Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Ebb & Flow: June 2020

The highs and lows of the month.

Wylde Ivy Green Lady

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Merrywidow

Body Cream:
Blood Moon Botanica Saint Johns Wort Hand & Body Cream

Lip Balm:
For Strange Women Siberian Fir and Frankincense Lip Balm

Handmade in Florida Spa Time

Future Primitive Four and Twenty Blackbirds Hair Rinse

Bijou Candles Hedy, an amber and tuberose beauty

Candles From The Keeping Room Strawberry Noel

Blueberries, sunflower seeds, tiny Fuji apples

AHA Apple and Ginger sparkling water

The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens

RuPaul's Drag Race, Gilmore Girls and The Office

Old school surfing music and Tubular Bells

Key West next week for snorkeling, biking, beach walking with the girls and Adam. 

The end of summer break.

My 2020 Tudor Planner, I went ahead and ordered a new one for next year. 

My hummingbird feeder. I don't think the little fella has tried it even once. 

My grandmother's funeral. It angered me to have to hear more about her husband's accolades than her own. It made me angry that it turned into a political platform where the number of aborted babies had to be announced. It angered me that guns were mentioned more than memories of her. It stoked a bigger fire in my heart rather than soothe it. My family's thoughts and ideals are a big part of the turmoil in this country and I hate that I used to believe in it.

Seeing my own daughter advocate for BLM and equality via her social media. 
Spending time with my girls.
Tending plants.
Finding small bits of beauty and peace.

How has your June been? Are you staying healthy? Please tell me you don't live the in whacked out state of Florida. Please tell me that you are well.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Bohemienne Life: Wax Pre-Order and a Soap

I pretty much have placed a pre-order with Kyme at Bohemienne Life anytime I am aware it is coming. Being in her Facebook group is how I stay up to date. This is not from her most recent one (that one she is still working on) but the one before that. I kept it a medium to smallish order. A 5 ounce bag is $6.50.

Reverie- Notes: Carnation, blood orange, sandalwood, black rose, smoky wood, a touch of patchouli, toasted vanilla bean, vetiver, amber, and Egyptian musk. 
This is the first time I have had this in wax. It is a velveteen rose highlighted with the sunny spice of orange peel and supported by woodsy musk. It will be a lovely scent in the home and I am excited to have a sliver of it in soap form too.

Palo Santo- Notes: Uniquely sweet and woody.
This smells differently than the Palo Santo type that Dessa uses, but does have some similarities. They are in the same family in the musk and aridness that characterizes both. However, this one has a touch of that coconut and faint coolness I associate with real Palo Santo. There is a nod to Mahogany Teakwood in this. I am excited to melt this.

Citron et Fig- Notes: A citrusy, figgy blend of lemon, fig, spice, amber, green tea absolute, and white musk. 
This was one of my very first free sample soap sliver years and years ago when I initially ordered from Kyme as Alamo Candelaria. I loved it as a soap but then never caught it after that. I was so happy to see this pop up in the offerings. It has a cheerful elegance, vivacious citrus and creamy fig musk all mesh into a sunny Tuscan perfume. 

Banana Fleur- Notes: Ripe bananas, sweet pineapple, aldehydic rose, velvety violets, white orchids, black currants, teakwood, cardamom, sandalwood, and patchouli.
I loved that there was a disclaimer after these notes that stated "If you are not a fan of patchouli better skip this one..." Heck yes! I am already stoked. And it is a patchouli-banana scent. I do mostly get banana out of all the notes but that patch is just waiting to jump out. I am hoping it does once warmed. 

Earthly Delights- Notes: A blend of lavender, sandalwood, and patchouli.
Pretty much had my name on it. The lavender is the queen here and she reigns with calm, verdant ease. She speaks of herbs and earth, tree and wood. I offer her my friendship. I also bought one more bag when the extras and leftovers went RTS. 

Grimoire- Notes: Old book, sage, and magic.
Kyme crafts one of my favorite bookish scents. I don't crave it often, and mostly in the fall, but when I do I want it bad. This is the one to have. It has the musty scent of old books down pat. Not too much leather as most of these blends tend to have and the sage adds that touch of yummy funk you get in the ancient used book stores. Mmmmm. 

