Thursday, June 9, 2022

Arcana Wildcraft: Moonstone & Black Tourmaline

 These perfumes were sent as a gift.

Julia at Arcana Wildcraft created some scents for Troxel's at Rockaway Beach in Oregon that revolve around minerals and gemstones. Celestite is one that I have had in the past when she paired with Brooke Perry at B. Studio with some amazing scrubs to go with previous gemstone perfumes. In order to obtain these scents, contact Troxel's via Facebook.

Black Tourmaline- Notes: Used for protecting and grounding oneself in the midst of negativity, black tourmaline is a stone of confidence and power. Cafe au lait with black spruce, toasted hazelnuts, sugared amber resin, fir balsam absolute, and a drop of blackberry nectar.

Camping among primitive evergreens with a plaid tin thermos steaming with black chicory coffee cupped between chilled hands, this is the vision that emerges from the amber bottle when uncapped. Black Tourmaline is robust and intense. On the wrists, the evergreens ignite into a camphorous blaze that quickly merges with the warm and limpid black coffee. The soft touch of hazelnut, cream and sugar lend a gentleness to the brew that balances out the fizz of the firs. This is a lovely scent that would be perfect for those who love the coffee and woods aroma of Leaves Falling Like Rain, but would enjoy a twist of evergreens in place of the ginger and herbs. It truly feels like protection and comfort. 

Moonstone- Notes: In ancient times moonstone was believed to contain the shining rays of the moon itself. Wear it for luck, love, and a more beautiful life. Tuberose petals are infused in a cold pitcher of sweet milk with creamy coconut and white sandalwood.

From the bottle a milky white flower pours forth a froth of cream perfumed with coconut milk. It is a tropical moon, sweet, full and overflowing with abundance. It is the Milky Way of richness, a galaxy of starry blossoms floating in the pearlescent nebula of space. On the skin the heady tuberose, coconut, and milk all swirl and mingle in harmony, each a subtle reflection of the other. Blue flashes of airy sandalwood gleam through the pale lush fragrance. This will wear beautifully in the Florida heat, blooming in its fragrant largesse. I love the parallel that the Florida state stone is the moonstone as well. This perfume does it justice.

Now that summer is here I am looking forward to doing some deep cleaning, organizing, resting, swimming, and all the things that fill up my love tank. I know the two months will zoom past, but ain't that just the way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Candles From The Keeping Room: End of May Order 2022


Candles From The Keeping Room is number one for wax in my heart. Ever since my first purchase from Carol all those years ago, I was hooked. Carol announced that she plans on retiring in 2022 so I am giving myself permission to go whole hog each time she opens from here on out which might be one or two more times. Bags contain six ounces (or more) and cost $7.50 each. The paraffin wax throws strong and has multi-year longevity. I picked up some old favorites but also a ton of new ones to break out of my melting routine a bit.

French Lavender and Honey is a lovely aroma. It smells like a spring floral, with tiny violets, iris, and tender lavender with a wildflower honey haze that floats about the edges.

Blue Sugar is a scent that I appreciate. When I just began exploring handmade bar soaps there was a Doctor Who bar soap in Blue Sugar that I loved using. It is the masculine counterpart to Pink Sugar. Herbal patchouli smoothed with vanilla and accented with citrus and greenery. Looking forward to blending with it. I think it is lovely with mint.

Vermont Honey Apple was a sample that I melted and enjoyed. It melted into a juicy golden apple, sweet with honey and sunshine. It does not feel like fall and is not spiced at all. It makes the home feel like a spring apple orchard, fresh and sweet.

Pink Sugar and Sweet Lemon is incredible. I am not sure why I have not explored more of Carol's Pink Sugar blends, but I will be in my next order. The sweet lemon makes the mouth pucker with Lemon Head candy goodness, the pink sugar acts as a cotton candy base. It is delicious and bold and cheerful.

Watermelon Jolly Rancher is sweet and mellow. I did expect it to have that sour bite on the end but it smells just like a simple watermelon hard candy.

Lemon Noel is one that I know a lot of waxies enjoy. I don't know why I have not tucked this into my cart before but I won't make that mistake again. It throws strong and smells divine, a bright tart and juicy lemon with creamy vanilla sugar cookie yumminess. Lemon zest studded vanilla cookie to the T.

Coconut Lime Verbena was one of my favorite scents from Bath & Body Works when I was in high school and college. I love the citrusy vibrance and tropical feel of the scent. It always went well with Florida's hot summer days. I love having this on hand to melt this summer. It will be nostalgic.

Velvet Sugar Type hasn't been in my warmers for a long time. I sometimes read old reviews to see if there is a scent I liked but have not sought out in a while. This was one of them. It is a simple sugary perfume with soft floral and a touch of berry.

