creamy bourbon that smells like my favorite soft maple candies or the whisky and cream sauce I made a few times to drizzle over pecan pies. As she moves into the heart the cream becomes thicker and sweeter much like sweetened condensed milk. The tonka beans reveal their dusky vanilla flavors while the maple sugar continues to float about the concoction. Sugar Witch is an excellent study in creamy maple delights. 

The Candle Maker- Notes: Warm vanilla, melted amber, carved pumpkins and hay bales, smoldering embers, whole cloves, crushed allspice, and smoked tonka beans. 
Charred pumpkins and singed hay and baked breads all fly from the sprayer like bats out of a dark hole. This one doesn't have the characteristic sweetness I associate with Wydle Ivy and its departure is wild and moody. The embers and smoke are a touch acrid and damp as if a fall fog is creeping in around the carved and lit pumpkins that surround a nocturnal bonfire. The water vapor  smothers the impish flames, sending up ghostly smoke. This is ghoulish and unique, a mixture of atmosphere, smoke and unsweet pumpkin flesh that dries down into a creamy vanilla amber with a hint of ember. The drydown is my favorite part.

The Tea Blender- Notes: Tea leaves of black, green, and red, dried apples and pears, raw sugar, fresh amber resin, vanilla beans, a whisper of spice, and blonde wood.
Iced green tea infused with sugar and fruits, an herbal brew to revive the senses. This smells just like something from Celestial Seasonings, maybe iced raspberry zinger or a lemony green tea. The pears and apples and citrus merge effortlessly with the blend of teas. Nuances of bittersweet sepia tannins flow through the perfume. It dries down into subtle fruity musk and sweet woody musk. 


The Palm Reader- Notes: Black tea, dried bergamot, white sandalwood, incense smoke, autumn spice, caramelized sugar, and dried September apples.
Bergamot tea leaves sweep into the opening, curling and brittle, bright and slightly bitter against the crystalline autumn sun. Dry green branches, piquant bergamot and peppery tones persist into the heart. It almost smells of green bell peppers to my nose at odd times. The bitterness eventually fades into dark tea leaves that hold a breath of dried apples within. 

The Wood Carver- Notes: Cedar and oud wood spiked with clove, peppercorn, and smoked vetiver with a finish of amber resin, aged bourbon and vanilla, and a touch of sweet wood.
Lush peppercorn and sharp cedar open The Wood Carver with a chilled blast. It quickly sweetens and warms under the influence of smoky oud paired with spicy cloves. It is a lovely woodsy perfume that speaks of arid climes and tender smoky sweetness.

Solstice Faire- Notes: Ginger infused fruits, apple wood bonfires, golden hay bales, blonde sandalwood, smoked sugars, crimson tipped leaves, and spiced pumpkins. 
After smelling the ginger here I am confirmed in my thinking that this is the note contributing to the dry baked goods in Dark November. I get a whiff of that dry ginger note in the opening of Solstice Faire but there is also a creaminess present, perhaps the pumpkins and sandalwood. This is a golden aroma: fluttering leaves, slices of pumpkin pie, hayrides, and tender gilded sunsets viewed through the haze of woodsmoke and grasping branches. This is a dry (hay) and creamy (pumpkins and sandalwood) scent of musings with eyes half lidded in the autumn afternoon.


A few free samples rode along with my order and I was thrilled to see them!

Briar + Vanilla- Notes: Raw vanilla, charred amber, dried brambles warmed in the sun, white cedarwood bows, dried oakmoss dusted with crushed tonka beans, a touch of woodsmoke on frost nipped air mingled with a sugar musk.
Bracing cedar and earthen oakmoss fall into the opening to land gently upon a bed of vanilla woods and sugar frosted twigs. This a is stunning vanilla woods that morphs and sways from the sweet to delicately smoky and back again. It is gauzy and plush, brushed in soft textures.

Fireborn- Notes: Black cocoa powder, crushed tonka beans, ambrette seeds, roasted coffee, dewy vanilla beans, crystallized amber, dried orange peel, with a hint of woodsmoke.
Finely milled cocoa sifted with blonde coffee greets the nose upon spraying. This is a mild scent, nothing overpowering or artificial about it. After a few minutes a brightness pulls through and this must be the citrus and ambrette. The mild chocolate  and brun remnants of the coffee keep the scent snug and quiet, but the citrus acts like a small glowing ember amid the dark comfort. Fireborn is a unique gourmand among my collection. I rarely enjoy chocolate scents but this one is pleasant. 


Twilight Paradise- Notes: Fresh cracked coconut, crisp bergamot leaves, blue heliotrope, vanilla orchids soaked in coconut milk, night blooming jasmine petals, pink citron dust, and fresh cut sugarcane with a hint of sweet musk. 
This is a sultry and sweet tropical scent. It smells like a stroll through an upscale seaside spa in south Florida. The coconut is bright and juicy, not sunscreen, not bakery, but legit coconut. The florals only serve to highlight the coconut flesh and the citron adds a sunny zing that brings to mind tropical drinks with slices of citrus tucked into the rim. Gorgeous scent.

