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.