Goodbye Yule...Hello Valentine's Day!

If you ask me on a typical day what my favorite season is, I would normally respond autumn. I resonate most deeply with crunchy leaves and wet earth, shockingly blue skies and apple cider. Give me a season of perpetual autumn, and I could probably live quite happily.

But catch me on the tail end of a miserable, cold, and light-deprived winter, and I will probably tell you that I am most relieved when spring arrives, when you can finally inhale without feeling the breath catch in your throat like tiny shards of ice, when something defiant and green appears underneath all the frozen decay. That moment, too, comes with its own rewards.

I would also typically respond that Valentine's Day is not a favorite among holidays. Show me love, happiness, and appreciation the other 364 days, and I will consider that something to celebrate. For me the whole enterprise usually brings to mind sickly sweetness and cream centers, shrieking notes of cutesy flowers, bloated hues of fruity pink, overblown and tacky, sticky, gooey, ugh. No, not on the top of my list, especially in the realm of scent. Give me dark, mysterious, serious, brooding. Somewhat like my general perception of myself. But still, sometimes our self-images can be nudged ever so slightly in new directions, some as simple as, "yes, I may actually like flowers too." Not merely that, but there may just be a part of me that can be light-hearted, refreshing, comforting, delicate, delectable, hopeful. Huh. Imagine that.

Leave it to Haus of Gloi for unexpected life lessons delivered via the olfactory pathways!

First, let's bid adieu to Yule at the Haus.
Here is my final order from the Yule 2011 collection:

Hearth Bubbling Scrub
Plotter's Breakfast Pumpkin Butter
Parkin Bubbling Scrub
Free sample in Peach Mama

Yule items were marked down during the last few days of availability, so I did not get my first choice product, the Hearth Pumpkin Butter, as they went fast. I managed to get the scrub though, so that will have to tide me over until next year. There is something so comforting about this scent. It has the dual nature of being the epitome of the hearth: apples, bread, orange zest, roasted nuts, and also this awesome scent memory of me going to the movie theater as a child, which I describe in more detail here.

Plotter's Breakfast is funny in that it's such a literal smell. It smells so distinctly of smoke. Wood smoke and oatmeal. I'll use it up at home and enjoy the concept and story behind it, but it's not a scent I want to actually smell like out and about.

Parkin in Bubbling Scrub form is wonderful, but smells more cinnamon-spicy than the ginger cake-spicy of the perfume and pumpkin butter. Even so, I haven't had any bad reactions to it, so that's good. It is slightly less nuanced than the leave on products, but still lovely.

The jury is out on Peach Mama, my free sample. Normally peachy/citrusy/grapefruity smells are anathema to me. They often descend into smelling like body odor. I know, gross. I just don't like them for the most part. Though my experience with indie perfumers is revising that assessment and I am trying to train myself not to judge before trying, whatever the dominant notes may be. So, while I was reluctant to try Peach Mama, I tried. Upon cold sniff it smelled quite non-peachy. Warm and somewhat incense-y, with just a touch of fruity bite. On the skin after a few minutes, it mellowed considerably into a peachier scent that smelled more candle/air freshener than I'd prefer, but there was still something pleasant about it during the final dry down. I'm still not sure what my verdict is on it. I may try it again in the future in another product form, but it seems like new seasonal products are always being released so my attention is usually fixed on them! If Haus of Gloi can get me to consider a peach scent at all, then they are really quite gifted.

Now, onto Valentine's Day. As I explained earlier, I anticipated sitting this release out, not expecting to find any of the offerings appealing. I was, I admit, quite mistaken.

I got:

Who Needs Love Whipped Soap
Come Hither Bubbling Scrub
Come Hither Pumpkin Butter
Odette Pumpkin Butter
Odette Perfume Sample
Free sample in Spring Tonic #2

I don't believe I've ever mentioned it, but HoG has an amazingly fast TAT. I ordered on January 27th, the day the collection was released, and I had my order in my hot little hands by Monday the 30th, from Oregon to Ohio. My order shipped mere hours after submitting. I don't expect such quick shipping, especially the day of a release, but it certainly is appreciated!

Who Needs Love
A mahogany box filled with chocolaty orbs, coated in crystallized coffee - filled with a pomegranate and raspberry filling. Who needs love when you have something this decadent?

