Last year I bought a "Choose Your Own Adventure" custom scent from Alchimia Apothecary based on my memories of my grandma- and I detailed the experience and the scent HERE. Suffice it to say, this is the best custom I've ever made, and a generally good experience as the owner, Erin, really seemed to "get" the tone and feeling I was going for with this. I know it's based on my grandma, but it does NOT have a stereotypical old lady smell. Not in the slightest. It's green, peppery, vivacious, with some soft florals and a gorgeous agarwood drydown. The black agar was Erin's idea, and it absolutely made this scent special and totally unique.

So, I bought a 5 ml oil last year, and I have only around 1/4 left- so I checked to see if by chance she keeps records of the customs she makes, and she does! I was interested in trying my custom as an EDT, and Erin was helpful and thorough with my inquiry and told me the differences one might encounter between the oil and an alcohol based perfume. I went ahead and ordered it ( $25.00 for 1 ounce) along with a special September limited release, Pool's Closed. Erin wrote me a few days after I ordered and let me know that since my original blend was stronger than others typically are (an extra note or two I believe) she found that the perfume concentration ended up being closer to that of an Eau de Parfum. There was no extra charge or anything, she just wanted to let me know, which was a sweet gesture and a happy surprise, as the stronger, the better! 

The scent translates well, I think. It may take some aging for any clear differences to start appearing, though right now it smells pretty much like my oil. I love the bottle and love seeing my grandma's name on the label- it brings back good memories of her and times gone by, and that was well worth the price of admission.

Pool's Closed was only available during September 2015 (not sure if it ever will come back) and I feel like a jerk for not reviewing it sooner. The notes were: 

Water Notes – Fresh Ozone – Citrus Notes

Damp Autumn Leaves – English Ivy

Smoke – Damp Woods – Cool Earth

I haven't tried many of Alchimia's scents besides my custom (they have cut way back and are focusing on customs while letting other vendors stock their house blends), but I have seen plenty of people say that they are really good at green and watery scents. From what I've smelled, this is an accurate claim. Pool's Closed is lovely and smells just like one of those first chilly days of fall- cool, leafy, with very soft hints of chlorine water, stone, and a very subtle woodsmoke. It dries down to almost a skin scent, a little like Haus of Gloi's Ploughman minus the leather. It's atmospheric and I'm pleased with it (sorry!). Baby Bibb was  a free sample and I haven't seen a description anywhere, but it is a very bright, garden fresh green scent, so I'm guessing Bibb lettuce is involved. It's really nice too! Yep, I would trust them with aquatics and greens for sure. 

Anyway, current events. I meant to get this post done a while ago, and I have SO many great hauls to share with you, and fall releases are the bee's knees, but the past couple weeks have been distracting. I've written a few times about losing several family members this year, two aunts and an uncle. My dad was in the hospital for a while, then I had that weird issue with my eyesight. Good times. So two weeks ago my last living uncle got diagnosed with a large, malignant brain tumor. He got diagnosed on a Wednesday and they did surgery on that Friday. I was pretty tore up, after this year I admit I was sure I'd be going to another funeral soon. But he pulled through! Surgeons were able to remove 80% of it and he will need radiation for the last 20% and is currently getting lots of PT, but he is strong and eager to get it beat. I am never one to count my chickens before they're hatched, but he has gotten over a big hurdle, that's for sure.

A couple days ago I had to go to a periodontist and had a small tumor removed from my gums, which, being super nervous about any kind of dental procedures, let alone ones that involve blood and cutting, wasn't easy. But I sucked it up because, seriously, my uncle was posting selfies on FB of his bad-ass scar two days after brain surgery, so it would be pretty lame for me to freak out over a tiny (comparatively speaking) gum tumor. I did get a prescription for an Ativan to take beforehand for my anxiety though, and that made me suitably loopy, to where I barely remember any of it. It was kind of surreal. I remember the nurse saying I had nice skin, and I told her it was just makeup, and she said something about liking Bare Minerals, and I told her she should check out Silk Naturals as they have lots of Bare Minerals dupes. I feel kind of bad as I've never actually purchased from Silk Naturals, though I've been considering it, and I never give recommendations for brands I haven't tried! Who knows what else I said! I came home right after and slept most of the day. I am still a little sore and the lesion is still healing. I will find out the biopsy results in a couple weeks. The doctor doesn't think it's something bad, but now that I got the actual removal taken care of, I'm worrying more about the test results. Because worrying is what I do. That part is harder to cut out, unfortunately.