Annona- Notes: Sweet, slow simmered apples, mulled berries, cardamom and cinnamon, oak and peppercorn, golden wheat fields and fresh cream, caramelized raw sugar, and a hint of creamy pumpkin.
Annona is just what I want in a festive fall perfume. Spiced apples and caramel sweetness all stewed with jewel toned berries and accompanied by corn husk dolls. It is slightly reminiscent of some of my beloved fall candles and wax tarts but that does not deter me one bit. I love apple cinnamon scents and I actually have not tried one in perfume form that I love as much as I do this one. I think this might be my next full size.

I enjoyed wearing these varied scents and will be looking to perhaps sample some of the Halloween releases too from Wylde Ivy. Do you have any favorites from Ashlee for this time of year? I will be giving away some samples along with some wax and books here soon. Keep an eye out. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Melting Basket 154

 



Rosegirls- Pumpkin Chai Carbs
Rosegirls- Apple Pumpkin Crunch Donuts
Bohemienne Life- Palo Santo
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Palo Santo
Dessa's Homespun Scents- Red Hot Cinnamon Sticks
Blended With Love- Smoke Signals (amber, pipe smoke, vanilla creme)
Beezy- Mac Apple
Ten Digit Creations- Palo Santo/Vanilla Tobacco
Ten Digit Creations- Black Vanilla/Palo Santo/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations- Fireball Marshmallows
Ten Digit Creations- Bourbon Tobacco/Patchouli/Vintage Vanilla
Ten Digit Creations- Marshmallow Sugar Cookie
Ten Digit Creations- Caramel Apple/Marshmallows By The Fire/Sandalwood Marshmallow
Candles From The Keeping Room- Autumn Leaves type
Candles From The Keeping Room- Pumpkin Patchouli
Candles From The Keeping Room- Autumn in the Park

Some things that have been making me feel calm or have brought my snippets of joy:
- Reading All Creatures Great and Small
- Watching Gardener's World on Amazon
- Candles all over the place
- Afternoon thunderstorms
- Planting the raised beds (carrots, scallions, winter squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, beets, radishes, blackeyed peas)
- Barefoot walking in backyard
- Orders placed at The Bathing Garden, Dessa's Homespun Scents, Candles From the Keeping Room
- Ella Fitzgerald on vinyl
- Sugar Kiss cantaloupe
- Hearing Savanna daydream out loud about possibly going to college in upstate New York
- Watching Scarlette make new friends who treat each other well
- Hearing Adam laugh with his brother
- Smelling yummy perfumes from my collection

How are you finding calm moments? Can you feel fall drifting in?

Friday, September 4, 2020

Vapid Wax: It's Showtime!

 This wax tart was sent free from Vapid Wax for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.


A great smelling wax tart from Vapid is going on sale today through the 7th at Polish Pickup. The theme is All Hallow's Eve and Jenn created this fabulous Beetlejuice inspired scent.


Showtime!- Notes: A Betelguese pulls himself out of his dirt covered grave, there's a warm inviting scent of cranberries, orange cloves, mandarines, bergamot and spices. $6

This bright and cheerful tart does have a zing of citrus and the energy of the wild man himself. I can picture is mold framed face and frantic hair already. The fruits are tempered by the soil that falls from his flannel covered shoulders and the cemetery at his feet. A slight suggestion of greenery hovers nearby, perhaps the memory of the dead tree at his tombstone? Or is it the lush countryside that lies right outside the attic window? Either way this is a unique blend of earth and fruits and subtle clove. I am excited to melt it and even more excited to put the sandworm pin on my tote bag. 


My sister has dressed up like a sexy Beetlejuice a couple times for Halloween and she always looks stunning. I would love to dress up like the old portly guy myself. I bet it would be fun. 

This tart will be on sale until the 7th and will be in a limited run. Grab one while you can if you like unique blends. 

Monday, August 31, 2020

Ebb & Flow: August 2020

 The highs and lows of the month.


Perfume:
Solstice Scents Wolf Spirit

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Filthy Viking

Lotion:
Blood Moon Botanica Olive & Tallow Hand and Body Cream

Lip Balm:
For Strange Women Baba Yaga

Body Oil:
Aftelier Patchouli Spice

Skincare:
Forest & Fjord Sea Silk Face Cream

Deodorant:
Wildroots Activated Charcoal Deodorant

Soap:
Black Magic Alchemy Root Beer Soap

Candle:
Bath and Body Works Pumpkin Vanilla Creme

Wax:
Candles From the Keeping Room Apple Dumpling

Eating:
Grapes, chocolate, trail mix

Drinking:
Water, Starbucks Fall coffee blend at home

Watching:
Finished all the Gilmore Girls plus the new Netflix extensions, kinda taking a TV break for now.

Reading:
Finishing up the Nevernight Chronicles, it is ok- silly, gory and smutty. Wouldn't re-read but don't regret reading them. 

Listening:
Picked up a Bangles album and breaking it in.

Awaiting:
Cooler weather, camping with the family in late September, bonfires.