Apricot Cucumber Mint- Notes: Apricot, cucumber, sweet pear, sprigs of fresh mint, black currant, orange, jasmine, rose, and vanilla.
This normally would not have drawn me as peachy and cucumber scents don't generally attract me and fruits and mints are taboo when paired (in my nose), however, I am so glad I picked this up on a whim. Next to Earthly Delights, it might be one of my new favorites in this order. The apricot does have a peachy-mango vibrance but the herbs, mellow florals and soft cucumber all mix in a cauldron of tranquility. A perfect spring and summer aroma. I will be melting this very soon.

La Vie en Rose- Notes: Bulgarian rose, rose, peony flower, mandarin, amber, and oolong tea.
One of my favorite songs and one of my favorite soaps from Kyme. Sweet, plump roses braced with greenery and tea. Absolutely lovely.

I got some free samples, and you would think I would learn to quickly sniff them as they tend to be precursors to the next pre-order. 
Zen is a mild green tea with sleepy herbs.
Mere smells like comfort. Milky, herbal, like hugging a pillowy grandma who enjoys lighting beeswax candles in her home.
Gallowglass a dead sexy man who slips out of the ocean at night after moonlight bathing, his own musk still clinging to his broad chest. Sigh.
Bloom creamy smooth neroli. Not bitter one iota.

I saw she had Fraser's Ridge on offering as a soap so I scooped one up.

Best idea ever. I have been using this in the shower and it makes me smile every time I lather up with it. Plump tiny wild strawberries haloed in violets and woods. Pure perfection. Tons of lather, beautiful slip and clean rinsing. I have used it several times and I am always amazed the decorations stay put. They are rounded and smoothed and look a bit like cloisonne now but still lovely. 

I did order from Kyme's last pre-order this month. So much for my summer no buy. But at least my home will be smelling nice. 

Friday, June 12, 2020

Dessa's Homespun Scents: April Pre-Order

I skipped my annual autumn Dessa order last year since I knew I had plenty to melt that carried over from last year. Once I was down to only a couple scent shots (from Dessa) I knew it was time to restock. So I did, in a big way. This order was placed in early April and delivered about 6-8 weeks later. I ordered scent shots ($1.95) and mini loaves ($7.25). Given the volume of this order I am going to try and provide only brief descriptions of what I experience on cold sniff. 

Rosemary Mint is a mellow and fluffy clean peppermint with mild tones. Very pleasing.

Palo Santo is beautiful on its own. It doesn't smell anything like the minty coconut woods vibe of actual palo santo to my nose but I see here it is a "type" which must mean it is a dupe of the Bath & Body Works version. This smells like vanilla amber and arid sandalwood musk.

Campfire Marshmallow blends silken vanilla marshmallows and a brief hint of fire smoke. Pretty sure I will love it.

Dreamland is a plethora of slumbering notes: mint, lavender, cotton candy and marshmallow fluff. All the pillowy good things. Unfortunately, my nose picks up the lavender in the form of lavender vanilla from Bath & Body Works. I am not really a huge fan of that version for some reason. I think it reminds me of fabric softener. I will still melt Dreamland and see if the other notes sweeten the deal but for now it is all lavender vanilla type. 

Red Hot Cinnamon Sticks makes my mouth immediately water. Love the fiery goodness of a flaming sugary cinnamon. Perfection.

Fall Foliage expertly melds the crisp curl of dried dead leaves with damp mist and woodsmoke. This will be melted sooner rather than later.

Boardwalk Marshmallow is new to me, I don't think I have ever sniffed the Bath & Body Works version either. Count me a fan. It is lovely! The fluffy clouds of marshmallow pair beautifully with the creamy sandalwood and gauzy magnolias. I want to blend with this now.

Fireflies is a flanker to Fall Foliage. The campfire and outdoor feel is similar but the woods are stronger and the marshmallows add a dollop of sweetness. 

