Sunday, May 1, 2022

Ebb & Flow: April 2022

 The highs and lows of the month.


Serge Lutens Fleur d'Oranger

Perfume Oil:

Arcana Wildcraft Quick Bright Things

Nocturne Alchemy White Amber Beetle


Bath & Body Works Rainforest Gardenia


The Bathing Garden Sleepy (pink peppermint)


MerMade Magical Arts Japanese incense (New Moon)


Black Magic Soap in Rootbeer


Paintbox Soapworks sugar scrub in Illuminated Dick Joke


Felin Lune Apothecary Deodorant Paste in Garden Hippy (I have had trouble getting my hands on Wildroots sensitive formula and this one from Felin Lune is AMAZING! I will blog about it soon).

Skin Care:

Blood Moon Botanica Moon Dew mixed with Forest & Fjord Deep Forest Serum


Future Primitive Campfire Marshmallow Luxury Body Cream


A translation of an epic poem called Gudrun by a deceased Jewess author who disappeared in the Minsk concentration camp named Alma Johanna Koenig. Beautiful story. 


That cheesy show on Netflix about it being cake or not and wrapped up Seinfeld.


Beach Boys Good Vibrations album


The end of testing and the end of the school year! Ready for summer break just as much as the kiddos. 


Some health insurance issues have me dreading opening up bills and statements. Dreading having to fight all the insurance battles. Dreading the outcome. Dreading having to hire a lawyer.


Life Flower Care CBD bug bite roll-on. It really works well for mosquito and ant bites. I have been getting eaten up by mosquitoes lately.


Tidy Cats Lightweight litter. It sticks to my cat's paws and she drags it all around the house. Clumps in the couch. Scattered litter sand all over. Yuck. Heavy duty for us.


Insurance issues. Seeing Adam struggle with it too. Tax issues. But we will get through it.


Knowing I will see my sister and her husband and baby (who isn't even a baby anymore!) very soon! Kind husband. Awesome daughters. Sweet cat. Adorable chickens. Copious amounts of flowers around me. All the high I need.

How was your April? Was the weather normal for you? As it warms up what are you looking forward to? What are you watching?

Friday, April 15, 2022

Arcana Wildcraft: Nectar and Crossing

 Julia sent these perfumes as a gift.

Julia at Arcana Wildcraft released these two perfumes as a fundraiser for Ukraine under the collection Pax, proceeds donated to help refugees from the war. 

Crossing- Notes: The soft earth of home, a swath of incense-infused linen, unsweetened violets, dark stones, freesia, purple iris ocean tides, rich olibanum resin, a whisper of leather, and ultra sheer patchouli. $26

In the bottle it smells like crossing a brook in the springtime. Tender green and purple violets spring underfoot at the edge of the water, icy cool pebbles shimmer in bronze and silver, carelessly tossed like coins, embraced by the mud and silt. The water undulates, pulses, and rushes past carrying leaves, petals, and silvers of silver minnows. Fresh. Cleansing. Calming. On the skin this is an exquisite iris perfume. Julia truly outdid herself on this one. The hazy iris and gauzy incense flutter around the soil stained hem of Mother Nature's gown. If dryads dwelled in secret hollows where creeks thread and iris and violet dance under oaken canopies then this is what they smell of. The leather and frankincense resin elevate this scent from being purely earthen to ethereal as well. As it transitions along its journey the leather and iris entwine effortlessly, it is floral and subdued, delicate and ghostly. I feel like a vintage starlet wearing this. Don't sleep on this one. It is absolutely stunning.

Nectar- Notes: Ripe, plump blackberries and creme de cassis with sheer summery georgette, cold swirls of vanilla ice cream, a tuft of tender lambswool, and a field of softly blooming sunflowers on a nearby hillside. $26

Holy crow. This one is divine straight from the bottle. Julia was NOT playing around with those blackberries. They are intense. Sweet, fruity, deep and dark. They are fresh-picked, macerated with sugar, jammy with nectar and ready to spoon onto a mound of custardy ice cream. Wet on the skin the blackberries do not disappoint. They are just as plump and lush out of the bottle and graced on the flesh. The black currants lend a tart bite to the tail end of the sugary berry that adds a dimension of hyper realism. There are other nuances to the blackberries but this is definitely a situation where the sum is more than the parts. There is a hint of creaminess, a touch of sunlit, the glint of something lovely seen form the corner of an eye, like a prism or a butterfly wing. Nectar must be how bees see their flavors, how butterflies feel the perfume of petals, how birdsong harmonizes with the wind. It is all the sweetness that spills out of an embrace, out of the wombs of flowers, that feeds the gods and nourishes our tastebuds. Simply delicious.

Feel good about smelling good. Pick these up when you get a chance.You won't regret it.

Thursday, April 14, 2022

Sihaya & Company: (Not So) Dark Ages Dream Box

There really is nothing like some classic creepy medieval times art. I love that Sihaya & Company curated a dream box that revolved around this very topic. The (Not So) Dark Ages box was brimming with tongue-in-cheek naughty frivolity that would go perfectly with the jangly buzzing sounds of a hurdy gurdy. This spring box was $65 and packed with goodness.