Dreading:
That I will not be able to handle a lot of the paperwork side to the classroom on my own without my co-teacher to balance it with me. Nervous about not keeping up with it (record keeping for IEP, 504, MTSS, Transparent Classroom, Parent Square) while still trying to lesson plan, prep the classroom, help students one-on-one, perform progress monitoring, maintaining a clean environment, enforce social distancing- which by the way is VERY hard with preteen children. 

Hit:
The new lip balms from For Strange Women. They are 100% natural, smell and feel amazing and look very stylish. 

Miss:
My favorite Bearing Thorns necklace chain broke, my favorite Erra Jean handmade coffee mug broke, and I am slowly killing my favorite feathery fern. 

Low:
I am definitely riding the Struggle Bus. I can feel that my stop is approaching and that I will be disembarking in the near future but in the meantime I have been fighting some self worth issues tied to my pay (with my Master's in education and 7 years teaching experience- thought I have been technically teaching for 12 years- I am now only making $500 above starting first year teacher salary with no additional credentials), struggling with my uterus as usual, and overall concerns about my students. I know this will pass and I am set to take this one day at a time. 

High:
I had a nice summer with my husband and girls. I had time to wake up slowly and create some fun art. I read copiously. I got a raise (that is me spinning the above "low" into a "high"). I have some raised beds to fill up with soil and seeds. I am keeping my roses alive. My hoyas are happy. I am burning fall candles.

How was your August? Are you ready for fall or wanting to extend summer? Do you have a veggie garden? What are you favorite herbs or vegetables to grow? What houseplants are you good at nourishing?




Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Black Magic Alchemy: RootBeer Float and 50 Shades of Chaga Soaps

 


My friend Julia sent me some amazing soaps from Black Magic Alchemy last week and I wanted to share them with you since you guys know I love my bar soaps. After browsing about their website I found some incredible sounding chaga elixir and chaga tea to try out when I reorder these soaps. Yep. Reorder. Spoiler: this soap is fantastic.


50 Shades of Chaga- "Surrender into an activating soap blend of wild harvested chaga mushroom, black spruce, and coconut oil to sexify skin, clear your mind, purify your lungs, and stimulate your senses." $14.95

This an exfoliating and detoxifying soap that not only boasts chaga mushrooms and activate charcoal but also coconut, cocoa and shea butters along with cedarwood and benzoin to accompany the black spruce. Made with 100% organic of sustainably wild harvested ingredients that provide lung therapy and clarity of the mind. I was anxious to get this one in the shower and once I did it was awesome. 

I enjoyed the buffing and exfoliation that the soap provided but what really grabbed my attention was the scent and the lather. The aroma of bracing cedarwood, lightly mentholated charcoal and spruce made for an invigorating perfume. And the bubbles? Let me say, with our well water and water softening system I rarely have trouble getting a lather up on a bar of soap but this was insane, it was a blizzard of bubbles. At one point in my latherings I looked down and noticed that within the ring of my arms I held a giant single bubble framed by hundreds of frothy friends. The chaga soap felt wonderful on the skin and left behind a soft and nourished canvas for the evening.




Wild Chaga Root Beer Float Soap- "This ain't your grandpapi's root beer. We synthesized ancient forest resins, our wildharvested chaga mushroom and aromatic plants into a purifying soap." $14.95

This soap is composed of coconut, cocoa and shea butters along with benzoin, wintergreen and bergamot oils. It is comprised of 100% organic or sustainably wild harvested ingredients that can heal the skin, ease inflammation and sooth pain. After some extra time spent in the yard this past weekend I was ready to take this one for a test spin in the shower. Am I the only one who gets cramps and pulled muscles super easy nowadays?

I cut a nice chunky hunk from this soap and used it a few nights ago. I love the scent on this one. It reminded me of the song "Big Rock Candy Mountain" with its old fashioned hard vanilla candy paired with trees and earth. A quaint river of burbling cream soda flows through a stand of oaks where mushrooms colonize on the edge of the banks, capturing stray scoops of vanilla ice cream as they bob down the stream. Sweet and earthy. Deliciously scented. This one is a mad bubble generator too but without the extra exfoliation. The Root Beer Float soap possesses a firm yet silky texture that feels buttery soft running through the hands. Wonderful soap.


I am so thankful to have been gifted these soaps and will be ordering from Black Magic Alchemy very soon. I have a mind to try their elixir and tea as well as grabbing a back up of these soaps. Have you found any mushroomy treasures? I am loving the Four Sigmatic reishi cocoa. It is yummy in coffee and chai tea. 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Melting Bakset 153: Full On Fall

 


I think have been stress melting. Is that a thing? Just constantly craving comforting scents to waft and wrap about the house and nose? I have a friend called The Fall Slut who would give me a solid rap on the wrist if she knew I was already decorated for Halloween and melting apples and pumpkins in the house. It is hilariously early to be in fall mode here in Florida but my girls and I were salivating to decorate so we did.

