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!

In April I had been bitten by the DIY bug and G and I spent some time in antique stores where I was looking for inspiration for some upcycling and home decor projects. When we moved into our apartment I was really into country primitive style. While I still like it, I've been hankering for a literal fresh start, with cooler, brighter colors. I love seafoam and coral and have been gravitating towards that color scheme. G has been groaning every time I bring home something that's seafoam or any variation on the theme. Even teal and turquoise cannot escape his disdain, it's all seafoam to him. I think deep down he likes it, however. He just enjoys giving me crap about it.

Anyway, in one shop I saw this pair of wings, and they immediately called to me. I wasn't thinking cute cherubic angel wings. I was thinking The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon angel wings. They didn't have a price tag so I asked how much they were. The owner called the booth vendor and they said they were just for decoration, but if I really wanted them they would take $60.00. Humph. I liked them a lot, but not quite that much. I figured I could find some online that looked closer to Daryl's wings and maybe distress them myself for less than that. So I passed, and started searching. 


Well, shows what I know. Anything close to what I wanted online was even more expensive than that- I saw some pretty ones on Etsy to the tune of $140.00. NO WAY. So I kept searching and ended up finding what looked like the same wings the Etsy seller painted from Oriental Trading for $40.00 (sadly they appear to be OOS at the moment). So I bought them and used a free shipping code too. But, how to alter them?

I knew I wanted to age them, and possibly give them a green patina. I've created patinas with small copper jewelry pieces but never a large metal piece (of unknown origin) so I researched some more and found THIS. Modern Masters Metal Effects basically allows you to patina any surface and give it an awesome aged look. What you do is paint the surface with the protective primer (what keeps the patina solution from eating through whatever material you use). After that you paint the item with the copper effects paint, which has particles of real copper which will react to the patina solution you spray on, causing the item to get that gorgeous vintage green patina look. 

I bought the materials HERE, and while that did cause my total expenditure to go over the $60.00 of the original wing inspiration, I have lots of patina stuff left for other projects, plus the wings are more unique and personal to us.


So! This is how I did it:

You need the wings, the primer, the copper paint, and the patina solution. You should also have some rubber gloves, a paint brush, a spray bottle for the solution, and some paper towels handy for blotting any excess solution when you spray it on.






This is how the wings looked at the beginning. They are lightweight, with lots of detail. They have two sets of saw tooth hangers for hanging in different directions. I decided to hang them the way Daryl's wings look on his vest.



First, I painted the wings with the primer. It's ugly and reddish-brown, but don't worry. This is just for protection and won't be visible later. I waited a half hour and then gave them another coat. I left them to cure overnight.



The next day, I painted the wings with a coat of the copper paint. I waited a half hour for it to dry, and then painted another coat. While the second coat was still wet, I sprayed on some of the patina solution that I had put in a spray bottle over the wings. I didn't totally saturate every inch, because I wanted some of the copper to still show through. I used paper towels to blot out any obvious splatters or large drops, so it would look more authentic. 



Then, you wait for the magic to happen!
 It takes several minutes for the effect to show up, so be patient.
This is not long after spraying:


After a while, the wings started to get a more powdery, rusty, aged texture to them, and a lovely, heh, seafoam-y color.




I left them to totally dry overnight and then sprayed them with a Rustoleum clear coat. You don't have to do this, but I wanted to make sure everything was sealed.Then I hung them up! I adore them and I'm really pleased with how they turned out. The ones in the shop were quite nice, but there's something so rewarding about an idea in your head coming to fruition by your own hands.



The past couple weekends the indie stars have aligned perfectly for me, bestowing upon my mailbox multiple indie orders. And if one bright and shiny package is a good thing, then two is damn near transcendent. A couple Saturdays ago I got my summer order from Darling Clandestine and an eyeshadow order from Fyrinnae. Happy dances ensued.

I've been meaning to get Cloudswing for the longest, so I went for a full size and a solid of that. I also got a bitsy of Brasao y Kinolau and a full size Homespun. Evonne threw in a cute bitsy solid of Pyrotechnik too!




Cloudswing
Cloudswing is a bright, crisp, golden-green scent with notes of warm hay and wood and vanilla and mowed clover and marigolds and sweet woods and intense lemongrass. 


I am normally not a lemongrass fan at all, but Cloudswing is the exception. It's creamy and fresh and grassy and woodsy and just magically happy. I'm partial to the photo of the barn on the solid scent. It reminds me of the barn on my cousin's farm where I spent some time as a child. Spending long summer days where we would just roam around the fields, or hid out in the barn, way up in the huge piles of scratchy straw, with the dust motes caught in the shafts of sunlight. Nothing to do but find another adventure, total freedom. That's what Cloudswing smells like- endless possibility and optimism, a wide expanse of could-be's. 