Three amazing notecards with envelopes came from Bingham and Bloom on Etsy. One notecard is $3.09, which is about $9.25 plus shipping for three. These are great quality cards. Bright jewel-tones, sturdy cardstock and excellent graphics. I look forward to gifting these to some quirky friends and family who will appreciate the humor.

The grey cat licking its butt reminds me fondly of my own cat, Toddles. This enamel pin is from P S Brooks Illustration on Etsy and runs $6.12. I cannot wait to put this on my backpack.

I love when a bag of Dryad Tea comes in the box. One ounce of loose leaf Strawberry Imp can be purchased on their website for $7.00. This is a fruity and bright tea that will taste incredible as iced tea during the summer, gently sweetened with honey. 

The body care items were lively and perfect for a spring awakening. 

Paintbox Soapworks Sorbetto sugar scrub in Illuminated Dick Joke- Notes: A proud shaft of ruddy cedar and cypress showered in orange blossom honey and red musk, gilded in amber. 8.4 ounces is about $9.16
I enjoy Paintbox Soapworks sugar scrubs. The sugar particulate is on the larger side, allowing for longer and more effective scrubbing. The texture is very thick and grainy when scooped and emulsifies beautifully when scrubbed in with water. It provides a bit of lathering and rinses clean, leaving behind soft and smooth skin. I enjoy picking up a ton of the sample size scrubs in several different scents just for fun when I can. I always throw in a bar or two of the soap as well. I really should start blogging my PBSW hauls. I think I have some still wrapped up. Anyway, this scent is gorgeous. The woods and musk are papery and elegant. While the honey and amber smooth it out a bit without making it sweet. A wonderful scrub to use any time of year.

Dreaming Tree Workshop Magical Luxury Soap in Totally Not A Witch- Notes: A bewitching blend of jasmine, herbs, black tea, incense and cauldron smoke. $8.50
I love Dreaming Tree soaps. This bar is lovely! I love the dried flowers and subtle sparkle on top, the rustic texture, and the beautiful soft smoky floral scent. It really does smell like the wake of a witch's robe as she twirls about. It lathered up with some friction with tiny bouncy bubbles and a buttery texture. The soap rinsed squeaky clean leaving only a tiny bit of grab behind and no residue. 

Deconstructing Eden Sex or Cake- Notes: Inspired by Struffoli, deep fried balls of citrus zest spiked dough, drenched in honey, and dusted with hazelnuts. 5ml is $9.75
This 5ml parfum extrait came in a sleek black box with a window. It is a spray bottle with a gorgeous label. Sprayed on the skin the citrus zest springs up, sparkling and energetic. Quickly the velvety cocoa aroma of hazelnuts slinks in and you know you are in for one of those desserts. The moaning, sighing, lip licking type. Creamy honey and silken textures shoulder any hints of chocolate out of the way. This is a gooey baked vanilla treat dripping with golden caramel honey. It settled down to smell of vanilla tobacco and chewy vanilla amber. Lovely.

Sihaya & Company Murder Bunny candle- Notes: Decadent shortbread cookies, topped with costly marchpane, then paired with a rich red berry jam. $13
On cold sniff this has a putty like quality from the marzipan, but once burned it morphs more into sweet vanilla sugar cookies. There is the merest hint of berry candy but the vanilla cookie is most noticeable to my nose. It was a great candle that burned perfectly. I do recommend that the wick is trimmed before each burning so that it burns evenly and doesn't produce soot. 

Sihaya & Company Moisturizing Lip Color in Earthly Delights which is described as a warm rosy peach shot through with delicate rose gold shimmer. $6.50 I love Christina's lip colors. This one leans pinky nude on my skin tone and makes an ideal spring time blush on my lips, like pale ballerina slippers. The slip is cushiony and the pigment lasts a few hours. 

Sad that this candle is already a part of history. I did use it all up with frequent evening burning.

This is a box well worth the money. The time, creativity, and passion that all the makers put into this was obvious. I loved the theme, the goodies, and the joy of opening this up. I will be visiting these shops in the future for sure. 

This box made me want to read more medieval historical fiction. Any recommendations?

Friday, April 8, 2022

MoonaLisa: Various 5ml Perfumes

 I have a few more MoonaLisa scents I would love to chat about. These, like the 3mls I previously discussed, are from past orders within the last couple years. These are from fall/Halloween and winter/Yule. The 5mls are priced same as 3mls, at $15.95 each. These come in a roller-ball format. I have not had any leaking issues and I love the label artwork.

Wicked Woods- Notes: Just like Wicked Woods should, this scent morphs each time you go through it. It's woody and its wicked.
Sweet amber sap drips bulbous tears of sugary resin down the trunks of gnarled trees. This haunted forest is toothsome with vanilla woods. Some you pass may be honeyed spruce, while others you glide by are fashioned of frosted sandalwood. Smooth, dulcet, and dreamy. This lasted about 3-4 hours on my skin with moderate sillage.