In the past month or so I've started playing around with perfumery materials, starting "at the bottom" with fragrance oils from Rustic Escentuals. I deliberately did this knowing that these oils aren't really ideal for perfumes, but I wanted to get a sense of the differences between candle and soap fragrance oils, better fragrance oils and blends, and real essential oils, absolutes, Co2s, and aroma chemicals. This is my highly unscientific and fumbling attempt, and I admit it hasn't been easy, but it has been educational!

I put in an order to The Perfumer's Apprentice on August 13th for a variety of products as well as some roll on bottles and pipettes. My order shipped the next day and I received it on August 17th, all the way from California to Ohio. Excellent TAT! Everything was packaged securely-no leaks or bottle breakage. I like how clean and clear the labeling is for everything-it looks very professional, and, I don't know, lab-like? Like I need a white coat and some beakers and some funny plastic goggles to handle these materials. And they are serious, undiluted business, so that's not too far from the truth- they are potent so handle with care!

I bought three fragrance oils, which are very affordable at 3.50 for 15 ml. Whereas Rustic Escentuals fragrance oils were mostly stand-alone blends that probably work best in soaps and candles, these are single notes that ring more clear and authentic to me. It's hard to explain, but while a lot of the RE scents were really nice, some VERY nice indeed, they do have a sort of "soap and candle" vibe to them, but the PA scents seem more true to life and something I could wear on my skin- more perfumey, basically. The black tea and peony fragrance oils smell pretty much like their namesakes, but the dirt I found to be more impressionistic-quite warm and earthy and complex- not exactly dirt though.

I also bought a variety of pre-made accords, some of which have formulas linked, which is handy for knowing which aroma chemicals compose the blend. I also got some real rosewood,  galbanum and guaiacwood, as well as an aroma chemical, Iso E Super. This is everything I got:

Peony Fragrance Oil
Black Tea Fragrance Oil
Dirt Fragrance Oil
Iso E Super
Green Leaf Accord
Bois des Landes (woodland) essence
Marine and Ozone Accord
Honey (miel) essence
White Musk Key Accord
Galbanum (Turkey)
Guaiacwood (Paraguay)

The accords are all lovely- standouts include  Bois des Landes which is just this wonderful blend of forest elements- I get coniferous notes and greens, very fresh and deep and woodsy, but not too Christmas-y. The honey essence is actually more of a floral scent than I expected. It reminds me of the honey note that I think I've encountered in Sweet Anthem's scents, it's difficult to quantify how, exactly. But I just know it's not the super sweet, almost brown sugary honey layering note that I've tried from Alkemia. The Green Leaf accord is a punch in the face of bright, biting, almost peppery fresh leaves- it's the kind of green that Darling Clandestine is known for. I'm probably reaching for frames of reference here- I don't know what notes different indies use, of course- just the vibe that these are giving me.

Iso E Super is a large molecule aroma chemical- because of this some people may have trouble smelling it on cold sniff, but it's a pretty popular element in modern perfumes. It's kind of a "behind the scenes" ingredient that adds a diffusive, beautiful, cloud-like aura to scents. I can smell it clearly, however. It has a smooth, soft vanilla and cedar-woodsy scent. It does have a modern feel to it, like something you might smell pumped into certain popular young adult clothing stores. Try not to hold this against it, however, it's quite nice. If you want to spend a hefty chunk of change, you can smell it featured in Molecule 01, or, you know, you can just get some from PA and dilute it to no more than 21.4%, and have you own blend.

Galbanum is pretty much the most intensely real dirt scent I've ever smelled. It is precisely the scent of digging with bare hands into wet dirt and pulling out green things, roots and all. It's pungent, fresh, and earthy- pretty amazing stuff. Scents like this highlight for me the big difference between the genuine article and crafting fragrance oils. The latter certainly has a useful place, but the real thing just oozes potency and quality. They aren't ready to wear and need dilution at times to reveal their true nature, but the potential for greatness is obvious.