Beezy Amish Quilt
Beezy Pumpkin Apple Strudel
Handmade in Florida Caramel Apple
Handmade in Florida Fallen Leaves
Vintage Chic Scents Cream Cheese Spindle Curse
Vintage Chic Scents Bourbon Orleans Hotel (Marshmallow Vanilla Cake with Pumpkin Cupcakes and Cider Lane)
CFTKR Honey Apple
CFTKR Buttercream and Snickerdoodle
CFTKR Apple Dumpling
CFTKR Lumberjack
CFTKR Vanilla Sugar Waffle Cone
CFTKR Noels of Autumn
CFTKR Pilgrims Pie (<3 gift)
CFTKR Apple Brown Sugar
CFTKR Cookie Snacks (<3 gift)



I think the afternoon thunder showers and copious amounts of Gilmore Girls has inspired the fall feels. Plus day dreams of doing my fall planting soon. Adam and I finally upgraded our creaky wooden boxsprings and old spring mattress for those new fangled metal box frames and the kind of mattress that comes delivered in a long skinny box. I got it in my head that we could turn the old box springs into raised bed gardens. Adam was kind enough (after a birthday gift of sawhorses and a circular saw >cough< >cough<) to fashion me two raised beds by enclosing the sides of the old box springs. 


Now I am on a mission to slowly fill the boxes with soil. I think it will take me about 10 trips or so to Walmart. But the beds should be ready by September for planting. I am hoping the squirrels will leave some goodies for me once they get growing.


In the meantime I am still puttering about the yard weeding and trying to figure out how I want some of the landscape beds to look. I had a nice roll of waking up and doodling but now that I am back to work I have not had a chance to do that and I miss it. I did brew up some more lemongrass though and it made me feel better. 


I have some cool soaps and some new BPALs to chat about. I took some photos and hope to get sniffing in the evenings this week. I have also been reading the Nevernight series. It is gratuitous skanky gory candy fluff but it is entertaining enough for my needs at the moment. I plan on trying to read The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury this fall and maybe start The Witcher books so I can watch the show. What are you reading or watching? Any recs? Are you ready for fall? It's because we want to get this year over with isn't it?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Melting Basket 152: Summer's End

 

It has been so long since my last basket pot (May!!!) that I am just going to list what I stuck in this most recent one. I have emptied two or so baskets since then... meaning to post about them, however, it has been a strange summer. 

Vapid Wax Autumn Harvest
Beezy Honey Clementine
Rosegirls Coconut Pumpkin Marshmallow Cupcakes
Dessa's Charred Oud Vanilla
Dessa's Fall Foliage
Ten Digit Creations Fireball Marshmallow
Ten Digit Creations Marshmallow Sugar Cookie
Ten Digit Creations Black Vanilla/Palo Santo/Wood Spice
Ten Digit Creations Apple Butter/Caramel/Creme Brulee
Ten Digit Creations Black Raspberry Vanilla/Marshmallow Sugar Cookie/Pink Sugar
CFTKR Welcome Home
CFTKR Gooseberry Pie
CFTKR Pumpkin and Pine
CFTKR Pumpkin Ginger and Apple
CFTKR Merlin's Forest
CFTKR Apple Fritter
CFTKR Powdered Donuts
CFTKR Spearmint Cake

If you are curious about how any of these melt just let me know and I will review them.
Normally summer is my time to catch up on the blog, go on adventures with the girls and lay back and relax. This summer didn't quite pan out like that given our current worries and realities. I did strive to spend time out in the yard or with my nose in a book. 

The girls and I did go on a few trails, found a new coffee shop or two and watched tons of TV recklessly.
I worried about coming back to school. What that would look like for my students, my own kids and myself. I spent the last week prepping with my two co-workers for our first two virtual weeks (that start Monday) and then the transition into the building on the 24th. Out of the 4 upper elementary classes we are the only class going back into brick and mortar. The rest will be online. I will get to teach my own daughter for the first time ever. That will be an adventure. :-)
I hope if you and yours are headed off into this fraught school year that you all will be protected and safe, healthy and whole. 

I think I will bring out the fall decorations this weekend to bring some cheer in the house. And maybe even bake an apple crisp. 

What are your plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab: Patchouli Clove Bar Soap


One of my favorite soapers, Brooke Perry from B. Perry Studios, created a handful of soaps for Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab not too long ago, all hauntingly delicious sounding. There was some pumpkin spice (this one is still available!), apples, pumpkin cheesecake and this patchouli clove. I decided to pick up two bars of this version.


Patchouli Clove-  Notes: Husky patchouli and bitter clove in a soap swirled with bonfire ash. $12

This 3.5 ounce cocoa butter based bar soap is crafted by B. Perry Studios using BPAL fragrance. It comes beautifully wrapped in an antiqued paper sleeve that even has a castle scene on the back. 


It will be my soap for the month of August, carrying me into the wiles of autumn gently and fragrantly. The patchouli is earthen and herbaceous with woody buds of clove and green hazy woodsmoke wafting about. There is a tang to this soap, as if the good being burned was still bendy and verdant with sap and life. It lathers with tiny bubbles and viscous silken cream. It rinses cleanly leaving behind soft sweet skin.


Now I am eyeing up that last soap in Pumpkin Spice Everything.

I feel like I am ready to bust into the shed and break out my fall stuff. I was planning to this past weekend but things got busy and I wasn't feeling in the right frame of mind with work coming on Monday and a potential hurricane (turned out to be just a few moody rainstorms) and my cycle approaching. I think this coming weekend will be good. Are you decorating yet? Do you plan to?