Homespun
Homespun is a fragrance that begins in the vein of Cloudswing, and then takes a tumble into dark woods, sprouting with lichens and morels and mint julep. 


I took a chance on this as a full size, partly because of the bottle. That gorgeous green bottle, like an electric emerald beetle scurrying through the forest floor, hiding among the fallen leaves. The scent is just as gorgeous. It is deeper, woodsier than Cloudswing, with a faint mintiness and freshness of tea. These woods are lovely, dark and deep. But not scary or sinister, it's actually quite comforting. If Cloudswing is a bright, creamy hay yellow, then Homespun is mossy green blanket.

Brasao Y Kinolau
Fresh, green, non-Christmasy holly, pink peppercorn and old-world wonders, fused with the maile vines of Hawai'i, lotus, honeysuckle and jasmine, spiced with a tiny touch of cinnamon and sweetened with coconut and honey. It's green and tart and languid and floral-but-not-floral and breezy and deep


This is a green, peppery scent- the kind Evonne does so well. It's got a kind of humidity to it, it's not a cool forest green. It's a jungle green. Hints of tropical florals-meandering through a jungle thick with vines and mysteries. It's definitely summery and per the description, non-Christmasy. I don't pick up on the coconut, honey, and cinnamon, but I do get an overall impression of the tropics without being super obvious about it.


Pyrotechnik
Pyrotechnik is a sangria-spicy fragrance concoction with bold notes of cantaloupe and raw sandalwood darkened with smoke and earth.

This one is for melon lovers, and I'm not a huge melon lover. It has an orange aura for sure, deep and a little spicy/woodsy. But it is predominantly melon, and if you like that, you'll be good with this one. I enjoy it well enough, but it's not my favorite.




Next up, some new Fyrinnae shadows!

Innocent Sorrow is one of my favorites and I've almost used up the sample I had, so I got a refill. My favorites of the new ones are Ailurophile and Beyond Binary. Ailurophile looks like a medium sparkly purple in the jar, but it looks more subtle on my lids, and really brings out the green of my eyes. I've been wearing it with Beyond Binary in the crease just to soften it out, and it operates almost like a neutral for me. It's just lovely, with a slight golden metallic sheen to it. Beyond Binary is a "my lids but better" shade, mostly peachy-matte and velvety, evening out my skintone with a soft blue-ish glow. I've been using it when I don't feel like doing much makeup, but still want to look awake and put together.

Top L to R: Beyond Binary, Istanbul, Haunted Ballroom
Bottom L to R: Innocent Sorrow, Ailurophile, Caramel Layer Cake

Top L to R: Beyond Binary, Istanbul, Haunted Ballroom
Bottom L to R: Innocent Sorrow, Ailurophile, Caramel Layer Cake
These were swatched over bare skin. Haunted Ballroom and Innocent Sorrow are more sheer/shimmery but can be built up, so I use them for both highlighting and as subtle brightening lid shades. 
Caramel Layer Cake, Haunted Ballroom, Innocent Sorrow, Beyond Binary, Istanbul, Ailurophile
I have another Happy Mail Day post coming up shortly!


Hi all, I'm feeling a lot better since my last post, and my eyesight is pretty much back to normal. I saw the specialist Friday but by that time it had improved so much he just recommended gel eye drops or allergy eye drops. I'm really relieved, as it was getting old fast! 

So, it is time for a review! I used my tax refund to sign up for Sixteen92's Circle subscription service. Since Sweet Anthem discontinued their sub, I felt like this one would be a smart investment. A year of four seasonal releases (in 2ml sample form), a limited edition scent exclusive to members, and a coupon code each season for use on full size seasonal products cost me $85.00. Plus members get their packages several weeks before the season officially launches, so you have plenty of time to make informed decisions. These are sold out for the year, but hopefully this service will return! 

My Circle Summer edition was packaged the same as other orders I've received, neatly in a  black bag with a cardboard wrapper, with a note card with the scent list and a handwritten 30% code.  There was also a cute sparkly bracelet, which I believe was meant to coincide with the Jazz Age theme. Full disclosure, most of these scents weren't my thing, but if you like fruity scents, you will be in heaven.

Here are the scents!


Wild honeysuckle bushes after a rain shower


The Beautiful and the Damned

Sparkling pink grapefruit, strawberry, raspberry and currant with soft violet, gardenia and vanilla absolute

I knew going in that this would not be a favorite, and it's not. It's got two of my least favorite notes, grapefruit and currant, so it just wasn't going to win. It's potent and heady and powdery; it smells like a humid day and a bowl of fruit that has been left outside to steep in the sticky heat. I'm sorry, this was a scrubber for me, though I can imagine it working just fine on others, and other reviews have indicated as such.