Exotic Coconut was one I picked up to scratch a beachy itch. I was craving some coconut suntan type of scent. This is less suntan but an excellent coconut that does not veer into coconut pie territory. It is slightly dry, with a vanilla musk undertone beneath the coconut flesh. I look forward to melting it.

Dry Gin & Cypress simply sounded appealing. I love these invigorating camphor scents. The gin speaks of juniper and the cypress is smooth and arid at the same time. It smells expensive but rustic. I adore it.

Old Colonial Hearth is a smoky beast that I have missed having on hand. I like to blend with this one. It smells similar to liquid smoke, lots of embers and a touch acrid. If you are jonesing for smokiness, this will fill that with spades.

Hemlock Forest is relatively new to me. I picked some up in my last order (which I never blogged about) and enjoyed it. It smells fresh and clean, softly woodsy, the bergamot and amber shine beautifully.

Fair Funnel Cake was an impulse choice, but possibly my favorite. I was simply bowled over by it from first sniff. I don't think I was expecting the rush of vanilla that was included in the funnel cake. It is a creamy decadent vanilla cake treat.

Strawberry Coconut Cake is new to me. That coconut craving was still hitting hard. This smells like a moist coconut layer cake with buttercream icing and thick layers of strawberry jam nestled between. This tart makes me want to bake one.

Strawberry Marshmallow Jelly Donuts quickly popped into my cart as well. I have never had this one but please don't sleep on it like I did. The fresh picked strawberry makes a delicious jelly filling inside of a doughy treat topped with a melted marshmallow. It is a perfect combination. Strong and divine.

Sugared Strawberry Cookies is another first for me. Knowing my deep love for fresh picked strawberry and Carol's cookie scents, I knew I needed to try it. It smells just like the strawberry cookies that Parksdale Farms sells, sprinkled with powdered sugar and all. 

Creamy Peppermint Serendipity is an old favorite. I love Carol's serendipity blends as well. This creamy sweet coconut and cherry delight is cool with peppermint, making it have an almost ice cream quality. 

Tropical Cookies is an oldie but goodie. This is a blend Carol reformulated but it still smells just as good as in the past, a serendipity blended with cookies, cupcakes, pies and such. It is a heavy bakery with a touch of zucchini bread.

Cimbellies sounded like a treat I needed to try out. It is based upon an Italian sugar cookie with a touch of cinnamon and that is exactly what it smells like. It reminds me of Amish Quilt but with a chewy sugar cookie richness. Of course I love it.

Pizzelle is a fantastic crisp sugar cookie that straddles the line of waffle cone and stroopwafle. It is delicate but robust with vanilla bakery. It isn't overly sweet. 

Ultimate Vanilla is a deep love. I pick it up whenever I can. I love baking a fresh vanilla cake and eating it without icing. This wax reminds me of just that. Warm, fresh baked vanilla cake without icing. 

Farmhouse Treats smells like jelly and jam filled donuts and pastries. The preserves are brimming with strawberries, blackberries and raspberries. This is very close to Jelly Filled Donuts. 

Strawberry Raspberry Guava is a classic. Super strong, fruity and electric. The fresh picked strawberry sparkles with gooey peachy guava and tart sour raspberries. Grab one if you can.

Mac the Bear is quickly moving up in the comfort ranks. I used to be ambivalent to macintosh apple scents but my nose is coming around to not only welcoming them but craving them. These mac apples are honeyed and juicy and pair well with the bear claws pastry to make a wonderful apple filled danish aroma.

Cinnamon and Cider is a warming autumnal scent. Velvety cinnamon, woody nutmeg and mulled apple goodness. I am not sure if this is the same scent as Cinnamon Cider.

Cinnamon Strudel has thick ribbons of cinnamon sugar and brown sugar running through the dense and divine coffee cake. A welcoming scent to melt in the home.

Apple Coffee Cake should be on your list if you love apple cinnamon bakery. There is a lovely gooey sauce that is reminiscent of apple pie filling in this fragrance that makes this apple cinnamon treat a standout.

Mr. Bears Caramel Latte is me branching out in the coffee arena. Normally, the only coffee scent I have found that I enjoy is Carol's Sugar Cookie Latte. On cold sniff this seems very manageable due to the caramel and bear claw components. They keep the coffee from dominating it too much.

Glazed Cinnamon Donut is a simple gem of a tart. It is a cinnamon sugar with a light cake note.

Bear Claw had to come home with me since I have been loving the Mr. Bear blends. I wanted to try this on its own merits. It brings to mind the individually wrapped honey buns I used to have for breakfast while working at the golf course when I was young, the ones that come in vending machines. Soft, chewy, honeyed and rich. 

Baked Apple Maple Panna Cotta sounded too good to not pick up. I have only had a panna cotta blend from Lasting Scent Candles so I was excited when I saw Carol do this one. In the bag the baked apple and maple comes across as honeyed and sweetly mellow. There is no spice in this scent. The panna cotta lends a touch of creamy custard. This will be easy to melt all year long.