Friday, July 31, 2020

Ebb & Flow: July 2020

The highs and lows of the month.


Perfume:
Solstice Scents Lavender Vanilla

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft The Huntress

Body Oil:
Blood Moon Botanica Coconut Silk

Soap:
Handmade in Florida Spa

Conditioner:
Future Primitive Bell, Book and Candle Conditioning Hair Rinse

Shampoo:
Future Primitive Shampoo Bar

Skin Care:
Forest & Fjord Deep Forest serum mixed with Blood Moon Botanica Moon Dew

Candle:
Bath and Body Works Rosemary Peppermint, love the way it smells, calming and elegant.

Wax:
Candles From The Keeping Room Strawberry Noel

Eating:
Israeli Bean Salad

Drinking:
Coffee, Water, Mango Tango iced tea

Awaiting:
Not much to anticipate right now.

Dreading:
Not knowing what/when/how the school year is going to look like. Feeling anxious for my students, my own kids and my fellow co-workers.

Hit:
Still loving the Wildroots natural deodorant.

Miss:
I miss my birds. I miss my wildflowers and vegetable garden.

Low:
One of my favorite coffee mugs was broken. Lots of menstrual pain. Just feeling kinda low in general. 

High:
Biking with the family in Key West. It was nice to snorkel and get out of the house for a bit and into nature. 

How did your July go? Are you looking forward to anything? If I was hard pressed I would say fall. Been melting lots of apple cinnamon around these parts. 

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Arcana Craves: New Honey Line, New Vanillas and New Strawberry

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


Julia composed several new lovely perfumes for her Arcana Craves line in honor of the things we have all missed terribly during this pandemic. She also debuted a new Craves flanker in the form of honey. And Julia's iterations of honey are some of my very favorite. Her honey blends are never sour or gamey, syrupy or powdery. They flow along the lines of floral or heady, rich and sometimes tobacco-like. These range $18 each and there are some great deals and coupon codes going on too.


Honey Craves Festivals- Notes: Smoky dragonsblood and nag champa incense, dark honey, live music, green cannabis, spilled beer, bonfires, patchouli, soft earth, and laughter.
Uncapping this is a practice in self indulgence. At least for me. I get lusty whiffs of patchouli incense and I am here for it. Swiped onto the skin satiny incense sticks of spiced dragon's blood and carnation hued nag champa waft about in gray streaming clouds. A teasing thread of fresh sticky weed outlines the heart of the scent while that smokin' patchouli reveals itself through the haze of incense. The dry down is my favorite, a gauzy honeyed musk infused patchouli. The patch and soft earth go hand-in-hand and rest beautifully on the skin but eventually vanish leaving only the honey musk glow. If Honey Craves Festivals then I crave Honey Craves Festivals.

Honey Craves Paradise- Notes: Sugared mango, heady tiare blossoms, delicate honey, golden sand, and warm coconut scented body oil.
In the vial a swell of honeyed white blossoms rises up, they are moony with the essence of tropical gardenias and sweet like bananas. This dewy nectar wears like a silk sarong on the skin with a golden shoulder exposed and a creamy white flower tucked behind the ear. A honeyed sunset on Oahu with palm tree silhouettes and Billie Holiday's lyrical voice weaving through the coconut and jasmine scented air. Silken, narcotic and well, paradise.

Honey Craves Moonlit Paths- Notes: Night hiking in a deciduous forest under the moonlight. Beeswax absolute, forest floor, damp, decaying leaves, fragrant mosses, wild honey, sleeping trees, and a whiff of feral fur.
Kicking up drifts of browned damp leaves while hiking along a winding shadowy path, this is the mirage that unfurls from the bottle when the cap is unscrewed. This mirage unfolds onto the flesh when dappled upon it. Leafy trees, dusty bark and warm burrows spring up too. There is even a hint of a chilly nightwind that combs through the oaks then skims over a moonlit silvered brook. As the swollen moon skims across the icy sky a lonely lupine howl rises. The drydown smells of a cold stone den, gray wolf fur the dry leaves stuck to it. I love this perfume and the earthy wild romp it takes me on.



Honey Craves Coffee Shops- Notes: Roasting coffee beans, honey-drizzled cake, freshly baked vanilla cookies, soft, overstuffed chairs, and a hint of steamed milk.
This was the first one I sniffed when I opened up the delivery and I was knocked on my rump. A coffee junkie's delight. Creamy and frothy honeyed cinnamon lattes and a heady atmosphere that reminds me of Holy Terror for some reason, is it the honey? Beeswax? I don't know but it is like sitting in a dark cafe with heavy velvet drapes while slightly inappropriate indie flicks are playing silently on the wall. On the skin a cup of cafe con leche rests on a saucer with a sliver of almond biscotti and two honey sticks. The honey and coffee holds nuances of chewy tobacco and vanilla. The coffee feathers out to a smooth and mild honey and cream that continues to project as a glorious mild tobacco on my skin.