Guaiacwood befuddled me at first. It wasn't readily apparent to me when I bought it that guaiacwood is actually a semi-solid paste, and this kind of freaked me out when I saw the top of my vial had these fuzzy white thread things in it. I wrote a worried email to PA and someone got back to me within a couple hours assuring me that crystallization for this material is normal (not mold!) and that I can gently heat to melt. So I used a double boiler to melt the contents, then diluted a portion of it to 10% in fractionated coconut oil in a separate vial for future use. It has a fascinating smoky scent, almost BBQ but not quite. Definitely savory and woodsy- I can imagine lots of uses for this! 

don't be alarmed!

I also bought some 5ml roller ball bottles and mini pipettes, which seem to be of good quality. I'm doing this by drops right now but maybe someday I'll get a digital scale so I can be more precise.

I highly recommend trying Perfumer's Apprentice if you are interested in DIY fragrance, or just want to get your hands on materials to learn more about them and appreciate them in your favorite scents. I was very happy with the TAT, packaging, the customer service I received from my proudct question, and the quality is outstanding. Prices are very reasonable, fragrance oils are all $3.50 for 15 ml, and the other items have a variety of sizes/price points, but there are plenty of accords, aroma chemicals, and even essential oils that start at around $3.00 for 4 ml. I am already plotting another order with some autumnal sounding ingredients so I can dabble with some gourmands and earthy fall scents!

If you have any questions about these please leave me a comment!

The forecast in my area today calls for a sunny 80 degrees, but here I am sitting with my Sixteen92 fall and Halloween 2015 Circle subscription samples. I'm not quite in fall mode yet (though that could happen any day now), so I feel like I can be somewhat objective about these, not yet sucked in by the promise of corn mazes, apple cider, chilly rain, and pumpkin all-the-things. 

In Part 1 today,  we have the Fall 2015 collection!

Bela Lugosi's Dead

night black clove bud, tobacco absolute, smoked benzoin resin, flame

This one is intense! Spicy-sweet with clove at first, with warm, almost syrupy hints of tobacco trailing not far behind. At the base there is a sense of smoke, of something gently smoldering. This is a scent I like a lot, but I think I prefer it on G, and he immediately took a liking to it as well. This has a similar vibe to Salem, minus the damp leaves and leather. 

(Every Day Is ) Halloween

an overflowing candy pail, the crunch of leather boots on fallen leaves, cold stones, damp air, and a wisp of bonfire smoke

This reminds me a lot of Grimm, with cocoa and earthy, damp notes. I'm not sure what kind of candy is supposed to be in the pail, but it smells like cocoa to me. There is a hint of wet, decaying organic matter that smells a little pungent and rotting, not necessarily in a bad way, but it is unnerving. Not as light-hearted as it sounds, this is more atmospheric. Like trick-or-treating on a dark, lonely street where you are the only one left out on the road, stealing nervous glances towards the shadows. I like this scent best when I catch little wafts of it floating around me, less so when I huff directly from my wrist.

Last Exit for the Lost

orchard apples, woven wood baskets, dried hay, distant chimney smoke on cool air

Apples! Lots of apples. Bushels of them, with hints of earthy, scratchy hay and very soft tendrils of smoke. This is a decidedly non-spicy apple. No apple pie or anything like that. These are fresh, raw and piled high in their baskets. Cooler, with suggestions of Cellar from Solstice Scents without the chill of the stone foundation. I like this on cold sniff much more with the apples being more prominent, but once it dries down the smoke and hay notes, it become kind of dull and nondescript to my nose, vaguely boring. I think I've encountered the same phenomenon with some other fruity scents from Sixteen92- Raven from last fall coming to mind, the Orchard Keeper from this spring. Shadow Show continues to be a favorite, however, so it may not be a trend but rather just a curious coincidence.

Lucretia, My Reflection

orris root, immortelle, white sandalwood, blackened vanilla, star anise

This smells like soft, powdery, muted anise at first with pale woodsy notes. As it dries down I get something very faintly warm and sweet. I've read that immortelle can smell honeyed, hay-like, even musky, so maybe that's what I'm smelling. It ends up as a comforting skin-scent with virtually no anise that I can detect. It's pretty and different from the others. Makes me think of a melancholy Victorian gentleman visiting the crypt of his long lost love, a la Ulalume.