Witch Wood- Notes: Deep in the dark, dark woods you see dancing women around a fire with aromatic herbs and spices burning of patchouli, cinnamon, and cedarwood, and brewed with Siberian musk.
Smoky patchouli and fiery cinnamon have me in raptures. I am weak for this combination and Witch Wood delivers. As the warm cinnamon and aged patchouli slow down to a simmer, the witchy herbs offer a subtle greenness while a musk starts to slink in from the background. 

Witchery- Notes: Sultry ambers, woods, and magic!
This scent starts out just like the dry and flaking chunks of bark that are the deep valleys and wide crumbling plateaus of the tree's skin. As the scent morphs the dusty wood gains the warmth of aged cupboard spice and dried patchouli leaves. It wears light and airy, a faint aura about the body.

Bohemian Velvet- Notes: Sandalwood, patchouli, and nag champa incense notes. 
I love this scent. I first got this in the body powder several years ago. I then picked it up in the wonderful wax tars MoonaLisa used to make. It is a lovely high end metaphysical store scent, crowded with handcrafted incense sticks of all varieties, dried herbs and flowers scattered about in abalone bowls and crinkling in organza sachets. Magical oils and spell candles line the shelves, emitting their own effluvia to add to the bouquet. Happy to have this as a perfume to slather on and evoke ritual.

Kris Kringle- Notes: Blend of various woodland accords, Yuletide spices, vetiver, and Douglas fir essential oil.
The woods, cinnamon, and nutmeg emerge with a tang of dank darkness, like the ghostly corners of the cupboards that used to house cakes and breads but now only have a scattering of crumbs within. The vetiver is spooky, skanky and moody. It gives Kris Kringle a bit of a goblin grin to his gnomish face. Eventually the vetiver slinks back to the corners and the spices and firs really get their chance to shine. I love this festive scent. It has depth and a touch of mischievousness behind the festivity.

Sugared Forest- Notes: Sugared spruce, frosted berries, and fir trees.
Wet on the skin the berries are saturated in cherry and strawberry reds. The cherry quickly fades, allowing the strawberry to fold beautifully into the sweet candied spruce. This jubilant and jolly scent will be worn all year long on my skin. I love sweet sugary evergreen scents. As it dries down a creamy vanilla rounds out the dulcet balsams. There is a touch of cherry-almond putty somewhere in there but I am curious if it will age out.

Elspeth- Notes: A magical and sweet blend of French vanilla, marshmallows, romantic ambers, and smoldering embers.
I usually enjoy aging my ambers for a year or so before wearing. I have so much perfume, that the time passes before I know it by the time I get around to it anyway. Wet on the skin the amber in this is warm and sandy, sweet and gritty like sugar between the teeth. An edge of cinder hovers around the vanilla amber, giving it a bite of mystery. I can tell Elspeth and I will get to be fast friends in the next year or so. Until then, she will linger in the armoire. 

Shire- Notes: Rich soil, earthy bark, dried grasses, stones, and pinecones. 
I love this scent. I had this in some bath salts ages ago (back when I had tub time). This smells like Christmas in a Hobbit hole. Sweet soil, bayberry, the cool mineral perfume of chilled winter stones and swags of evergreen and holly to grace the doorways.

Krampus Night- Notes: Various dry woods including birch, blended with a touch of silken white wool and suede, sweet smoldering resinous embers, with a touch of wet blackened earth.
A dark smoky delight. The red hot coals of a recently banked fire flicker and glimmer in the pale moonlight. The primitive outdoor revelry may have quieted down but something still lurks in the night. The woods whisper of spices and sacred frankincense beads hanging in golden nuggets, treasures to entice and lure. I love the melding of the fire and frankincense. It is raw and powerful. A really moving scent.

My favorites are Shire, Krampus Night, Kris Kringle, Elspeth, Wicked Woods, and Bohemian Velvet. But I will happily wear them all. My recent MoonaLisa order for spring perfumes should be arriving soon. I still have a few EDPs I plan on reviewing here in the future. I also picked up some of the tarot perfumes from her and a tarot mystery bag. She will be opening soon for bath and body care according to her latest newsletter. Hope you guys are having a good week. We have been getting some storms around here and I love it. The plants love it too.

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Empire Alchemy Wax: First Order, Maiden Voyage

Empire Alchemy wax has been around for a while now and I have heard many good things about it. Once in a while I would get a few pieces from friends and enjoy what I melted. I got the urge to buy some wax recently so I placed an order. These were delivered in about a week or so. Wax bars were $3.77, waffles $5.80, donuts $6.23.  These were two orders that were combined. I like that the labels have all the scent notes listed.

Heartbreaker- Notes: Rosewood, jungle vines, charred marshmallow woods.
A stunning marshmallow and woods scent. The marshmallow comes off like a marshmallow vanilla musk, while the woods are plush and elegant, perhaps smoky. An upscale marshmallow fireside type of aroma.

