So, even though Haus of Gloi understands that spring has sprung, Ohio weather has not yet received that particular memo. I got my hefty spring order last week, and on Sunday when I took my order pictures, it looked like this outside:


So I opted to take my product pictures inside.


Whipped Soap in Ploughman
Bubbling Scrub in Milkmaid
Pumpkin Butters in Milkmaid and Ploughman
Custom Perfume
Full size Milkmaid Perfume
Lip Balm in Coconut Chai
Butterbombs in Green Forest, Orange Blossom Bee Hive, and Lavender Tea
Samples of Ruth and Komodo

Yes, it is a hefty order indeed. And a funny story goes along with it. I ordered a full size of Milkmaid (lovely, light, milky-floral goodness), but when I opened the bottle to sniff, I was certain that my sense of smell was being punked. This perfume did not smell at ALL like Milkmaid. Not even a little. Sure, my order had been outside in the cold for a while. I let it rest. Nope, still not Milkmaid. Perhaps they changed the formulation (the change would have had to be drastic). Nope, my bubbling scrub smelled exquisitely Milkmaidish. Perhaps I was just going mad? Nope, G and several co-workers who I tested without explaining why also confirmed...this Milkmaid was an IMPOSTOR!

So, I wrote the good folks at the Haus and offered up my findings and also offered to send the little fellow back, as I also didn't want them to think I would suggest such a thing flippantly, and also explained what Not-Milkmaid smelled like: dark, humid florals, heavier and reminiscent of tuberose. Within an hour Matt wrote back and apologized and agreed Milkmaid had been mislabeled, and would send a new one ASAP. So, yay for that and yay for awesome customer service! I went through my Gloi samples and came to the conclusion that the impostor was actually Narcosa. So, now I have authentic Milkmaid and the ever-so-rare specimen, a mislabeled Narcosa, in my possession. It was actually sort of interesting and trippy to go to smell something, and despite the expectation that was built up to anticipating a certain outcome (I will smell Milkmaid) I had to trust and challenge my senses into accepting that it wasn't true, and figure out what it actually was. It was like eating a red jelly bean and assuming it will be cherry, but it's actually lemon.
 Mind. Blown.


I also got the first of three custom scents I hope to order soon. This one seemed to make people skittish when I suggested it, but I love it! I ordered

30% Pumpkin
30%White Amber
20% Lavender
20% Beeswax and Honey

It smells a little unusual in the bottle, but it ends up smelling lovely, I must say. The lavender adds a light freshness that elevates the blend, but it only lasts a few minutes. Primarily I smell the pumpkin and white amber. It reminds me of Pumpkin Queen, minus the autumnal spiciness. It's rich and a little darker than I expected, but it is quite sensual. Lavender and pumpkin are *supposedly* high on the aphrodisiac scale as far as scents go. I don't know about that, but I feel pretty sexy wearing it and G likes it a lot too.
Do with that as you will.
 I love that you can indicate your percentage preferences, as it does help tailor the scent to your vision.

And check out these new butterbombs!



I really wish they would put these into other product formats because they smell so good. Seriously, so good. I've used the Green Forest one already and it is swoonworthy. Fresh, a little dark and mossy, very green. It's just a lovely scent.

The Coconut Chai lip balm is also delicious, a bit more chai than coconut. I try to get one with every season, and I'm glad I picked this one up.

The new perfume oils are Ruth (Fresh strawberry, green patchouli, rose geranium and crushed violet leaf) and Komodo (Mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragons blood resin and faded tropical blooms). Neither of these are ones I think I need in full size, and I sort of expected that.They're both nice, but neither are really "me."
 There's just too much fruitiness going on. But there are redeeming factors. The green patchouli helps cut the tartness of the strawberry in Ruth and the dragons blood adds some darkness and depth to Komodo. That one reminds me a bit of Satsuma from the Body Shop. Both of them have a very tropical feel to them.