Creamed pumpkin, spiced bourbon & Tahitian vanillas, sticky marshmallow fluff

Yummy! This is a creamier, boozier pumpkin than in the Anniversary scent Masquerade Party, which actually smelled kind of smoky on me. That one reminded me of a Haus of Gloi custom I made a while back with woodsmoke, caramel, pumpkin, and marshmallow. I used way too much woodsmoke in it and while I liked the smell, it wasn't really wearable for me as a perfume. But I digress...Spellbound is sweeter, it does have a sort of scented candle vibe, but that's not a problem for me, as this is delish. It fades to a pleasant, gooey marshmallow scent. It doesn't last much more than two hours on me, at best. But, all in all, it's a solid choice for those wanting to jump on the pumpkin spice bandwagon this fall. There might be others out there with better longevity though.

I liked this collection well enough, but none of them really stood out to me as potential full size buys. I found the Halloween Collection to be more compelling for me, and I am tempted by a couple of those. Reviewing those soon!

I made an awesome score with my accumulated Birchbox points last week everyone! Check it out!

Birchbox recently released two limited edition boxes from the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Insiders' Choice Beauty Awards- one for drugstore items, the other prestige. The "Mass Appeal" box is $15.00, the "Prestige Headliners" box is $18.00, but it makes most sense to buy both at a discount, $28.00. It's totally worth that and more, but I had 30 dollars in points racked up, so yay for free!

The drugstore box contains mostly full size items!

Burt’s Bees® Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands – Full size
Cetaphil® Gentle Skin Cleansing Cloths – 10-Pack
LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask – Sample size
Olay™ Regenerist Luminous Dark Circle Correcting HydraSwirl™ Eye Cream – Full size
Rimmel Scandaleyes Rockin' Curves – Full size
Simple® Skincare Ultra-Light Gel Moisturizer – Full size

So far I have tried the sleeping mask which smells lovely and applies like a gel moisturizer, and the eye cream, which has pearlescent blurring qualities which helps conceal dark circles and it also seems to be a nice under-eye moisturizer too. The lip crayon is an earthy mauve shade, a little light on me, but a nice, subtle everyday color.

I was really excited for the Prestige box as I love Marula oil, but it is pricey. The sample size included is more of a generous mini, and the orifice reducer is tiny, so you won't be able to waste a lot. It will last me a month or more of daily use, I'm sure.

The box includes:

I really like full size Nudestix in Ripe, which is a warm coral that leans orange. It's super creamy and can be used for both lips and cheeks. The Fekkai hair fragrance is pleasant if a little pointless to me- it smells like Bath and Body Works Warm Vanilla Sugar, but it fades really quickly after applying. Haven't noticed anything by way of increased shine or reduced static, but maybe come winter when my hair gets staticky I will try it again.

Here's a swatch of the two lip products- the Nudestix is my favorite by far, as I'm a sucker for coral, even if it's a little orange. 

Burt's Bees Lip Crayon in Sedona Sands and Nudestix Ripe

I love these Limited Edition boxes- it gives me a chance to try a variety of new and popular products, and you can't beat the Birchbox Point System!

Well. I've really done it.
I've been a DIY fool this year, trying a lot more projects and exploring techniques I've been completely clueless about without fear of potentially disastrous results, and now I've gone and opened a new Pandora's Box: venturing into a little DIY perfume blending. 

I guess most of my interest resides in exploring single notes so I can gain a better appreciation and understanding of the perfumes I buy and love from my favorite sellers. It's kind of like hearing a beautiful piece of music or reading a great novel, but not knowing how that piece was composed, the language that was used. Learning the building blocks, being able to recognize them when they appear and how they interact with others, has always been an object of my fascination and wonder. And my wide-eyed worship of the masters who harness this gift so effortlessly.