Honey Craves Ice Cream Parlors- Notes: Pistachio ice cream, honey ice cream, Madagascar vanilla gelato, and a chilled porcelain bowl.
Iced cherries dot three scoops of vanilla bean studded gelato. Freshly drizzled on the wrists I initially get a suggestion of sweet dark tobacco, must be the cherry vanilla flavors. As it melts into the skin honey slowly warms the scent up and the cherry vanilla richness twists into that pistachio ice cream but yes, there is still a tiny round ruby cherry on top. 

Honey Craves Theater- Notes: Golden vetiver, floral honey, sakura blossoms, rare orchids, white amber, pearl musk, a glass of chilled chardonnay, and a hint of leather.
Liquid flowers and dank vetiver emerge from the perfume bottle. Wet in the crook of my elbow spry cherry blossoms pair with edgy dark vetiver with its damp grassy aroma. Starched white amber, crisp like an oxford collar, begins to pull up through the sakura and the vetiver slips away. A touch of leather and drop of honey joins the act with the amber. 


Vanilla Craves Mermaid Shoals- Notes: A gourmand aquatic fantasy. Warm, musky neroli, lemon biscotti, bright tangerine, sunlight glittering on blue water, vanilla, sea foam, briny seaweed absolute, and scattered rose petal incense.
I swear when this was fresh from the mail I picked up a tiny ocean in the bottle. Now that some days have passed I mostly scent a lemony vanilla neroli bouquet. On the skin a balmy neroli blooms, surrounded by vanilla orchids, sweet and round. The ghost of Sand in Your Tail hovers in the back of my mind when I sniff it, but the vanilla in this particular perfume stands out. After several minutes of wear the undulating brackish greenery of seaweed slinks around the peripheral of the aroma. But I only catch fleeting glimpses of it out of the corner of my nose, the vanilla and neroli remain out in the open sunning themselves on the rocks. As it fades the perfume of lacy vanilla incense remains.

Vanilla Craves Grind Shows- Notes: Vanilla-laced cotton candy, deep fried funnel cakes encrusted with powdered sugar, salty peanuts, kettle corn, and caramel covered apples.
Sugary cotton candy as cheerful as strings of colored twinkling lights beckoning for a closer peep, salty treats hum with flavor like neon lights buzzing in the night and a raucous excitement that bites firmly into the spirit, crisp like an apple. Painted onto the skin the jolly pink apples and salted peanuts make a festive trail mix with a handful of brightly colored candied popcorn tossed in. It is that candied popcorn that sticks to the hands with its subtle fruity flavoring and joyful crunch that lingers after initial application. This is the snack before the show that amps the energy and gets the bones dancing. The popcorn crunch morphs into an illusion of bakery that begins to sweeten with vanilla icing, a build up to the finale of the show.`


Peaches Crave the Movies- Notes: Torn ticket stubs, peach gummy worms, cherry licorice whips, red velvet drapes, buttery popcorn, and smashed candy on the floor.
Crisp popcorn, peachy flavored lipgloss and murky leather shadows playfully tickle the nose when sniffed from the glass. There is naughtiness afoot in the dark of the movie theater. Wet on the skin the peach and popcorn are giddy with youth and mischief. The heart does expand into those peach gummy rings, almost plastic in their elasticity, while the old fashioned waxed paper buckets that hold the bounty of buttery popcorn come into play as well. As it dries down a pithy peach musk settles down to enjoy the film. 


Strawberries Crave Sunlit Paths- Notes: Sugary red strawberries with Arcana's Her Forest (forest moss, green lichens, fir tips, Bourbon vetiver, black oudh, and forest floor).
I must preface this by first saying that Her Forest is in my Arcana Top 10. This is my past review of Her Forest:
The notes on this one. They all speak to me. Sniffing gently from the vial the fir tips tumble out and scatter while notes of damp humus and grassy vetiver tease out between the evergreen tufts. Dappled onto the skin like sun through the leaves, the forest floor awakens and shakes itself from the winter slumber. The brackish leaves rustle like scales on a great beast, tannic and loamy. As the hide shivers and stirs the trees tremble and drop their needles and greenery in a waterfall of foliage. Papery skinned lichens and the dry curled tresses of moss float like confetti in the energized air, taking an indiscriminate path down to the earth. They possess a dried grass quality that hints at earthen romps in childhood. Her Forest burrows down into a gorgeous midnight oudh with a sweet resinous foundation. This has my heart.
Tart wild strawberries lie like so many chips of rubies on the forest floor when sniffing from the bottle and the beauty of Her Forest germinates anew. Brushed onto the wrists the strawberries and evergreen needles sparkle with dewy sweetness and verve. It smells like a holiday on the skin. It brings to mind Skookum just briefly. I had that one but ended up passing it on to my sister because I knew she would love it. Strawberries Crave Sunlit Paths sits more companionably on my flesh. It has a juicy ripeness to it amid the wooded charms. I now am teased with all the Her Forest variations I could imagine: Lavender Craves Forests, Vanilla Craves Enchanted Woods, Patchouli Craves Deer Trails. Filthy Vikings Raid the Woods. Holy Terror Haunts the Copse. I want it all. Just add Her Forest to everything.