Sleepy Time Tea- Notes: Chamomile, lemongrass, hints of green soothing peppermint.
I figured I would love this one. It smells exactly like the Extra Sleepy tea I drink from Celestial Seasonings. The peppermint is chilly while the chamomile and lemongrass lend a calming herbal greenness. The is almost something quietly aquatic about this blend that speaks of tea. Lovely.

Capistrano Beach- Notes: Cocoa butter, cashmere, sun tan lotion, vetiver, and sea salt.
This blend is creamy with cocoa butter and smooth with perfumed musk. There is a touch of seaside lingering in there with the seagrass vetiver and the murky salty air. It is a compelling scent.

Memento Mori- Notes: Black amber, frankincense, myrrh, and dark linen.
Serene and clean. A nice take on a fresh scent without being overly detergent. Those linens and resins really pair well together. This is a perfect spring cleaning day scent for my tastes.

Good King Winceslaus- Notes: Cinnamon sugared buttercream cupcakes, palo santo wood shavings, bonfire. 
Is it Winceslaus? Wenceslaus? I have no idea, but either way I am loving it. Chewy delicious snickerdoodle cookies and the smoky coconut woods scent of palo santo. Together they smell like nocturnal fireside comforts. Desserts and treats savored beside the flickering flames in winter.

Old Church- Notes: Incense, frankincense, dark woods, amber, and cotton tree. 
Divine. Probably my favorite scent in the box. The incense is softly smoky and resinous while the amber and woods impart a subtle sweetness and cozy warmth. It is fresh, elegant, and something I would wear in a perfume in a heartbeat.

Fall Vibes- Notes: Dried figs, whipped cream, raspberry black tea, cinnamon guiacwood, vanilla ice cream.
What a blend of notes. On cold I mostly get the raspberry tea, figs and creaminess. I melted two cubes in my warmer in the kitchen and they threw medium to medium-light. The scent was lovely. A creamy dark scent with that raspberry tea fruitiness lending some glimmers of magenta. 

Vanilla Crumb Donut- Notes: House blend donut hint cinnamon sugar.
A mildly sweet donut scent that reads on the light side on cold sniff, but there is a touch of tortilla chip on the edges. Need to melt it soon to see how it plays out.

Goose Down- Notes: Mangoes, lemon, white tea, light rain, cherry blossoms, vanilla lace.
Citrusy sweet mangoes and fruity white tea bloom to the forefront while the blossoms frame the background. It is a puckery and bouncy scent. Perfect for summer.

Sun Kiss- Notes: Fresh mango, pineapple chunks, fresh air, palm trees.
This is a greenery heavy scent with hints of banana, plumeria, and tropical fruits. The fresh air keeps this from being too much like a fruit salad and more of a tropical fruity-floral from Bath & Body Works. It is pretty.

Pink Moon Milk- Notes: Crushed raspberry, rose petals, vanilla bean, milk sugar, toasted pistachio cake. 
Reminds me of fruity cereal and milk at first, must be the raspberries and milk sugar combined with the pistachio. I don't normally gravitate towards milk scents but wanted to try one out. This will be fun to melt.

Lovely Loaf- Notes: Vanilla, candied ginger, golden raisins, dried fig, apple, cedarwood, swirling leaves. 
My oldest was doing geometry on the bed with me when I was going through these scents. She started picking them up and giving her two cents (she didn't care for the Pink Moon Milk) but she loved this one. She said it reminded her of our house during the fall time. Pretty good nose since she didn't even check the notes. It is a really nice autumnal scent. The apples and figs play beautifully with the leaves and woods and touch of vanilla. Great blend. Threw medium-light.

Amish Cinnamon Bread- Notes: Scrumptious baked notes of vanilla cinnamon sugar.
I love the cinnamon vanilla sugar spices in this one but the chippy bready note really does not sit well on my nose. I had a sample of this scent and melted it first and it threw strong but I did not come to like it. I will be gifting this to a heavy bakery lover.

Cocoa Butter + Peppermint- Notes: Creamy vanilla, cocoa butter, sweet peppermint.
My second favorite of the bunch. This minty creamy blend is like a mixture of buttermints and cocoa butter and I am here for it.

Green Tea + Apple- Notes: Green tea, apple, dry leaves, tangerine peel.
A lovely scent brimming with energy. The tangerine is on point and comes out to play first. Then the sharpness of the green tea lurks underneath like an after taste. This will be enjoyable to melt.

I really appreciate the innovative blends this house offers. You can tell the maker really loves playing with mixing and blending. They have quite a nose. I also love the shapes, offerings, labels and design. So far the throw has been hit or miss, but that is normal. Not all scents throw consistently. I will keep melting and enjoying these unique blends.

Do you have any favorites from Empire Alchemy Wax? What types of scents have you been craving? I am loving strawberries and apples lately.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Ebb & Flow: March 2022

 The highs and lows of the month.