From my order I also highly recommend Ploughman, which is one of my all time favorite Haus scents. It's totally and utterly brilliant, the way it somehow manages to smell just like dirt, skin, and sunshine. This one especially is worth a try!
 

Looking for a way to store your mass quantities of perfume samples? Ever since I started getting obsessed with indie perfumes, I stored my samples in old Altoids tins. They fit snugly and neatly, and this method suited my purposes until I came across brands with sample vials that tended to leak. This led to smudgy, oily, unpleasant messes. So many of my labels have worn off that now I have to trust my sense of smell to remember what each one is. I finally started wrapping each vial with tape right after getting it, which helps with fading but is not a perfect solution. The oils can still seep under the tape with repeated openings. I needed a way to keep them all secure AND upright, a method that allowed me to pick and choose a sample without disturbing or knocking over those surrounding it.

It finally came to me, and I've been kicking myself for not doing this sooner. My samples would look so much nicer and more worthy of swaps and such if I had.

I started with a cute hinged trinket box from Michaels Crafts:



I thought it was apt that this one has "Flora and Fauna" printed on the top. It also has a magentic closure.

Then I bought some matching blue fine, pebbly filler, also at Michaels. I actually got this idea from how Sephora displays their makeup brushes.

I filled it about halfway with the filler, and then started "planting" my samples! They fit securely, and the filler is dense and heavy enough that grabbing samples doesn't bother those around it, or barely makes them lean over slightly, and they're easy to "replant."



Here's my little garden of samples!

If the labels are oily at all, the filler will stick a little, but it's easily brushed off. I will also have to be careful to always hold this from the bottom, but the magnetic closure is handy and even moving the box back and forth doesn't seem to jostle or unhinge the samples at all. Dropping it, though, would be bad.

This isn't close to my whole sample collection, just the ones most prone to leaking.
I just think this is a really cute and functional display/storage method, and a lot prettier than Altoids tins!



Haus of Gloi's Spring Release is TOMORROW (March 17th) at noon PST!
There are going to be new butterbombs and lip balms and all kinds of goodness to be had. I have a fairly hefty order planned...

Here's the line up (reposted from their blog)


Lassi
Cool fresh mango cream, Tunisian orange blossom absolute, black ginger to ground, splash of green tea and a soft squeeze of lime juice. (Pumpkin Butter, Whipped Soap, Sugar Exfoliant, Perfume Oil, Bubbling Scrub)
Selkie
The break of waves, gurgling sea foam, kelp, rain tinged air, sand smoothed driftwood and wild sage. (Pumpkin Butter, Whipped Soap, Sugar Exfoliant, Perfume Oil, Bubbling Scrub)
Milkmaid
Flushed, but demure. Fresh milk, clean linens, pale musk and pink sweetpea blossom. (Pumpkin Butter, Whipped Soap, Sugar Exfoliant, Perfume Oil, Bubbling Scrub)
Ploughman
Well worn leather, dirt n' dandelions, carrot, a pinch of tobacco and a light sheen of feral skin musk. (Pumpkin Butter, Whipped Soap, Sugar Exfoliant, Perfume Oil, Bubbling Scrub)
Ruth
Fresh strawberry, green patchouli, rose geranium and crushed violet leaf. (Pumpkin Butter, Whipped Soap, Perfume Oil)
Komodo
Mangosteen, Tahitian vanilla bean, dragons blood resin and faded tropical blooms. (Pumpkin Butter, Whipped Soap, Perfume Oil)

LIP BALM
Chocolate Orange
Vanilla Mint
Coconut Chai
Strawberry Lime
Black Raspberry Cream
Exotic Rose
Mango Cream

BUTTERBOMBS
Strawberries n' Cream
Green Forest
Orange Blossom Bee Hive
Lavender Tea
Recently I made my first purchase from Sweet Anthem, a microperfumery with a storefront in Seattle and an online presence. I'd seen them around on the interwebs for quite a while in reviews and such, and was really intrigued.