Theda

Tart sangria infused with ripe summer fruits (white peach, nectarine, berries, citrus), dark vanilla, wild vines, rose absolute


This one opens with a sharp, boozy top note tinged with berries, and soon after application smells more like apricots or nectarines to me. The dry down is  vaguely fruity and sweet with a little vanilla. It's a little lackluster and indecisive at the end. It just smells like it fizzles out, a little musty even?  I like this only marginally better than The Beautiful and the Damned. It's still got that humid and heady thing going on; fruity scents like this just make me want to take a shower.

Blood and Honey

Blood orange, wildflower honey (vegan), pale amber, honeysuckle

Le sigh. I can think of multiple scents now that contain honey and amber, and they all smell way too strong on me. It's tart and creamy and very, very sweet and it just amps on my skin until I feel like I'm drowning in a vat of honey. The dry down reminds me a little of the Body Shop's Satsuma, which I had a brief love affair with maybe 15 years ago, but it just takes too long to get to that point. On the plus side, these scents are lasting a lot longer than other Sixteen92 scents I've tried. Claire recently changed carrier oil blends and I do notice an increase in longevity. 

Paper Moon


Soft vanilla musk, benzoin, oakmoss, trailing ivy, peach blossom, rose


This is much better! It really does have a dry, papery, musky feel to it. It just now occurred to me that it smells like a more summery version of Solstice Scents' White Fox. It must be the vanilla musk doing that. It dries down to a nice, soft skin scent.The peach blossom is thankfully subtle and doesn't scream peach to me. I will use up my sample as it is quite pretty, but I probably won't need a full size, though it's possible this one might grow on me. The sillage isn't massive, but it did linger till morning after wearing it to bed, so it has some staying power.

Eternal Return

Peat moss and damp garden soil, tomato leaf, beetroot, grass, herbs, lavender spikes, galbanum, sun-warmed oak bark


Leaving the best for last here so this review doesn't read like a total bummer (it's not, I swear!) So, this one totally makes up for the other scents not working on me. It's a wonderful garden scent- green/herbal and earthy with a peppery punch from the tomato leaf. The dry down is a warm, clean, woodsy scent that truly smells sun-soaked.  I also love Haus of Gloi's Ploughman and Sixteen92's the Grass Harp, so if you like those or other scents that evoke rolling around in the dirt n' sunshine, perhaps try this one!




Finally, Sixteen92 recently debuted a line of hair care products. I picked up a Detangling Hair Mist in Lolita and a Sea Salt Spray in Vanilla Coconut. Lolita is definitely one of the brand's best sellers, and I've never tried it because the "tart peach candies" in it would usually make it a no-go. I figured trying it in a hair mist would be a safe way to just give it a chance. And of course,  given my general disdain for many fruity scents, I have no explanation for why I love this one. It doesn't make sense at all. But it smells like boozy gummi bears have been hanging out in my hair and having an awesome time frolicking and being their sweet, plump, juicy selves. It's not kapow-PEACH, it's more of a generalized fruitiness that makes me feel nostalgic for scents I wore a gazillion years ago, like Victoria's Secret Love Spell or Bath and Body Works Art Stuff Roll on Glitter. Absolute sugar bombs, but compulsively sniffable.

Anyway, the actual product does a decent job at detangling my fine, yet copious short-ish hair. I use it only on wet hair, a few sprays on each side of my head, and it does seem to make it more manageable. I admit a few times I used it on dry hair as more of a hair fragrance mist (I said it was compulsively sniffable!), and it did start to weigh my hair down a little when too much got on top of my head. As addictive as it is, I try to keep it focused towards my ends and only on wet hair, and that's the way it seems to work best for me. YMMV.

The sea salt spray has a really fine mist, and I notice I haven't gotten any of the crunchiness that some other wave sprays have left my hair with. The Vanilla Coconut is definitely a tropical beach coconut smell, not a gourmand coconut. It's simple but cheery and summery. I've been searching for a long time for a perfect beachy wave spray. My hair is straight but prone to waviness on rainy or humid days, and I'm always looking for products that can amplify that waviness so it looks like an intentional "look" rather than a colossal mistake. But my hair is fine so it's easy to weigh down and hard to hold a wave. This one isn't a miracle worker and doesn't give me the wave I seek, but it does give some texture without crunchiness or build up, and smells delish too. So I enjoy using it and would probably try more of both once I finish these.


And now it's time for a breakdown:

Dislike: The Beautiful and the Damned
Theda 
Blood and Honey
Like: Paper Moon
Love: Eternal Return
Hair stuff

The summer collection launches Friday, 5/29!




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