MoonaLisa Cedarwood and Patchouli EDP (all natural, I love it)

Perfume Oil:
Arcana Wildcraft Strawberries Crave Waterfalls and Nocturne Alchemy Wisteria Petal Ice Cream

Body Butter:
Future Primitive Campfire Marshmallows

Future Primitive Tobacconist bar soap

Future Primitive original shampoo bar

Future Primitive Clotted Peach Cream hair rinse

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

Lip Balm:
For Strange Women Baba Yaga 

Bath and Body Works White Tea and Sage

Candles From the Keeping Room strawberry blends

Sumo oranges, Jelly Bean grapes, soy sauce and butter flavored Pocky stick type things

Water, Coffee, Doctor D's probiotic kombucha in crisp apple

 Snow White, Blood Red short stories of dark, horror fairy tales

Seinfeld with the girls, my first barred owl in our own backyard, flowers blooming everywhere

John Denver's greatest hits on vinyl all the time while cooking.

Library book sale this coming weekend, more wildflowers to bloom so I can make mini bouquets to tuck all around the house, and the next Candles From the Keeping Room opening.

Mosquitoes (already being attacked), state testing at school, dealing with the insurance companies over my health stuff and hospital stay. 

The mystery box of crystals I ordered from The Spirit Nectar off of Etsy. They were amazing!

Mr. Art Wood's beeswax tapers on Etsy. They don't burn well and go out all the time. I really like Pitch Pine Pottery's beeswax tapers but they are rather spendy. If you have recs I will take them.

A lot of financial struggles around the house this year, health issues, state of affairs in the world, in teaching. Trying to stay positive.

The rush of spring being here. Getting excited about plants and growing things again. The thrill of bugs, wildlife, chickens. Fresh eggs. Fresh flowers. Fresh breezes. Good books. Good smells. Good people. Soft sheets. Cold water. Comfy chairs to read in (found an old one for $35 at a thrift store and I love it). 

How are things for you? Try anything new you love? What are you craving? What small things are you really loving?

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Blood Moon Botanica: Perfume Oils

 Britton from Blood Moon Botanica was originally the perfumer and part owner of Haus of Gloi many moons ago. Since they struck out on their own I have been following along and supporting them as they released and dabbled in many different things, from flower essences and tinctures to skin care and body care and more. They recently picked back up perfumery in a big way and I have been here for it.

Huckleberry Mountain- Notes: Conifer accord, sun-touched huckleberries, forest foliage, dusty roads, wildfire smoke, and dried grasses. Sample for $5.50 or 6ml for $20

From the bottle the huckleberries ensnare the nose first, tart and juicy like a blueberry with a seed-like crunch. On the skin those purple and blue hued berries sidle along with raw nicotine. This could be the grasses and dusty road, but it very much brings to mind smokeless tobacco and the papery and peppery insides of unsmoked cigarettes. The starkness of it softens and the berries settle into the woods.

Samhain Night- Notes: Graveyard dirt, rustling autumn leaves, a bundle of protective herbs along with vetiver and spikenard.

Loamy soil and damp, crumbling leaf litter fecund with humus dwells in the bottle. On the skin the soil and damp grassy vetiver mix to create a swampy atmosphere. The dank fog obscures the rickety shack on the edge of the mire where cypress knees rise up like horns of long buried fiends. Glimmers of green gas flicker like will-o-the-wisps over the rippling black waters. Earthy, herbal, decaying and ambient. The scent settles down into frangible dead leaves and broken twigs and pillowy herbs. Meditative and haunting. Hey there, you have dirt under your nails. Whatever have you been up to?

Harvest Moon- Notes: Clean clear moon accord, golden pumpkin leaves, pumpkin pulp, dried yarrow, and a touch of honey.

Honeyed pumpkin flesh floats right out of the perfume bottle. On the skin it is limpid and golden, honeyed pumpkin fruit. There is a tang of bitterness from the yarrow and pumpkin leaves that creates wildness and lends a pungent air. The herbal aspects fade and and the honey lingers on, warm and dusky.

Witch- Notes: Black musk, beeswax candles, dried vanilla bean husk, soot, and lunar night blooming jasmine incense.

From the bottle unfolds a thin plume of blackened vanilla musk. Something is brewing up in there. On the skin a spell of musk, candle wax and joss sticks creates a veil of perfume. Milky vanilla curls around the perimeter and the whole thing smells of cloaks scented in potions and petitions from working magic. It is a spooky and wearable witchy scent that will be in heavy rotation.

Canyon Lands- Notes: Juniper needles and berries, poplar buds, sagebrush, and feral homestead lilacs, sandalwood, mitti attar, and pine oils finish it.

Right out of the sprayer it is breathtaking. Arid creosote breezes, dry crackling juniper and ozonic static electricity attract sandy dusty earth and pithy smells. The electricity dissipates and an almost uric note seeps in, reminding me of budding sweat and the sap of sage. It is certainly a spirit of place as the name suggests, abundant with desolate beauty.