Now, I think I was correct in my assumption that I would like Who Needs Love best as a wash-off product, not a perfume I'd wear out. And indeed, it is a delicious novelty scent. It smells chocolaty and berry -fruity,with a wisp of coffee that keeps it from being cloying or uber artificial. The coffee note emerges more clearly when warmed up in the shower. Plus, it seems like every scent I get in the Whipped Soap, I want to eat. The texture of the soap can be visualized as a dense buttercream frosting, fluffy whipped marshmallow over hot cocoa, a fruity mousse filling hidden in the darkest bittersweet chocolate. It lends itself well to such imaginings. It is just a wonderful formula. Please try it.

Come Hither
Based off of traditional herbs and roots used in Hoodoo to draw and attract a lover, or entice the one you've already ensnared! Bourbon vanilla, tonka bean, a touch of rose oil, Queen Elizabeth root, three threads of saffron and a touch of honey to sweeten the whole deal. 

As far as flowery scents go, I'm fond of rose, and this is an interesting take on it. It's soft and delicate, but there is something suggestively edible about it, perhaps the tonka bean or the bourbon, I'm not sure. The word that comes to mind is tangy, but I'm not sure if that's right. Whatever it is, it rounds the scent out. I do smell roses, baby powder, vanilla, and honey. It sounds overwhelming, but it's not. G unfortunately didn't like it, so he is not coming hither when I wear it. But, he changes his mind often about my scents, so perhaps he'll come around. If not, oh well. I'll still wear it.

Clean sun dried linens, tuberose, ginger lily and white musk.

I expected to like this scent, I like lily and white musk, so it intrigued me. I did not expect to lovvvvvvvvvve it. This is, like, a happy scent. Liber Vix just doesn't do happy scents. Or does she? And so, the mind is opened. I suppose it helps that the weather in Ohio has been hovering near 50, teasing us with the prospect of the first of February! Smelling this scent was like walking through the early spring garden, sun warmed but still cool in the leafy shadows, clean laundry catching the breezes on the line and billowing in the wind. It is a beautiful scent, and while it has a classic quality that doesn't reinvent the scent wheel, it has a very positive effect on me. It is simply invigorating and uplifting, magical. My mood is always affected negatively during the winter, and this scent made me feel like spring had already arrived, and the clouds literally lifted. This will be my first full size perfume purchase. I've planned to buy full sizes before, like Samhain, but just never got around to it. This one, I'm going to buy in the next few days.
'Nuff said.

Spring Tonic #2
Fresh cucumber, parsley and dandelion greens.

I was really excited to get this as my free sample, as I contemplated buying it out of pure curiosity, as it is definitely not a scent I'd usually go for. Cucumber scents usually come in the cucumber melon combination, which always strike me as somewhat generic, cliche and pedestrian, and simply not appealing to me at all. Upon opening this vial, all I could think was green. Fresh, and cool. Very authentic smelling. Like slices of it over my eyes. It was bright and refreshing, cucumber without the melon element, and it was good. It really is a tonic! I want this during the heat of the summer, you know, after that one perfect day of Ohio spring before it all turns disgusting and humid, when I start sweating the second I get out of the shower. I will want this in a spray bottle in the fridge, and I will want to spray myself with it in front of a fan. Oh yes, that is what I'll want.

Huh. Imagine that, indeed. Well done, Haus. And so, the final verdict after this epic post? Clearly, a hit, a very palpable hit.

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  1. I'm still a HoG virgin, but you make me want to check them out! Especially since they are in the same state as me! I couldn't agree with you more about wanting to eat whipped soaps! SS Dark Ginger Spicecake (I think thats what it was called) whipped soap... everytime I used it, I wanted to eat it! I'm also with you on rose. I'm not much into floral scents, but rose is one of my faves! So Come Hither sound great! Odette sounds interesting, but I'm not sure if it would be one I would typically go for. Thanks for the review and your thoughts on these fragrances!

  2. Your review makes me want to try the Yule products I got (also on sale). I'm glad to hear the Parkin didn't cause you any allergic reactions. I was weary but decided to spring for a full size pumpkin butter as it was all they had left.

    Plotter's Breakfast sounds very, very interesting, and I look forward to it. I like unusual scents.

  3. @the Peach: I would love to see you try some HoG! They do sell samples of most products, which I really like. HoG whipped soaps are even a bit denser and creamier, just marvelous! I'm your know you want to!

    @Iris: I've used both the Parkin Pumpkin Butter, perfume, and scrub with no allergy issues, and I'm glad, as it's one of my favorite scents of theirs. Plotter's Breakfast, definitely unusual! I love the smell of wood smoke though, so I find it comforting, just not a wearing-out smell for me.


Please leave me comments if anything strikes your fancy or if you have any helpful suggestions. Remember, I'm no expert and am just sharing my truth. Hopefully you will find something useful to take with you!

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