I made my order quite serendipitously during a BOGO sale, so I bought one of the "pick 3" sample bottle sets in which you can choose your own fragrances, and also got a four piece sample set from the Woods category for half off. Sweet Anthem seems to be a good brand for perfume addicts and newbies alike. The scents are all separated by what genre the fall under (citrus, musks, etc.), as well as a brief, factual list of notes, which don't often seem too extensive or fussy. The owner, Meredith Smith, also breaks down each scent into its head, heart, and base notes, which is helpful when one is trying to acclimate themselves as to what unfamiliar notes they are smelling actually are as a scent progresses from cold sniff through drydown. If you are ever in the Seattle area, they do one-on-one custom perfume sessions, and you can also buy single notes or accords now online as well. They even have custom perfume party kits, where your party/shower guests can create their own perfume favors to take home. I love, love, love this idea!


The brand aesthetic strikes me as very classic and clean, well-crafted but not busy or too exotic. Some of the brands I've tried are more experimental, more counter-culture and edgy, I suppose. The aesthetic of this brand makes me think of perfume gifts you would give to a woman you really want to impress with your refined good taste and thoughtfulness, like your future mother-in-law or something, if that makes sense! Meaning, the scents from this brand are more traditionally perfume-y than others I've tried, with little twists and unexpected combinations to keep things interesting and unique. A little off the beaten path, but not too far off, and easily accessible for the average consumer. These would be a safe bet for someone you know likes perfumes but you don't want to get them something cliche or predictable from the department store.

I ordered on January 16th and my order was shipped on the 26th, which I think was a decent TAT considering a big sale had been going on. I received my order in a neat waxed paper bag, and it came with a cute business card.


I love these little bottles! They are so absurdly cute! The larger size really lets you get a proper feel for the scents and I think the price is quite reasonable for these. The full sizes are a little expensive for me ( $28.00 for a 5 ML perfume bottle or 10 ML eau de parfum) but they also sell solid scents in 5 ML twist tubes for $8.50. I am not usually a solid scent person, but they also included a free small clamshell sample of Catherine, and I really liked the formula.  More on that later...

Here's my order:


I got:

Elliot
Miho
Rebecca
Peter
Phoebe
Anton
Annabelle
free sample of Catherine

Sweet Anthem, I believe, changes their general catalog scent line-up each year, and several of these aren't available anymore since the change just happened in the past few weeks. There are some lovely sounding ones in their place, however! For the sake of brevity, I'm going to just give a brief commentary on these. Overall these scents lean more towards the floral side of things, none of them are extremely dark or resinous. They generally feel more light, airy, and springy/summery, even though when it comes to sillage and longevity, they can be quite potent. They require more of a commitment, coming from someone who likes to change her scents throughout the day. Most scents last a few hours on me and then I can move on to something else. For me these have more lingering tenacity. In fact, sometimes at work I'll pull out a vial of whatever to sniff during the day when I'm testing things, and I don't feel like it sticks around. But simply opening these little bottles, not even applying, made me a little self-conscious, because I felt like the scent permeated everything around me! Just an observation, these have kick!

Elliot
 Labdanum, Oakmoss, Pinyon Pine, Rain

The most softly earthy, green, slightly watery scent of the bunch. Easily unisex. I really like the drydown; it was the one that reminded more of other indie scents I've tried, the resinous/incense and oakmoss combo is really lovely, and not heavy at all.

Miho
Coconut, Egyptian Musk, Lotus, Sweet Orange, Violet

This sounded like I would love it, but it just too strong and suffocating. It's got too much old-fashioned powderiness going on. The drydown is better, but as a whole this one didn't work for me.

Rebecca
Agarwood, Amber, Bluebonnets, Ginger, Honey, Moroccan Fig, Pear

A very classic, traditional floral. This one is nice, but still, a little strong for my taste, at least at first. I like the honey in it though which is readily apparent. The description sounds like it should be darker/woodier with the oud and ambers, but it's not. Somewhat humid and quite summery.