I really enjoy these squatty yet petite bottle shapes with the tiny caps. They hold 6ml and have not leaked on me. Most of these scent wear close to the skin, creating a hovering aura of sillage. The longevity is on the shorter side on my skin, around 3-4 hours or so. I don't mind this at all as I like to apply different scents sometimes. Britton is gearing up for a spring perfume restock and will be including Moon Dew face serum (get it!!!!) and some body butters (get them!!!). I love their body butter formula, it is very silken and creamy rich. I plan on trying to pick up Frost Giants, Dreamy, and Ponderosa. I will also try and nab two deodorant/perfume oils in Vanilla Patchouli and Holy Forest. I enjoy using these for weekends or when I am not working and sometimes before bed. They keep my pits from being too pungent when I don't want to really wear a heavy hitter deodorant. The shop will open on the 16th. Follow them on IG for updates or sign up for their newsletter. They do a great job of mailing those newsletters out, which I appreciate. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Arcana Wildcraft: New Classics Jeunesse Doree and Lughnasadh

 These perfumes were a gift from Julia.

Arcana Wildcraft added a few new scents to their permanent collection and I wanted to showcase them.

Jeunesse Doree- Notes: The luxe, opulent beauty of nonpareil jasmine sambac absolute, golden Italian bergamot zest, plump vanilla pods, sugary Peru balsam, soft Clearwood, and a single drop of French cognac. $26

Jeunesse doree means fashionable wealthy young people, or gilded youth. The original use for this term came from the French Revolution and the posh young anti-Jacobin thugs who terrorized Robespierre's cronies. At least that is what the Miriam-Webster definition tells me. When I sniffed it from the bottle I was getting Victorian era socialites, but turns out I was about a hundred years too late. This is a refined scent- the amber bottle houses plumose jasmine and gleaming bergamot cushioned on velvet. Graced on the skin that sugary balsam blends beautifully with the jasmine to create candy coated blossoms that straddle the line between creamy and indolic, especially once the bergamot and vanilla pool into the heart. The creamy jasmine reflects the creamy vanilla while woody and bright notes of bergamot and balsam lend elegance and age. This is a lovely scent that wears like a classic indeed.

Lughnasadh- Notes: An ode to the ancient god Lugh, Celtic mermaids, and the element of water. The scent of fresh water, white coconut, moonlight reflected on the ocean, smooth amber, seaweed absolute, rain-drenched juniper tips, and a drop of ruby-red grapefruit. (Formerly known as Lammas) $26

Along with Kraken, Strawberries Crave Waterfalls, and Fresh Coconut layering note, this perfume will become a summer staple. Sunny grapefruit, tropical coconut and coastal landscapes murmur of faraway shores and sun dappled skin. Wet on warm skin the coconut echoes of the cracked brown rind, creamy white flesh and refreshing translucent milk sipped from nature's own bowl. The bounty that is chalice, drink and morsel all in one. As the thirst is quenched and the day lingers on the scent of sun warmed amber sands swirls in pools and eddies around the senses. The timid sweet coconut and amber are a merry meet. The freshness of the ocean and juniper just whisper as a gentle breeze pushing the amber and coconut into that sultry sway. This is a beautiful perfume that will be perfect for this Florida girl in the heat and humidity of summer.

I spent all weekend outside in yard and I swear the hours spun around the clock in double time. Lots of weeds pulled, dug up some plants that died in the freezes, and planted some daisies, salvia, nailwort, St. John's wort, jasmine, and blue butterfly. The chickens made me laugh. I let them out to scrounge around the yard and every time I got to digging and planting they would run up to me and investigate. Such curious gals. The phlox seeds I planted last fall are blooming. I need to make note to pick up more packets from the Florida native wildflower website. They always remind me of my great grandmother. I'll be sure to take some pictures. 

How was your weekend?

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

MoonaLisa: Various 3ml Perfumes

MoonaLisa is an indie perfume house that has been around for a while, her website states 1991. Moona has a background as a sculptor, chef, herbalist, and of course, in perfumery. She operates her house out of two websites, one for the perfume found here (MooScents) and one for bath and body and home products found here (MoonaLisa). Currently, all perfume oils are $15.95 and EDPs are $24.95. If a perfume oil has more expensive ingredients she will offer them in 3ml sizes, but if they are standard they will go in larger 5ml roll-ons. I will feature my roll-ons next. Today is all about the 3ml perfume oils I have from MoonaLisa. These were collected over the past couple of years, so fairly recent.

Fir & Spice- Notes: All natural fir balsam, cedar wood, and silver fir. Accented with golden frankincense and myrrh, with just a touch of aromatic seasonal spices.

Dusty cedarwood and warm frankincense tears herald the coming of sacred woods and precious resins when sniffed from the bottle. Applied wet to the crook of an arm the cedar fizzes up with an aldehyde brightness. The sunlit cedar sparks settle down back to the earth and are grounded by dried evergreen needles and woody myrrh. At some points there is a gingery bubbling lightness to the edges, hard to tell if it emanates from the pale myrrh or terpenes from the wood pith. Regardless, this is a dancing wood nymph of a fragrance, agile and lithe, sunny and cheering.

Yuletide Grove- Notes: An accidental blending of Starlight Woods and Yule Wood. Woody smoky soft amber and incense paired with evergreens, sandalwood, amber and spice.