Strawberry Pound Cake must be the new "it" scent. I don't think I have experience this candle either. Honestly, I have not been in a Bath & Body Works store in what feels like forever. I wanted to go to the SAS here in Orlando but honestly I really only crave fall and winter scents right now, plus COVID. Anyway, this is a yummy creamy strawberry scent. It smells like chewy strawberry candies and vanilla cream. A happy scent.

Pink Lavender Sugar smells strongly of lavender vanilla type. I think the Pink Sugar might be adding a touch of that caramel cotton candy musk but only faintly on cold sniff.

Pink Sugar is one many people are probably "over" but I still enjoy it. This is a nice version.

Pink Pillows is a mash-up of Pink Sugar, mint, marshmallow and cotton candy. Love it all! Vanilla forward with Pink Sugar as the star.

Peppermint, because I love mint. This is a pleasing wintery candied mint. Like the inside of a Junior Mint.

October will be a forever favorite. It could quiet possibly be my number one fall scent. It embodies everything I adore about autumn: apple cider, pumpkin pies, caramel and spices. I need an October candle. Loads of 'em.

Masquerade is one I had not encountered before but once I read the notes my heart did a wee somersault: smoky vanilla, cinnamon, cloves. Good gravy, yes. Its aroma does justice to the spectacular scene it shares a moniker with from Phantom. The cloves add an anise darkness to the sultry vanilla smoke and cinnamon. Need more. I need Masquerades in October.

Bewitched Brew was an accidental purchase. I assumed it was the classic "Witches Brew" dupe from Yankee but it is actually a coffee blend. I don't do coffee scents really so I gave this one to my sister, Lindsey, who assures me it is fantastic. I also used it in a mini loaf blend below and gifted that to her as well. It was meant to be, no loss.

Charred Oud Vanilla is a wonderful dark chewy woods with vanilla incense. 

Cotton Candy Spritzer is one I think I gifted before really sniffing. It was probably yummy. :-)

The Forest is a Disney inspired fragrance with an "earthy, dewy moss and floral" arrangement. There is some oakmoss peeking through the woods here. It is green and lush, rain dappled and overgrown yet verdant and fresh. The oakmoss lends a cologne or chypre quality.

Candy Cane is along the same vein as Peppermint but with a scoop of vanilla alongside. I like it a lot.

Lavender Cotton Candy Frosting is a sweet and juicy lavender vanilla type.

Library of Enchantment is another Disney muse that is redolent of old book bindings, yellowed crisp vellum and whiffs of leather and polished wood. Even though it is supposed to be a library it does remind me of the smell in the Haunted Mansion ride for some reason. Haunted Library? Should that be a thing? The answer is yes.

Grandpa's Pipe blends nostalgic pipe tobacco, chewy and sticky with a sweet molasses darkness, with subtle cherry and vanilla flavoring. Classic. 

Fizzy Fizzazz holds the essence of bubbly carbonated ginger ale. This will be fun to blend with.

Beach Night Bonfire is just that, a simple campfire and salty sea air mixture that will be wonderful on a rainy summer night. We have plenty of those here in Florida.

Witches Fly At Night is a new favorite. I will be making a Witches Fly At Night in October blend, make no mistake. This is a dark spicy scent. The cinnamon is dusty and aged, there are hints of night breezes carrying the lonesome hoot of an owl and black woods all about. This is wonderful.

I made up several mini loaves on the fly. I have to know, what sorcery does Dessa possess that she can insert these loaves into their wrappers without grating the wax and smearing everything?!?! I bow to her insertion prowess. Good grief that sounded naughty. 

Peppermint Pink Pillows was a no brainer. I have used up all of my Sniff My Tarts and needed a pink peppermint fix. This will do indeed. Cool mint and sweet pillowy vanilla Pink Sugar. 

Pink Lavender Sugar Spearmint is mostly lavender vanilla type right now and will probably get gifted to a sister. 

Peppermint Blue Sugar because I am an equal opportunity sugar gal. This will have me on a bus to Snooze Town in no time. Oh gosh. What has happened to me? Next thing you know I will be calling things "swell."

Lavender Mint Rosemary Mint is another that will be passed along. I should have paid more attention to the lavender thing. My fault. 