But. BUT. It's a big, complex perfume world out there, and it can be a pretty pricey hobby. So, I decided to basically start from the bottom and move my way up regarding materials. My first DIY scent purchase was from Rustic Escentuals. They have a wide variety of crafting materials: scents, bases, pigments, containers, etc. Tutorials on making your own soap, candles, bath bombs, lip balms, body oil and a gazillion other things. For a complete newbie like me, I literally wanted to be able to play. To simply get a feel for using pipettes to transfer oils, how to compose something basic with base, middle, and top notes, how to dilute with carrier oil or perfumer's alcohol. And I wanted to do so without fear of wasting a fortune on a few drops of precious essentials oils or absolutes. This was where I started- fragrance oils. 

Rustic Escentuals has a large selection of scents, some are skin safe, others are just for home fragrances and non-topical purposes. Each scent on their website is labeled as such and with any applicable limits on concentrations,

There are definitely some pros and cons to these types of fragrance oils. 

First, some pros. 

1. They are cheap
2. You can get "fantasy" scents that would be difficult to reconstruct or find in nature.
3. They smell pretty much like their names, so they are predictable and easy to work with.

And some cons:

1. There aren't any ingredient lists, so you have no idea what's in them. If you make something amazing and want it always and forever, and then the oil is discontinued, you will be SOL. 
2. Quality can vary. Sometimes they will smell wonderful and complex, other times it will be obvious they are better suited to candles or soaps rather than the delicate nuances of perfume.

I purchased from Rustic Escentuals during their annual "Scent Event." This is when all of their fragrance oils sell for ONE DOLLAR. You read that right- one ounce of fragrance oil for one dollar. You have to buy increments of 20- but that is a huge, huge savings. And for someone just dipping her toe into the shallow end of the baby pool, it was an irresistible deal. Even if the scents turned out awful for perfume, there was so much else I could do with them if the desire ever arose. Plus, they have what seems like excellent prices on bases- I got a full 16 ounces of fractionated coconut oil for $6.95,  6 ounces of perfumer's base for $6.00, and 16 ounces of moisturizing body spray base for $4.50. I also bought 4 PET spray bottles for ,79 cents each. Shipping was around $14 from South Carolina to Ohio.

For my selection of scents, I got mostly "fantasy" blends or notes that I couldn't get elsewhere; cotton candy, bonfire bliss, falling leaves, salted caramel popcorn, etc. I did get Sandalwood and Neroli FO just so when I try the real thing down the road, I will be able to perhaps better appreciate the differences between them.

Here are my little soldiers, all lined up and ready for duty:

I ordered right when the Scent Event started on July 24th, and despite this being a big sale, my order shipped the next day and I received it on July 29th. Packaging was sturdy, boxed in biodegradable packing peanuts. The oils were divided among 4 plastic baggies and all the bases were in Ziplocs too.

You get to choose a free sample with every $25 dollars you order- I would recommend doing a scent sample- I asked for scent strips as I didn't have any, and hoped I would get at least a few. Nope, just one scent strip, which seemed rather sad and pathetic in a baggie all by itself. There was also a minuscule lip gloss sample. I did get a pen and some candy, which was a nice touch.

Now, there are 20 scents I got, so I'm going to be brutally brief with these descriptions. I chose only body safe scents without any special restrictions on usage, just to make things easier on myself. Still, they can't be applied neat, so these impressions are all from cold sniff.

Bonfire Bliss: Lovely scent for fall, earthy and just a faint hint of smoke. I could do something with this. It's smoke lite- nothing to be afraid of here.

Falling Leaves: Warm, crunchy leaf scent- would blend nicely with Bonfire Bliss.

Cotton Candy: Not bad- more of a "fruity" cotton candy than I'd like. Not quite a Pink Sugar scent either. 

Funnel Cake: Baked goods. Delicious and sweet but missing the doughy, fatty nuances of something fried.

Hawaiian Sandalwood: soft, musky, gentle wood scent. Going to use this as a base note for a blend of salty sea air, Bahama coconut, and neroli. I like this a lot, but still, I suspect if I smelled the real thing this would pale in comparison.

Salted Caramel Popcorn: I get salt and caramel and a general rich, sweet, sticky smell, not much popcorn. Maybe this would bloom more when diluted or in other applications.

Neroli: Warm green floral, not bitter or super orange-y, Very potent, this could overwhelm if not used sparingly. It's beautiful, but again, I imagine the real thing is even better.