I am overjoyed that Julia is crafting more Craves goodies. She generously offered a free full sized bottle of any scent up the release. You had to be the in Arcana Addicts Facebook group (which I highly recommend joining). Julia is very generous and kind. She also has a special for EMTs and first responders if you send her a message. Some of these scents are out of stock but WILL be restocked very soon. There is also a buy 3 get one free offer code (DAYDREAM) that will be on going for a good while. 

I am giving away four of these scents: Honey Craves Theater, Honey Craves Ice Cream Parlors, Honey Craves Paradise, and Peaches Crave the Movies. If you would like to win these beauties please comment below with what single note you are currently enjoying tremendously right now or what candle you are enjoying currently. I will randomly draw a winner over the weekend.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Candles From The Keeping Room: July Opening


Heeeeeey there good lookin'. I know I said I was trying to cut back on the whole summer wax buying thing and well, I do think I did ok overall. But you know when Carol opens up for some orders it is mighty hard to resist. I scanned her scent list and saw all those apples and felt kinda swoony. With all the afternoon thunderstorms we have been getting here lately it has brought a fall feeling to my soul. I find myself daydreaming of tiny orange pumpkins and goofy ghosts and cinnamon sprinkled into everything. I ordered. Wanna see?

Here is my most recent Candles From the Keeping Room order:

Fresh Blackberry Salt Water Marshmallow Taffy- I have tried and enjoyed Carol's Salt Water Taffy in a blend or two so when I saw this I thought I would pop it in for some last minute summer melting. The blackberry here is tart and zingy, which does bring freshness to mind. No syrups or jams here. No florals either. A nice robust blackberry with a tinge of redness still lingering on some of the druplets. The blackberries are softly sweetened with the taffy and marshmallow but on cold this lingers gently in the background. Looking forward to melting this!

Bayberry Black Forest- This one is new to me as well and will be wonderful to scent the house in winter. This smells like a classic bayberry scent: green, Christmasy, with a touch of eucalyptus and pine. 

Strawberry Salt Water Marshmallow Taffy- Like I would let this slip by? Juicy pink strawberries and melty sweet marshmallow taffy, a candied indulgence indeed.


Golden Spongecake- Another newbie that popped into my cart. This one is going to melt beautifully. A wonderful vanilla bakery scent that is heavy on the vanilla sugar with the depth of caramel all atop a dense cake. This does have a fresh baked moistness to it. No crunchy cookies here. No bready thickness. Just a beautifully rendered vanilla spongecake. 

Lavender Marshmallow- I recently burned a Bath & Body Works Lavender Marshmallow candle and quite enjoyed it. This tart is similar but more along the lines of their lavender vanilla scent. 

Ultimate Vanilla- I feel head over heels in love with this scent earlier in the year. I absolutely refused to melt any until I managed to grab another bag. This is vanilla to the 10th power. Vanilla extract, vanilla creme, vanilla bean pods and vanilla syrup gracing vanilla sugar cookies. 


Sweet Cinnamon Cake- I love these adorable cinnamon roll shapes! They look so real. This one I already melted a chunk of out of curiosity and well, it was dark and rainy and cinnamon always beckons to me then. This did not disappoint. It melted strong in the kitchen with the aroma of sugared cinnamon sweet bread. This read more like a homemade French toast rather than cake but was delicious nonetheless. 

Powdered Donuts- I am not sure why I have not tried this before. It is yummy! These remind me of the "hot now" sugar glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts my mouth waters for. There is a definite sugar note here along with the fluffy cake goodness. 

Sugar Cookie Latte- An old favorite and hands-down the best coffee scent out there for me in home fragrance. Every other coffee is puppy toes and Doritos to my nose. But this.... this is magic. There is still a faint roasted coffee bitterness but it is tempered by the robust sugar cookie and I love it. And that coffee bean?! Check him out!


I know... you heard about these apples and are giving me the side-eye... they are coming. I promise...

Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake- I think this was a sample I had. I needed more. Cinnamon strudel studded vanilla coffee cake with pumpkin puree mixed in the batter? I need to make this at home. To eat. But until then I will be melting this instead. It is heavenly if you like your pumpkins spiced and with cake. 

Primitive Wishes-  This is a throwback for me. I used to melt this all the time in fall and winter. I missed having it around. It's a funny little slice of nostalgia and very unique among scents. It is like eating vanilla frosted Christmas cookies while on a sleigh ride through the pine and spruce woods of Narnia. Well ok, maybe nostalgic in my head. I always felt like Mrs. Beaver probably made some mean vanilla Christmas cookies.

Coffee Cake and Spice- I think this might be new to me as well, but I try to pick up any scent with "spice" or "coffee cake" or "cinnamon" in the name so who knows at this point? This is perfect. It reminds me of Amish Quilt but with vanilla cake in it too. Mmmm. Simple comfort.


APPLES!!!

Home Made Apple Pie- This is heavier on the spice than the next apple pie, it is also sweeter too. You can smell the syrup of the apple glaze filling and it is quite frankly, divine. The apples are prominent, plump and toothsome when one of those pale cinnamon speckled crescents is plucked from under the lattice. Holy moly this is causing quite the late night craving.