Banana Crepes was one that was out of my comfort zone as I normally do not like banana in wax. This one has a bit of spiced warmth and bakery that makes the banana read like banana bread. I actually liked melting it. It threw strong in the kitchen. 

Getting further out of my comfort zone meant more zucchini breads too. 

Buttercream Maple Zucchini is rich and buttery, full of sweet maple and a touch of frosting. It makes this a cozy scent. It threw strong and made the home feel inviting.

Sugar Cookie Zucchini threw strong and smelled amazing as well. The sugar cookie smooths out the zucchini and adds a vanilla aspect to the bread. This one read as more rich than the Buttercream and Maple version.

Caramelized Praline Flapjacks is one I have not had before. I don't think I have ever really explored Carol's flapjacks. When it was warmed in the house it provided a strong aroma. It brought to mind a thick stack of pancakes topped with toasted pecans, caramel and maple syrup. Definitely caused some drooling. I will try some of the other flapjacks now too. 

Toasted Sugar Corn Pudding Fluff is a traditional favorite from ages ago. I am so sad I missed out on it for so long. Cold sniff in the bag does not do this one justice. Once it warms the pillowy marshmallow goodness really blossoms with the semi-sweet corn pudding.

Homemade Cinnamon and Nutmeg Biscuits was one that Jay alerted me to on IG. Her husband enjoyed the biscuit blend so I wanted to give it a whirl. It has the bread aspect of a deep bakery scent and this version has a hint of spice. There is minimal sweetness to it. I look forward to trying another one. Maybe apple. 

Cinnamon Corn Pudding melted deliciously. It threw well and crafted a warm and cozy atmosphere brewing with cinnamon and rustic kitchen treats. I will miss this one when it is gone.

With a CFTKR order comes amazing samples! I am so grateful to try all these wonderful new treats. 

Sweet Bliss is a tart and sweet bubbly fruity drink. 

Strawberry Jam Sugar Cookie Bread Dough is jammy and sweet with the strawberry and a touch creamy with the bakery. I have a feeling this one will bloom when melted.

Strawberry Funnel Cake merges the berry and the spiced cake really well. Going on my wishlist.

Summer Strawberry is a dreamy mix of fruits and sugar musk. There seems to be a bit of candied vanilla in the mix. This one is a new favorite.

Strawberry Lady Fingers smells like berry filled sugar cookies. Excellent.

Fresh Raspberry Martini is a chewy raspberry taffy. Love it.

Pink Flamingo Ginger Ale is incredible. That fizziness feels like a fruit punch at a birthday party for the senses. 

Lemon Zest is sour and tart, effervescent and acidic. Very little sweetness.

Blueberry Meringue Torte is a lively blueberry. Fresh and slightly tart. 

Orange Sherbet Filled Waffle Cone is a light and airy orange sherbet with a touch of crunch.

Gooseberry Birthday Cake almost leans to blueberry and melts into a yummy pool of berry and cake.

Marshmallow Filled Yellow Cake is a simple yet lovely vanilla.

Coconut Rice Milk reads almost like a bread scent. It is very nice.

Pineapple Upside Down Cake is a clear and sharp pineapple.

Cranberry Bundt is rich with cherry-almond flavors.

Amish Quilt is one of my very favorite cinnamon sugar scents.

Island Dreaming smells of mango and tropical greenery.

Blackberry Fizz is a deep and dark berry with a slight bubbly soda edge.

Sweet on Paris is a sugary and candied fruity floral.

Tangerine Gelato wafts out with orange goodness. A great scent.

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie smells bright for a cookie, it must be the raisins. 

Pumpkin Rum Cake warms with wooden spice and that touch of rum. 

Caramel Apple Praline is a candy that I would like to eat. It smells like something made in a copper pot in Savannah, Georgia. The apple and caramel makes it almost feel like fall.

Bourbon Soaked Raisins is rich with whiskey and a dark sweetness.

Campfire Marshmallow is a wonderful version of marshmallow fireside.

Bonfire Bliss is a sweet and smoky fire fragrance.

Vanilla Zucchini Wafers was amazing. I have never had this but the vanilla wafer with it really makes it incredible. 

Citrus Indulgence Cake makes my mouth water. That juicy and zingy orange with the pillowy layer of cake is bliss.

Blueberry Brown Sugar Zucchini Bread wowed me. I plan on trying to get this one in a bag next time. The blueberry is lovely and with the extra dark brown sugar and the zucchini, it was perfection.

Pomegranate Apple Zucchini is just as fabulous. The fruits pair really well with the rich bakery. 

I am blown away as usual by my Candles From The Keeping Room orders. I am a bit sad that this season is winding down for Carol but I totally understand that she needs a break. My goal is to stock up so that I can melt for a long time to come. Did you pick up anything? What are some of your favorites that you are keeping an eye out for?

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.