A lovely sugared amber spruce this one is right out of the vial and wet on the skin. A near perfect Yule celebration: handcrafted hard candies, citrusy balsam garlands, the merest hint of cinnamon amber tipples. The sweetness makes me smile and imagine crystallized Christmas trees, twinkling with diamond sugar dust. I loved the idea of Yuletide Grove so much I did end up getting Starlight Woods as well. Now I simply need to pick up Yule Wood next to have all three iterations. Obviously you can see I am hooked and think they are well worth it.

Snow Ice- Notes: Sweet crystallized vanilla sugar and cream.

I am always a sucker for vanilla centric scents. I find them comforting and easy to enjoy in most moods and seasons. Snow Ice fresh from the crystal bottle brims with thick chewy vanilla bliss. Swirled on the skin with the wand, a rich toothsome vanilla flows forth. It posses nuances of a sticky pale caramel, vanilla butter fudge, and a touch of sweetened condensed milk. It is ultra creamy and simply decadent. 

Starlight Woods- Notes: Woody smoky soft amber with wafts of sacred incense.

Faintly the scent of delicate vanilla amber floats up in a haze. Brushed onto the skin, a candied version of this vanilla amber melts into a pool of warmth. It reminds me of an artisanal version of Amber Romance for a brief turn, but then the incense slowly trickles in and elevates the fragrance even further. On my skin this tends to hold close, with a quieter sillage, making for a more meditative experience. I will happily wear this one on days I need an extra dose of peace. 

All Hallows' Eve- Notes: Autumn strolls through dry graveyards, with earthy grounding oak moss, patchouli, herbs, oud wood, sandalwood, mosses, smoked woods, and a touch of earthly reminders of home. 

This is a haunting creature. From the bottle smoky oakmoss and midnight oud slither out and up to the senses. Swiped onto the skin a deep, ember bright bonfire ignites in the dark. There is a wax oil scent called bonfire bliss and this brings to mind that profile: pillowy woodsmoke, softly acrid embers, earthen ash. If you enjoy flame, smolder and smoke, you will love All Hallow's Eve.

The Witching Hour- Notes: Labdanum, benzoin, black agar, cedarwood, olibanum, and magic.

From the bottle comes a gorgeous frankincense and oud wood, resinous and woody, sparkling and burnished. On the skin The Witching Hour darkens and broods and this is the perfect scent to illustrate that bewitching nocturnal time. The benzoin and agarwood are full bodied with inky musk and a blackened furriness that slinks about like the shadow of a cat under a moon. The richness of the agar carries a smoky and pithy undertone that reminds me of the Andy Taur Attar I love to wear. This posses that almost animalistic nature of that scent. So beware the padding paws of the lurking feline during The Witching Hour, she just might pounce and you will indeed be caught.

The Conjuring Room- Notes: The distinct aroma of layers upon layers of magical oils, wax built up from years of burning candles and dark magic.

I love how the resins and bits settle down at the bottom. Shaking it up does make it feel like I am preparing a potion to uncork. When it is unstoppered the most delicious honeyed vanilla and creamy beeswax bubbles up. The ritual continues as these creamy smooth scents are joined by furry lavender and tonka hues. A touch of smokiness from extinguished candles and sooty fingertips. This is a plush, sweet, creamy and smoky dream. Perfect for conjuring spells.

Dusty Attic- Notes: An aged Moona amber blend, with oakmoss absolutes, subtle smoke elements, all swirling over fine aged patchouli.

In the vial this dark elixir smells boozy and moody, vintage with elegant oakmoss. Anointed on the skin that boozy amber emerges as a darkling beauty. It reminds me of opening up vintage glass bottles of perfume in quiet tucked away thrift shops. The booziness ages away into an arid warm amber. The sweetness fades as oakmoss dusts the perfume with its sharp green papery aroma. At this stage it truly does smell exactly like the vintage fragrances perched on faded and forgotten dressers stored in attics. 

Winter Solstice- Notes: A blend of different sacred resins such as frankincense and myrrh from around the world, nutmeg, and labdanum absolute.

This beauty was a fast favorite. I have since picked it up in the EDP format and will scout out another bottle later this year as the 3mls do go rather quickly with my heavy handedness. From the vial frankincense lifts up with clarity and sunny brightness. Moona's frankincense and ambers age incredibly well (I used to always get compliments on Salome's Secret for its resiny traits). Once on the skin that chewy woody frankincense is made more diaphanous by the austere myrrh. It is golden and rich, crystalline and shimmering, decadent and timeless. This is so beautifully blended that the individual notes don't appear in separation but merge into one beautiful ritual. The nutmeg lends a warm woodiness while the labdanum gifts a darkness. All swirl together to craft a resinous offering to the longest night of the year. If you love incense scents, do give this one a try. Winter Solstice does have to be applied liberally so have a sillage and longevity that lasts more than a few hours. It may be on the fleeting side but it is worth the experience.

Strega- Notes: Legendary European witches smells of labdanum, Bulgarian rose, frankincense, vetiver, piper longum, and vanilla absolute from their good magic, and darker notes from their mischief like deep woods, damp mosses, and incense smoke.