Toffee Apple Crunch- This is a classic old school scent that I missed having on hand. It used to get blended with everything back in the day. This is a deceptively simple caramel apple. Not too much sugary caramel and not too much mac apple, but a wonderful mixture that balances each other wonderfully. 

Hot Apple Pie- This apple pie is yummy too, The spice is more dry and the sweetness is tamed. I feel like a get a little crust and perhaps some a la mode action too. The apples are still there but not in the forefront as much as in Home Made Apple Pie. This is more about the pie. It is still dang good too. 


Apple Cobbler Delight- This is a forever favorite along with the one below. Apple Cobbler Delight is a sweet candied apple treat. Quiet on the spice and more about being a tasty sugary apple treat. 

Apple Dumpling- Apple Dumpling is all about those cinnamon marinated apples. And will you check out those adorable dumplings?!?! How am I going to melt these? Apple Dumpling is more spicer than the Home Made Apple Pie, but still sweet along those lines. 

Apple Fritter- This is the one if you like a heavier bakery with your softly spiced apple. Definitely some flakey pastry layers with this one, perhaps even a touch of corn meal. This would be a nice Thanksgiving melt. 

Ok so in order of heaviest cinnamon to none: Apple Dumpling, Home Made Apple Pie, Hot Apple Pie (some crust), Apple Cobbler Delight, Apple Fritter (lots of crust), Toffee Apple Crunch (no spice/no crust). And now all I want to do is melt apple cinnamon scents. I should try to do a run down of all the apple cinnamon scents I have on hand. My nostrils would be singed by the end probably. Paralyzed like cilia. But I would have my aromatherapy for the day.


Free samples!

I am excited about the autumnal scents creeping into the samples. As usual, Carol was very generous in the gifting. 

Cherry Vanilla Birthday Cake is a soft airy cake with light cherry tones.

Unicorn Sprinkles is a tart fruity musk. I get currants from this.

Huckleberry Pizzelle reminds em of how much I miss the pizzelle blends. A creamy vanilla cookie with bits of sweet blueberry and grape-like fruits embedded. 

Cookie Snacks is delish. Vanilla and caramel cookies with the faintest hint of tonka.

Strawberry Pound Cake type is a great match for the Bath & Body Works version. I recently burned this candle while on vacation and this tart aligns with the sweet and creamy strawberry vanilla of the candle.


Gooseberry Pie smells of tangy grapes and perhaps a touch of citrus or peach. I would drink this up.

Welcome Home is lovely. Vanilla and honeyed apples and soft spice. There is an element of Leaves and a hint of sweet musk in this one that sets it apart. 

Honey Apple is a bowl of Honeycrisp apples thinly sliced and drizzled with honey and lemon juice and garnished with one apple blossom.

Apple Brown Sugar is similar to Toffee Apple Crunch but sweeter and less gooey.

Autumn Leaves type is a fragrant blend of fall foliage, cool breezes and amber musk. Looking forward to melting this one in my bedroom. 

Pumpkin Ginger and Apple is a wonderfully perky fall scent. The pumpkins and apples are field fresh and shinning with that morning's dew. There are also bundles of cinnamon brooms being sold on the cart and the crunch of fall leaves beneath boots of the market goers. 


Spearmint Cake is heaven. Crisp and refreshing spearmint with mellow vanilla tones to make it dreamy.

Tricks for Treats is fun! Normally the whole generic bag of Halloween candy hits my nose wrong, like one too many Tootsie Rolls. But here is it perfect. It is like recalling from memory the feeling of looking into that clean pillow case at your sweet wax paper wrapped treats. There is a touch of the linen, a hint of paper wrappings and underneath that candy bag mix but in just the right measure. Impressed.

Campfire Treats is a wonderful smoky sweet delight. The dessert aspect is kept in the distance while the focus is more on the charred wood fire and the gentle haze of smoke that surrounds the gathering.

Apple Vanilla Clove Butter is a beautiful blend. The sweet strength of the Apple Clove Butter is lifted by the vanilla into a lush dessert.

Pumpkin Souffle is a rich pumpkin and spice dish. If you had covered the label and had me sniff I would have guessed it was pumpkin zucchini bread with a dash of salt.

Pumpkin and Pine is right up my alley. Sweet mellow pumpkins and plush pine needles. Like visiting a pumpkin patch in the Smoky mountains.


Blueberry Maple Pancakes is a robust blueberry scent. I like it.

Grape Airheads type surprised me. I must have missed this one from Bath & Body Works. Well, this does smell just like grape Airheads. It is sour and tart and sweet with purple grape candy essence.

Spiced Autumn Wreath is one I would gravitate towards. It smells like a twined grapevine wreath, there is a soft hay and straw scent that reminds me of those naked curling vines. The wreath is studded with tiny cinnamon pinecones and dried apple slices. 

Spiced Autumn Wreath, Cookie Snacks, Pumpkin and Pine, Apple Clove Vanilla Butter, Pumpkin and Apple Ginger, Campfire Teats,  Spearmint Cake, Tricks for Treats, and Welcome Home are all ones I would happily hunt down next opening if I can. I think Carol mentioned a September opening yesterday morning. I will probably try to collect a few more autumn scents. 

Are you ready for fall? What are you most looking forward to?