Oak Barrel Cider: I'm not ready for fall yet. Or am I? Love this. Not a generic apple cinnamon scent, it's more woodsy and fresh. More like Haus of Gloi's Olde Cider Haus.

Salt Water Taffy: VERY sweet. And very fruity- oranges and strawberries and vanilla. I wish this was more of a chewy vanilla taffy than all the fruit.

Salty Sea Air: Good all purpose, clean, fresh ocean breeze scent with a hint of saltiness. Probably nice for spa-type blends.

Clean Green: Having tried lots of deep, dark, dank, mossy, earthy scents- this is child's play. Simple, inoffensive- but maybe nice blended with Salty Sea Air, White Tea, Cool Citrus Basil?

Whipped Cream: Like it, good for adding some general, not-overbearing sweetness.

White Tea: Maybe I haven't tried white tea as a single note before- this smells a lot like peach to me. Peach with maybe some tea underneath. Not my favorite, but maybe okay blended with other things.

Bahama Coconut: Solid, summery, beachy coconut. Like it!

Cool Citrus Basil: This is a great dupe of the discontinued Bath and Body Works version. I have an old bottle of the latter and the Rustic Escentuals one is spot on. It's cool, citrus, and herbal. That's it. 

Lemon Pound Cake: This may need some dilution to shine, as there's something about this one I don't like on cold sniff. It's got a chemical harshness to it, and having smelled so many lovely lemon cake scents before (Beguiled, anyone?)- this one rings jarringly hollow. This one has a high vanillin content and is very dark in color compared to the others.

Coffee House: Yum. This is rich, roasty and nutty, not much bitterness. I want to try a real coffee EO or Co2 to compare though.

Rosewood and Musk: Pretty! I want to get a Rosewood EO to compare, but this blend is very soft and subtle and could be a nice grounding base that isn't heavy. Love this.

Sweet Pumpkin:Yumm-o. This reminds me of pumpkin donut holes I had last fall- heavier on the pumpkin and baked goods, with fewer intrusive and overpowering spices. Coffee House and Sweet Pumpkin: instant Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Red Maple Leaf: Awesome fall blend- there's a lot going on in this- some earthiness, woodsiness, spiciness, autumn breezes- that sort of vibe. Would go nicely with any of the fall scents I got.

WHEW! Even with a few that weren't ideal for me, I now have a formidable collection of goodies that will be lots of fun to play around with, not to mention all the bases. With these I can get a feel for blending risk-free, and I think it will be very educational to then try real EOs, better fragrance oils, and aroma chemicals. I'm looking at samples from Eden Botanicals and fragrance oils, essential oils, and aroma chemicals from The Perfumer's Apprentice. Excited to explore more!

I found a blog just yesterday that I've been quickly devouring:I Dream of Perfume. It's an excellent resource for the beginning perfumer, covering all the basics, plain-spoken and well-organized, with lots of recipes and note comparisons.Very helpful! And also Su from My Perfume Diaries (miss her posts!) has a great intro to Iso E Super, an aroma molecule that I think I have to try. So much research to do!

Has anyone else attempted making their own blends? How did it work out?


Hi all! Today I have for you a First Impressions review of Cocoa Pink.
This one is a little different because I attempted to do an actual video review, and I have never done one before. There was so much ground to cover, and in a way I was in the mood for a challenge, and also part of me just didn't feel like writing it all out (lazy girl!)This was serious stuff for an anxious INFJ, talking nonstop for 20-odd minutes is hard, as demonstrated by my copious water consumption.

This is a pretty bare bones, unedited, stream of consciousness review, and while the Mermaid Set I purchased is no longer available, hopefully my descriptions of the actual products will still be useful. I ordered on June 18th, my order was shipped on June 26th while the TAT was 5-10 days, and I received it this past Monday, June 29th. Shipping was around 7 dollars, and I did receive a small refund for overage, which is always a nice surprise. Here is what the package looked like:

In case you aren't interested in listening to me drone on ad infinitum, here is a quick and dirty run-down:

I got the Mermaid Set, which contained:

Coco Mango Body Butter in Paradise Found: Love the formula! Thick, soaks in quickly, not too greasy. Scent is a generally tropical, coconut, beachy scent. Body products tended to be pleasant, but more one-dimensional and one-note than the perfumes.