I bought Strega just as much for her name as the notes listed. It was a good call. From the bottle a resiny sweetness lifts up. Don't let the rose shy you away. Despite the name, this is not a grandmotherly scent. Dabbed onto the wrists this perfume is truly pure magic. Moona has a way of crafting fragrant potions that wear like elixirs, defying the ability to deconstruct them into their ingredients, demanding to be taken at their whole. But I persist. The incense is softened by dark vanilla husks and dusted with white pepper. It fleshes out to feel like an inviting dusky vanilla woods threaded through with gossamer incense smoke. Your Strega has a cozy home with dark corners, a lone sweet rose in a vase on the rough hewn table, vanilla clinging to her worn apron from the ghosts of past treats, and a ready pillowy hug to sooth the frayed heart. Embrace her.

Warm Hearth- Notes: Sweet vanilla with cinnamon, nutmeg, and patchouli.

This one was an instant love. If you have a hankering for a sugared vanilla and gently spiced patchouli this is a true gem that satisfies those cravings. Wet on the skin the candied patchouli glows, it is a snug patchouli that doesn't lean medicinal or overtly earthy. Simply a sugar sprinkled patchouli leaf. The vanilla is a clear shard of rock candy that can crunch between teeth or stir clockwise three times into a comforting drink. The spices in this scent are extremely subtle and quiet, merely accentuating the mild woodiness of the patch and the warmth of the vanilla. This is a forever love and I will be picking up a back up. The longevity on this one is pretty stout, it lasts several hours, basically all day long.

Mabon- Notes: Frankincense, sandalwood, cypress, juniper, pine, and pulverized oakmoss and concrete. A Scott Cunningham recipe with Moona's twist of added saffron and myrrh oils. A dusty fall stroll like scent.

A mesmerizing autumnal chypre-esque fragrance right out of the tiny crystal decanter. The oakmoss is tenderly aged and sings in harmony with the woods and resins. On the skin this is truly a magical ritual in the making. It is herbal and fresh like the snap of twigs with smudged green dregs in the bottom of a mortar. The saffron lingers with yellow pollen stains in the heart of the scent, a grassy yet brittle hay. It dries down into an airy frankincense and coniferous pine aroma. Lovely.

As of last night the MooScents website was still open for spring perfume orders. I picked up some of course. I do find that sometimes the TAT can be a touch longer than stated, but the customer service, perfumes, and packaging are all well worth it. I heard MoonaLisa's chocolate scents were pretty stellar so I picked up two of those (and some others). Did you order? Do you have any favorites from MoonaLisa?

Monday, March 21, 2022

Happy Spring


Hey there. So things are starting to slowly reach a type of homeostasis over here. I don't want to say normal, because what does that even mean these days? And with the war, cost of living, and pandemic still raging I don't think things are all that great at the moment. But the health issues I have been struggling with as of late have been slowly getting better so that is a plus. My energy is creeping back and I am thankful for that.

I have a magnet on my fridge one of my sisters gave me that says something like: if you have a library and a garden you have all you need. I am really leaning into that. I have enough books to get me through several years and a garden big enough to weed. I am loving the sweet alyssums lately, they smell so heavenly. Their dainty white fluffy clouds of flowers are strongly honey scented and make me smile.

Did you know we have a fox that comes into our yard early in the morning hunting for squirrels?? I have only seen him once at night but Adam has been lucky enough to spot him and take pictures quite a few times. He likes to send them to me while I am at school working. It totally makes my day and makes me slightly envious of his work at home view.

I think the thing about gardening is that it gives you hope. I am sure I read somewhere that planting a seed is a sign that you have faith in what the days will bring. I may not be harvesting a bounty of foods but I will gratefully take the handful of carrots and rutabagas that I pull up. 

Work is a rollercoaster but I am going to stick it out another year where I am at (if they'll let me). I am hoping I can make a good choice with my head and heart about all that when the time comes. 

I have been off Facebook for a while now and it has helped in some areas but certainly not in saving money. I figured being out of many of the wax and perfume groups would tame the spending but heck, I find all kinds of things to buy anyway. Needing to make a budget and stick to it. 

But for now I am just going to try and focus on the little things that can bring small moments of joy. And taking photos and smelling the perfumes I have are a part of that for this time being. 

Did I tell you that my oldest now has a learner's permit to drive? She loves high school so far. Learning a ton and making a couple friends. 

My youngest is making straight A's for the first time and really seeing that she is able to get the hang of math and reading despite struggling with it for so very long. I am so happy for her. She has also picked up drawing and sketching. 

My cat is getting old. She has a lot of the signs: grouchy, meows all the time, bitey, sleeps ALL day in the same spot, coat looking scruffy. I am thinking her time might be winding down. 

The chickens are doing great! They gives us 3-4 eggs each day, once even five! Not bad for only three hens. We had to give one away because she was a bully. So Reki, Baka, and Frederick are our forever girls. Well, as long as they live girls. They are so sweet. They love pecking around the yard and being held. Scarlette even swings with them in her lap. 

Well hoping your spring is going well as can be. What do you do to boost up your serotonin?