Eden Botanicals is one of the companies I've purchased from this year while exploring various ingredients for perfumery for my own education and blending attempts. Eden has some really precious, rare, and high quality ingredients that the average consumer can afford to try as they have samples available for the price of the average indie perfume sample, 2-3 dollars. They do have some REALLY precious ingredients that come in itsy bitsy size samples, about 6 drops, and also some materials that have been pre-diluted. They have carrier oils, hydrosols, organic essential oils, co2s, absolutes, all kinds of goodies. I love that when you order, you get a free sample for every 20 dollars you spend, and each sample vial has useful information about the ingredient: what it's made of, where it's from, etc. 

While I was exploring the perfume side of things, I noticed they had some excellent oils for skin care. I love skin oils but they can be really pricey (for example, Josie Maran's argan oil is 48 dollars for 1.7 ounces). I decided to whip up my own using Eden's ingredients, which allowed me to customize specialty oils for my own benefit.  I purchased 1/2 ounce of organic Argan oil from Eden for $7.00, 1/4 ounce of Rosehip seed oil for $9.00, and sample vials of Sea Buckthorn oil and Pomegranate Seed oil for $2.00 each. The site has lots of info on each oil's benefits and usage guidelines too. I composed  my blend to focus on healing and nourishing, with good for sensitive skin, anti-aging, and high in anti-oxidant ingredients.

For my face oil I used a base of Argan oil, about 50% of a 5ml pump bottle, and added Rosehip Seed oil until the bottle was about 75% full. To that I added 10 drops each of Pomegranate Seed oil and Sea Buckthorn oil. Sea Buckthorn oil has a scary orange tint due to high levels of beta carotene so you want to use it very sparingly and in dilution as it can stain skin. Even with only 10 drops this blend is pretty orange but it blends out easily. If you're nervous about it, add fewer drops. 

After that, I added some essential oils to scent the oil. You don't have to add any, the oil is fine as is, but I enjoy some aromatherapy with my skincare, especially when I get to decide what's in it. I used 5 drops of Frankincense co2, 5 drops of Geranium, and 10 drops of Bulgarian Rose absolute that was already pre-diluted to 10%. This makes a pretty strongly scented oil, it smells spa-like and relaxing! Kind of Aveda-like, if you've been in one of their shops. But definitely sniff after each addition to tailor the scent to your liking. I've made another one I enjoyed replacing the Geranium with Lavender Maillette, and that was also really lovely.

I've been using this oil as my primary leave-on skincare (aside from some Aveeno moisturizer) for about a month now, and I adore it! It soaks in so quickly and is super gentle. My skin has been extra sensitive the past few years and prone to nasty allergic reaction type rashes, and this doesn't trigger those for me and it also hasn't caused any major breakouts. Any breakouts I get seem to be soothed and healed more quickly when I use this. I use a few drops at night and in the morning, and I do think my skin is happier for it. 

I really think Eden is a great resource and I'm definitely going to buy more supplies for my skin oil when I run out. This is going to be a staple for me! Your mileage may vary, and this post isn't meant to diagnose, prevent, or treat any conditions, illnesses, and all that jazz. Your mileage may vary, and be sure to do patch tests when trying something new like this.

Hope you all have a great day, and let me know if you have any questions!
Recently I got my final Sixteen92 Circle order for Spring 2016. New subscriptions will be accepted starting April 1. Will I renew? I really want to! If I have the funds, I definitely will. Sixteen92 can be hit-or-miss for me, but I usually find at least one or two scents that I love from each collection, and the coupon codes make the investment well worth it. Plus I love knowing that I have a guaranteed collection of samples coming to me every season without worrying about saving back for it, or deliberating about which ones I want to try. 

So- onto the scents! I took this picture on the greenest spot I could find in our yard, which is sort of feeble and sad, but we've had a couple of sunny, 60 degree days lately so I have gotten some use out of these scents already. I'm kind of boring in that I tend to only want "springy" scents when it actually feels like spring. 