Palo Santo Peppermint worked out way better than I had even hoped. I love the coolness that is imparted to the amber woods. It is almost like winter in an enchanted wood.

Dreamland Charred Oud Vanilla was kind of random of me. I actually like it. I think the dark smoky vanilla pairs well with the lavender vanilla here. Looking forward to melting it.

Campfire Marshmallow Candy Cane looks like something straight from the North Pole. It smells like it too. Extra rich vanilla with a small dose of candy canes, reminiscent of peppermint ice cream.

Pink Sugar Red Hot Cinnamon Sticks is a dream come true. I think I have been chasing after some type of ultimate bakery scent in the past where there was a cinnamon laden pink sugar blend and this scratches that itch. 

This first from the left is a blend of Bewitched Brew and Pumpkin Farm. My sister assures me it is a fantastic pumpkin latte mixture. I will take her word for it. 

Library of Enchantment Palo Santo is a bit too much musky wood and leather I think. I should have substituted something sweet in there. Like Charred Oud Vanilla or Campfire Marshmallow. That would have rocked. 

October Charred Oud Vanilla is bliss. I mean, it's October. You can't go wrong with it. 

Dessa opens up for pre-orders this Saturday, the 13th (tomorrow). I have a handful of mini loaf blending ideas I want to make but I swear I will be more reasonable this time. October Masquerade, Witches Fly in October, Peppermint Flannel Blanket, Boardwalk Marshmallow Mint and Grandpa's Red Hot Cinnamon Pipe are all going to be made for sure. Plus Dessa always adds some nice new scents to the line up too. 

Are you eyeing anything?

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Blood Moon Botanica: Spring Herbal Care Package

Britton switched things up in her herbal tier on Patreon in the beginning of the year. I joined the herbal tier right when she first opened Patreon but she was still building her levels and things shifted so I left then came back later once everything was established a bit more. I decided upon the $30/month herbal package tier in time for her to move from smaller monthly care packages to a quarterly larger seasonal collection. This is the first of them, the spring 2020 herb care package. She is selling the summer, fall and winter on her Blood Moon Botanica website for $45 a month for 8 months, if Patreon isn't your gig.

The spring box was themed around the veil and included some beautiful items.

The Black Cottonwood Bud Salve ($12) is for cuts, burns, scrapes, strains and aches of the skin and for healing broken hearts. It is soothing and buttery with a scent like tree resin and warmth. I used this on Adam's bruised pinky toe that her stubbed on Scarlette's rollerblades. It may have helped, he would never admit it.

Chamomile Sunshine Bitters ($15) are a vinegar based tincture that stimulates digestion. These are best taken neat on the tongue. It tastes mostly of apple cider vinegar with hints of sun laden herbs and turmeric. I enjoy taking it before meals.

I was most excited for the tea when Britton teased some of the goodies. I quite enjoy her tea mixes. Calm and Focus (not for individual sale) features holy basil, bacopa, gotu kola, and peppermint. It is a refreshing and relaxing blend that mixes well with other teas like sleepy time in the evening or green tea for a morning boost. It is lovely on its own as well. The peppermint is a nice aromatic addition.

This Conifer Gold aged perfume oil ($25) was the second thing I was most looking forward to when Britton teased the box.

Conifer Gold- Notes: Sitka spruce, Ponderosa pine, Black Cottonwood resins, and essential oils of frankincense, bitter orange, lemon and petitgrain. 
Rolled onto the skin, bright lemony hues of citrus bloom. The petitgrain and bitter orange are leathery and arid, reminiscent of bergamot. As it settles into the valleys of the skin golden frankincense teardrops begin to rise, lifting up the halo of citrus even higher. 

This all natural perfume can also be used as a deodorant or acne spot treatment given the antimicrobial compounds found in the tree resins. I love seeing the cloudy swirls of material in the vial and the tiny bits of bark and forest debris. It hits home the naturalness of the perfume. The hand-painted watercolor labels are amazing too. 

A tiny tin of loose Clearing Incense (not sold individually) emerged from the box. The fragrant offerings of rosemary and juniper waft up first when inhaled gently from the tin. I have not had a chance to use any of this yet but I may on the next full moon while I sit in my porch. 