Peter
Black Currant, Champagne, Leather, Lemon, Matcha Tea, Patchouli

This one is also not for me. The lemon, while not literally Pledge, lends a cleaning product element to this scent. Just too fresh and clean for me. I like patchouli and leather, but I'm guessing the black currant is keeping me from appreciating them here.



Phoebe
 Dirt, Lavender, Maple Sugar, Snow, Tobacco, White Amber

This one is quite interesting! It's got a sweet bite to it that is also not literally maple sugar, but is the most foodie one of the bunch without being foodie at all, really. Just a tangy sort of richness. I don't know exactly what snow as a note smells like, but it keeps the maple sugar from smelling really like maple sugar. Can't explain this at all, but I like it. It sounds like it should be a more autumnal or wintery scent, but it still isn't really all that dark. Most of these could be year round scents, just like I don't tend to classify mainstream perfumes by season. Probably the most unusual scent I tried thematically speaking.

Anton
 Apple, Black Pepper, Horeseradish, Opium, Orchid, Saffron, Teak

This one is also unisex, and leans maybe a touch towards being suited for cooler climes, but still, while not too dark, it's strong. Quite strong, refined, a little spicy yet debonair. Sounds like it should be foodie, but the apple is not a literal apple at all. I like it in the vial, but it also has an astringent quality I'm not sure meshes well with my skin.

Annabelle
Jasmine, Osmanthus, Sea Salt, White Amber

This one, I love! It is a summery, beachy smell, without actually smelling merely like the ocean or coconut or something obvious like that. It's got a beautiful floral saltiness to it, like you're near the water and can just barely catch whispers of it on the breeze. I've already ordered a solid perfume twist of this.

Catherine
Amber, Bergamot, Neroli, Red Tea, Wisteria

This was my solid perfume sample, and I love the formula for these. The scent smelled a little smoother (some of the oils start out a little sharp) and the formula glides on quite easily and melts effortlessly. I think these might be more palatable for those who think the oils are too strong or pervasive. These cling closer to the skin but are still definitely there. This scent is really gorgeous, a rich floral/tea, with golden amber and a touch of fruitiness. It also has a clear honey/beeswax note to it, and I'm not sure if its the base or the perfume, since the solid scents are made of soy wax and shea butter, with no mention of beeswax. Either way, it makes this one a contender for a full size.

All in all, Sweet Anthem was a refreshing departure from my usual perfume tastes, and a very satisfactory shopping experience. I would recommend giving them a try!
For my last rose-centric post, I decided to do a LOTD that was super minimal and fresh and reminiscent of spring. This look is a little naked for me, but I think it turned out pretty well. I also challenged myself to use ONLY drugstore brand makeup.

Here are the supplies:



Revlon Photoready Primer
Maybelline DreamFresh BB Cream
Revlon Colorstay Blemish Concealer

Maybelline Mineral Power Illuminator (I have not seen this in stores lately, I think it may be discontinued, which is sad because it's a great all-over face highlighter.)

NYX blush in Pinched

Revlon Colorstay Aqua Mineral Finishing Powder (the gimmick with this is that it contains coconut water, so it's supposed to be extra hydrating and won't make you shiny or oily. It actually does have an interesting cooling effect when you apply it. It feels like your brush must be wet, but it's not. I like this!)

Maybelline VolumExpress The Rocket mascara
Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Inked in Pink
Maybelline Color Whisper Lip Color in Rose of Attraction


I haven't bought a mainstream eyeshadow in ages, and definitely not a cream shadow, but I saw this and loved it! It's a perfect light, metallic baby pink. It also works well as a eyeshadow primer.

 

I don't usually like heavy, intense lipstick, so this new lippie from Maybelline is also a new favorite! It's fairly moisturizing, and the color is sheer but buildable. I want more of these! A lighter option for spring, as well.