Shampink (formerly Princess Poo) in Seychelles Island: Sulfate free but still lathers well- will repurchase.

Argan Therapy Creme Conditioner in Beach Bum: Creamy, not too heavy. I keep this focused on my ends and it hasn't weighed my hair down. Scent was fruity/tropical, nothing amazing, but nice enough.

Ends with Argan Benefits in Lorely's Song: Spray leave-in Conditioner, scent was clean/cool, vaguely tropical. Used this as a detangler after swimming and it works nicely for that purpose for me.

Anti-Frizz Styling Serum in Morocco: Deep, warm, potent rose scent. Seems to work well on keeping my fine, sensitive-to-humidity hair under control.

Silky Soft Body Oil Spray in Breakfast on the Beach: gourmand scent-baked goods, vanilla, sort of artificial strawberry, but still yummy. Soaks in quickly, this is an actual oil spray, not a dry oil.

Linen Spray in Bonfire Celebration: Okay, smells more like fresh dryer sheets than any kind of bonfire, celebratory or otherwise. Can be used as a hair or body mist, too.


I ordered three drams of perfume oil (you can choose oil or alcohol as your base):

A Day at the Beach 
White sand castles lace the shoreline, black eyed Susan daisies scatter gingerly among thin blades of dune grass, hints of expensive warmed tanning oil with lashings of creamy coconut milk flow through gentle breezes and the indulgent aroma of smooth Madagascar vanilla beans complete this absolutely perfect day at the beach

 Really lovely beachy tanning oil scent with lots of coconut. Dries down to a musky kind of skin scent. Love layering this with Sun-Kissed Skin.

Wildwood Boardwalk
After a day relaxing in the warm July sun, brisk Atlantic ocean breezes whip gently through the long dune grasses and delicate beach daisies as you step off the hot dry sand onto the worn wooden planks of the boardwalk. The familiar childhood aromas of freshly spun pink and blue cotton candy clouds, jumbo soft pretzels and warm funnel cakes dusted with generous piles of sweet confectioners sugar greet you, quickly awakening your senses

Salty, tangy, yeasty bread note upon cold sniff with an interesting hint of florals and sweet sugary notes. Unusual, and I really like it!

Seaside Picnic
 Airy whipped cream, snow white cake crumbles, cotton candy frosting, aromatic white tea, and coconut limeade tempered with gentle sea breezes

Pretty! Very authentic cotton candy note with an impression of creamy citrus. Not very cakey to me, but fluffy, ethereal, gentle.


 I also requested a few perfume samples and received all three I suggested in alcohol based format. You can choose either perfumes or body product samples at checkout, but not specify both (x scent in y product). The alcohol is not too strong to me and dissipates quickly after applying. I liked both formats and am not sure yet which I prefer.

Thai Red Coconut Tea
Aromatic red clover tea infused with creamy Thai coconut milk, hints of ginger root and a delicate splash of bergamot

Mostly coconut with a refreshing, light hint of tea. Not particularly spicy or gingery.

Sun-Kissed Skin
Deep warm notes combine together to create the romantic essence of clean sun kissed skin at the height of summer. Honeyed golden amber musk, dry myrrh resin lined with rows of sweet orange blossoms, crimson splashes of Spanish cabernet sauvignon complimented with a touch of sweet fennel essential oil.
Beautiful orange blossom, which is one of my favorite notes. Thankfully not bitter. Bright and warm at the same time. Layers nicely with A Day at the Beach.

 Garden State 
Cooled White tea, a sprig of thyme, soft nuances of tree bark, fresh green tomato leaf lightly tinged with fresh earth.

Clean, fresh, herbal. I get a hint of tomato leaf and basil. Dirt note is kind of sharp and metallic at first, but not bad.

 In short- I'm pleasantly surprised. The body product formulas are all good quality though the scents don't always translate as well, and the perfumes had more depth than I expected. Will try them out again!

And here is where I say a lot of words:

First Impressions Review Part 1



                                                                             Part 2

Hi all,

I'm currently trying to change my Blogger template as I've been needing a change, but there is a lot (OK, everything) I don't know about editing code and whatnot. So there will probably be a lot of  bugs and ugliness until I can get it all figured out. Sorry about that!
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