I am very pleased to have these offerings to use and taste, medicate and enjoy. Keeping in mind that I embarked upon this not only as a Patreon donation but also for the benefit of getting some items from Britton without having to place an order, I am happy with the exchange. I will use all of these goodies to completion. I have already put a dent in the bitters (as you can see) and the tea. Are you a Patreon supporter of an artist? Please tell me about it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Ten Digit Creations: May RTS Opening

Ten Digit Creations has been on a hiatus for a bit now, as Amber was ready for a slower paced day, life in the retirement zone. I think she is still enjoying having slower days but she has been making some wax here and there to use up her remaining supplies, which I am grateful for! May 15th she had a small RTS sale of cups and breakaway bars. I think the limit on most scents were 4 so I tapped out at 4 for a few that I was really stoked to buy. Scent shots were $1.75 each.

Candied Apples Cotton Candy Funnel Cake is not my typical scent choice but it sounded like a potentially fun fall scent and it is! The candied apples and sweet and mild, the cotton candy exudes a sugared berry charm and the funnel cake is rich and chewy, a robust bakery aroma. I gifted two to my sister since she liked it too and kept two for myself. 

Blackberry Frankincense Lavender Patchouli meshes some of my very favorite notes. I adore Amber's Blackberry Frankincense. It is a bold and beautiful fragrance where the blackberry is more tart with a hint of the blackberry blossom lingering on the skin of the fruit. The addition of herbal fresh lavender and crisp patchouli is lovely.

Black Vanilla Palo Santo Wood Spice sounded like a blend that fell straight from the hands of an angel so naturally I scooped up four. It smells like passing through the threshold of the oldest home in Salem, Massachusetts. Warm wood paneling, soft with age and memories, gentle spice wafting from the hearth from countless cauldrons of teas, toddies, and mulled wine, and the dregs of beeswax candle stubs perched in their sconces. It is the ultimate vanilla spiced wood. 

Black Vanilla alone is lush. It is a dark and cozy vanilla that is furred with tonka beans and deepened with a splash of patchouli. 

Lavender Marshmallow Peppermint Cookie Dough is one I knew would be a gamble given the addition of cookie dough. Cookie dough scent notes tend to be a tad too heavy bakery but I wanted to give it a spin with the addition of the other notes. Funny enough the cookie dough is tame in this one, I mostly get the classic lavender vanilla aroma from Bath & Body Works with a nice chill from the peppermint.

Rosemary Mint Lavender Mint Sandalwood seemed like a refreshing and soothing scent and it is. The mints and herbs are limpid and calm, neither overpowering the other. The sandalwood is creamy and acts as a tranquil base for the top notes.

Palo Santo Vanilla Tobacco had to be a winner. And it is. Very much so. The vanilla tobacco wants to reign supreme in this scent and given how dern much I love vanilla tobacco scents that wouldn't be an issue but the palo santo in here is sly. It creeps around the edges like a woodsy musk that can only be sensed from the periphery. It is gorgeous. I love this blend to the parlor, drawing room and back. 

These I only picked up one scent shot each for some reason. I guess I was in a hurry so I wouldn't miss out on those woodsy scents above. 

Lavender Bellini Basil Sage & Mint is a fun little minx. The mixing of fruity champagne, lavender simple syrup and herbs is clever. I like this. Springy and renewing.

Lavender Teak is sexy man meets lavender. Yum.

Black Raspberry Vanilla Marshmallow Sugar Cookie Pink Sugar throws in all my favorite delectable treats and it totally works. And I want more. Greedy, greedy I am. The dulcet and syrupy black raspberry vanilla is tempered by the vanilla coming from the marshmallow sugar cookie and the pink sugar adds a velvety musk making the whole thing sparkle and shine. This is the genius of Amber.

Moroccan Moon is a pillowy amber and spice blend that floats on clouds of musk and airy sandalwood. It is simply lovely and would make a welcoming bedroom scent or visiting guest aroma. $3

Caramel Cider Lane is an uber sticky and gooey caramel apple scent. It is Cider Lane topped with honeyed sticky toffee. I gave one of these bars to my fall scent loving sister. She approves.