And here's my face:

Like I said, much more minimalistic than I usually do, this is what I might do if I am just hanging around the house or running errands. I've been doing a similar look lately but punching it up by adding a crease color, highlight, and liner.  It's funny that my no-makeup look still requires 9 products! Sometimes those are the hardest to do, though.



Nothing but the shadow and mascara:



And the lippie:

Finally, I have been obsessing lately over possible custom scents I might try from Haus of Gloi. They are supposed to be adding more notes with the spring release, so depending on what they are these combos are subject to change. The question is, which one should I try first? Leave a comment and let me know what sounds interesting (if any) to you!

1. Lavender
Pumpkin
Beeswax and Honey
White Amber

2. Blood Orange
Coconut
Red Musk
Mahogany

3. Black Tea
Sage
Oakmoss
Woodsmoke

 

I mentioned last week that I've been on a bit of a rose kick lately. That has continued since I ordered a full size of Rose Mallow Cream perfume and Nightgown ganache from Solstice Scents...behold the goodness!


I got a sample of Amber, which is a core GC scent, and I don't know why I never tried it before. Maybe I thought it would be too basic or boring, but it's really a lovely warm, rich, golden amber. It is a building block in quite a few scents. I can smell its influence in scents like Basilica and Black Leather Red Lace ( discontinued *sob*). It has that distinctive Solstice Scents vibe to it and would be perfect for layering.

Next up, I finally went ahead and ordered another custom scent from Haus of Gloi. My first custom was an autumnal scent with notes of Leaves, Pumpkin, Ginger, and Sandalwood. It was an intriguing first effort!

 For this most recent one, I really tried to think it out and research the notes, and I must say I am sort of pleased with myself. I chose Rose, Leather, Tonka, and Labdanum. I went with two base notes as I wanted something with staying power. I've seen Labdanum listed as having elements of leather along with resinous, amber, and incense notes, so I went with that to complement the Leather. I also chose it since because it is a complicated note, it would stretch out those seemingly limited four notes into something maybe more complex and also add some depth and richness to the blend. I went with Tonka to add some creamy gourmand sweetness to the Rose. I knew going in that these custom scents develop over time, and you have to give them a little while to marry before you can really appreciate it. But I was very surprised and pleased to pretty much adore this scent at first sniff!

It was quite a bit more fresh and light than I expected, the rose is a fresh, not-grandmotherly or heady rose. It is almost green, like someone mashed up the leaves and stems with the petals. The Leather is reminiscent of the well-worn leather in Ploughman, which is one of my all time favorite HoG scents. I was hoping they would be the same, and I was not disappointed. It has that sexy, clean, fresh, sun-warmed skin element, and paired with the rose it is just gorgeous. G told me I smelled good, "like soap." But not the way we might describe some perfumes that go "soapy" negatively, just fresh and clean. After a while the creaminess from the Tonka starts to appear, and finally as it fades the Labdanum leaves the blend with this light incense note, much softer and gentler than you might expect. The whole package is like your skin, but better. I must say, a perfect spring scent!

Apparently others agree because I had a patron ask me what I was wearing and compliment it, which honestly few do because most scents I wear cling close to the skin. This one is gentle enough that I don't feel nervous about slathering it on. Also, one of my co-workers smelled it and liked it so much she ordered the exact same thing. On one hand this pleases me, that my idea was good enough that someone felt compelled to drop twenty bucks for the same thing. On the other hand I mentally stamped my foot and cried out in indignation...."Noooooo! Stop copying me!!!! It's MY custom scent!"

But that's silly, right?

With the rest of my order I got a sample of Come Hither (another rose scent!) which had actually been missing from my previous order. They included it with this one and also sent me a Sea Salt Brownie Butterbomb, which was a welcome surprise! They also dropped in some exotic looking candy! I have no idea where it's from but I'm going to try it soon :)

Have you ordered any custom scents from HoG or would you consider trying it? What notes or combinations sound interesting to you?



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