Blanket of the Dark
Narcissus absolute, two Jasmines, yellow Champaca blossom, coffee bean, bergamot, oakmoss, benzoin

This was the one major miss of the collection for me, and G didn't like it either. He pretty much insisted I wash it off, and I was happy to oblige. So this assessment is only from cold sniff and immediate application. Cold sniff was akin to burning rubber. Sixteen92's blends with  heady florals like jasmine don't often work for me- they are just too indolic and heavy. This one has two jasmines, so nope. nope. nope. It has a potent dose of heady, vaguely mothball-y and indolic florals and is also kind of bitter (from the coffee?) that makes it translate to a burning rubber smell for me.

Merely a Madness
White sandalwood, clover honey (vegan), sweet orange, rosewater, blond patchouli, cedar heart

This reminds me of a lighter, more wearable version of their Blood and Honey scent, which was too cloying and sticky for me to wear. This is more brighter and more delicate, with a softer woodsy finish. I don't really love it, but it's pleasant enough.

The Primrose Path
Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms

I told you I can rely on loving at least one or two scents from each collection, and this one is it. Yes! Something to get excited about! This one smells strongly of fresh green grass, with some wet earthiness and soft florals in the background. It smells like a rain-spattered garden, when the sun comes out and starts warming up the raindrops still clinging to the leaves and petals, making them sparkle. Ugh, this is gorgeous and happy and I am pretty sure you can tell that Sixteen92's earthy/garden/rain scents are most likely to be winners in my book. Full size for sure! 

Storm of Fortunes
Star jasmine, orange blossom, tuberose absolute, hyacinth, ambergris, Mysore sandalwood

What's this? A most unexpected hit given my previous railing against the evils of jasmine. I actually really like this! It's got some of my favorite notes supporting it, (hyacinth and orange blossom) which seem to temper and tame it for me. Without them I may not have liked this so much. This is not aquatic per se, but it has a bright, sparkling, watery quality to it that I really like. It's almost sweet/juicy: fruit-but-not-fruit.  The dry down is more woodsy and sexy- yeah, there is something sexy about the drydown- something animalic in a good, not-overpowering way. The ambergris maybe? It reminds me a little of one of the other few jasmine scents I enjoy, Juliet from Sweet Anthem.

A Thousand Times More Fair
Honeysuckle nectar, magnolia blossom, passion flower, white peach skin, ripe plum, bright vanilla bean, delicate musk

This one I see as being likely the most universally attractive scent, the most popular. Just not for me, sadly. For a peachy scent, it's not bad, but peaches and plums as well as white florals- the cards were stacked against it. It's more summery and almost a little humid/tropical than light, springy and breezy to me, Truth be told, peaches often just end up smelling like funky body odor on me, so it's just not a good match. I'm guessing if you like their Lolita scent you may like this, though this is a more "mature" peachy scent. I'm contradicting myself here, but I actually do sort of like Lolita, as that smells more like sweet boozy gummi bears than actual peaches.

All the World's a Stage
Rum-soaked apricots, dark chocolate, hazelnut liqueur, praline, amber, bourbon vanilla

This was an exclusive scent that came with Circle subscriptions, so unless you find it in a swap, you won't be able to get this. This is sweet, rich, and boozy, with a fair amount of apricot, which is only marginally better than peaches in my book. This has fun little droplets of cocoa absolute suspended in it, and has a similar vibe to the winter 2016 scent This Is Just to Say, with the combo of chocolate and stone fruits. It makes me think of something a classy gentleman or lady might drink in a Victorian era parlor/smoking room, it's refined yet festive and indulgent. I don't often go for chocolate in perfumes, strangely enough, but this one is nice enough, and the fruitiness isn't too pervasive for me.

Winners: The Primrose Path, Storm of Fortunes
Meh-to-Like: All the World's a Stage, Merely a Madness
Dislike: Blanket of the Dark, A Thousand Times More Fair

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