Free Samples (yay!!!):

Santal- Sexy sandalwood.
Buttermint Cupcake- Yummy vanilla doused dinner mints.
Georgia Peach Lemonade- Tangy concentrated mango/peach/citrus bliss.
Sea Mist & Lavender- Reminds me of Love's Baby Soft perfume.
Black Pepper Bergamot- Sexy man cologne.

I am excited to have these on hand to melt during rainy summer evenings. 

Amber opens up again but this time for RTS and Made To Order items on June 12th at noon. You can bet your bottom I will be picking up a few more palo santo goodies. What scent do you enjoy smelling while it is raining outside?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

For Strange Women: Winter Kitty

For Strange Women has been a perfume house that I have dabbled in for a while. I have found I enjoy their lip balms and some of their fragrance offerings. In the past I picked up a bundle of palo santo and a huge soft hoodie and enjoyed both of those. The ladies behind the brand recently sent out a newsletter that mentioned a discontinuation of several popular fragrances, one of them being Winter Kitty. I had sampled Winter Kitty a few years ago and knew I would like a full bottle one day. Looks like the one day finally crept up on me.

Winter Kitty- Notes: A blanket of snow evolves to a comforting base of vetiver, woods and frankincense. A sweet musk of amber, rose and vanilla complete the scent of a house cat as he returns from a winter walk, with chimney smoke and brisk air lingering in his fur. 5ml $32, 10ml $48

Gilded frankincense and boozy amber resin glow like fine tawny whiskey on the wrist, warming and indulgent. Candlelight captured in liquid amber bourbon. As it wears the booze softens and the incense curls itself around the sweet green hay scent of vetiver and the breath of crumbling leaves and bark. Eventually the incense thins itself out into a ghost. It holds to the edge of a winter chill, a specter of stony heart. The dry down glides like a shadow of smoke in the form of a cat mincing and padding about the skin, leaving trails of winter warmth. Soft vanilla and vetiver. Earthen and furred. A companionable perfume.

After swooning over this scent while writing the description I went back to For Strange Women and picked up the 10ml of this scent to have on hand. This teeny tiny 5ml will not last longer than a year with how often I will be reaching for it. It made me sad to think I may never smell this again. I also picked up November in the Temperate Deciduous Forest so it would not be alone, knowing I very much enjoyed this one too.

I think more perfumes deserve poetic names. By the way all of the hand crafted items at For Strange Women are derived from all natural ingredients. Do you have a favorite or something you have been wanting to try from them? Would you want to smell like a roaming winter cat?

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Solstice Scents: Lavender Vanilla EDP

I have loved Angela's Lavender Vanilla scent for a long time now. I have had it in her perfume oil, glace' and whipped soap. I was hoping she would eventually debut it in her fabulous EDP formula and she has! Solstice Scents EDP perfume formulas are some of my very favorite. They smells strong and clear, have longevity and roundness. They float about hair and clothing aura-like. It is currently available for $70 for a 60 ml EDP full bottle.

Lavender Vanilla- Notes: Lavender essential oil and sweet creamy vanilla.
This perfume melts into the skin like early morning soft sunshine. It brushes up against the nose whispering in the velvety voice of a Johnny Cash ballad, resonate and rolling beneath the skin. It is wholesome and beautiful. Simple and yet profound. It wears fairly linear on my skin with maybe a touch of deeper lavender on the initial spray with the creamy vanilla beans swelling as it drifts into the heart and dry down. However, this is truly lavender and vanilla portrayed as soul mates. The lavender is robust and natural, smelling exactly like my fingertips after rolling the fuzzy purple nibs between my fingers in the garden. Nuances of candied pine, lush tonka and an almost fruity nectar all emerge from the deceptively simple lavender buds. The vanilla is airy and creamy, whipped up into vanilla bean studded clouds of meringue. This is not a heavy or chewy vanilla, but more a fluid, gauzy and silken vanilla that flows beautifully into the lavender.

I will wear this one down fairly quickly. When I reach for it and spray, I always end up smiling and sighing. It is simply that kind of scent. 

Do you enjoy lavender? If not, what herb calls to you?