Bar Soap Bounty from Olive and Oud

Olive and Oud

Olive and Oud‘s dense bars are exquisitely fragrant suds factories that get you clean, leave your skin soft, and fill the air with beautiful aromas. Right now I’ve got Flora in use, and it is one gorgeous smelling soap. It’s woody with cabrueva and peru balsam, and floral with ylang ylang, palma rosa, and mimosa. It’s also lightly piquant from grapefruit and a hint of allspice. Patchouli makes it earthy and binds all of these wonderful scents together which centers the fragrant quality of the soap itself and also has a centering effect on the bather as well.

I’m also exploring the bar soaps Eye Candy, Souk and Ode to Joy. Eye Candy is made with jasmine and tuberose floral waxes in addition to sandalwood, gingerlily and other delicious essences. It’s sitting here on my desk and it certainly is nose candy! Souk is more on the mellow side when compared to Flora and Eye Candy, but it is no less intoxicating. Coriander and bergamot work their charms into this soap which, like all of them, is made with olive oil, organic cocoa butter (or organic palm oil) and shea butter for an exceptionally nourishing lather.

Olive and Oud 2

Lastly, there’s the bright and sunny Ode to Joy that’s bursting with citrus, specifically grapefruit, bergamot, and petitgrain. Lavender, coriander, frankincense and a smidge of jasmine are also playing around in this chunk of fun, but to me it’s all about the sparkling fruit and it will be the ideal soap for those mornings when I’ve hit the snooze button one too many times.

I have terrific news for Scent Hive readers! Laura Natusch, creator of Olive and Oud, would like to do a giveaway for a bar of her newest soap Emerge. It’s based on green and citrus scents (especially cilantro) over earthier, sweeter base notes and as of this posting, it’s not even available on her esty site yet. To enter, simply visit Olive and Oud and then leave a comment over here on Scent Hive letting us all know what soap you would choose. Drawing now closed. 

Good luck!

Olive and Oud soaps are available at etsy for $6.25

Soft Skin by Wash the Day Away

Cardamom Orange Lotion by Wash the Day Away is my favorite skincare find this winter. It’s unabashedly spicy with a fervid dosing of cardamom and the sharp effervescent of lime. If you love cardamom, and by this I mean the vibrant scent of freshly chopped pods, Cardamom Orange will send you into blissful olfaction as its spiciness is more akin to adventurous culinary pursuits rather than a gentle hint or suggestion of the seasoning.

Its piquantness settles after a half hour or so as the sweetness of orange becomes more apparent and the kick of cardamom and lime recede into backnotes. The hydrating properties of Cardamom Orange last much longer than that since it’s loaded with powerful healers like calendula, aloe vera juice and aloe vera gel (the first three ingredients) along with shea butter and wheat germ oil (the next two ingredients).

This lotion is surprisingly light for how well it moisturizes and completely absorbs into the skin within seconds. I’ve been keeping my sample jar in the car for a quick fix, and can grip the steering wheel moments after application without feeling like I’ve greased it with butter. Kind of a silly example, but you get the point.

If you’re interested in Wash the Day Away’s Lotions, but cardamom isn’t quite you’re thing, I highly recommend the Bergamot Coriander Lotion as well. It too is redolent of kitchen spices, but it’s toned down and has a floral facet thanks to the always lovely neroli. The formula of Bergamot Coriander is a tad thicker than the Cardamom Orange, but it absorbs just as quickly.

Wash the Day Away has many lotions to choose from, and Lavender Lemondrop and Warming Mandarin Rum are next on my list to try. You’ll find many more enticing products at the Wash the Day Away etsy shop. Both lotions are $14.75 for an 8oz jar or $7.75 for 4oz.

Disclosure: Samples were provided to me by Wash the Day Away. Opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Seasonal Scents

We decorated our Christmas tree this past weekend, and had *Aftelier Perfumes’ Blood Orange, Ginger & Blood Cedarwood candle filling the air with a fragrance that will now forever remind me of this special family tradition. As you might guess from its name, this candle is a piquant blend of orange, ginger and cedarwood that is effortlessly intertwined yet allows for moments when the individual essences shine on their own.

Aftelier’s perfumed candles are made with beeswax and the finest of natural essences. I wasn’t too sure what to expect in terms of throw, but its festive redolence suffused my rather large living room which admittedly was unexpected and very much appreciated. I’ve got it burning right beside me at this moment, and am contemplating an online Aftlelier shopping trip as there are four other candles to try. Since they are limited edition, you might want to check them our sooner than later. I’m ready to hit the button on Resurrection. With notes of frankincense, vetiver, clary sage, geranium, bitter orange, fir needle, and lime, it sounds like an ideal scent for unwinding during the bustling holiday season.

I’ve written a couple times about Olive & Oud, my absolute favorite place to buy soaps. Laura Natusch, the creator of these divine bars, always has inspired blends with essences like cardamom, bitter orange, ginger, clove, vanilla-like Peru Balsam, amyris, nutmeg, and black pepper. Actually, those are the notes for the above soap, Spiced Chai, my current favorite from Laura. Like the Aftelier candle, Spiced Chai is teeming with ginger and orange, but also has a liberal dose of cardamom and clove which make for warm and spicy suds. I like to say that Olive & Oud is a perfumista’s place for soap, and I really do mean that. Laura is currently sold out of Spiced Chai, but she is always making new batches, so please contact her via etsy or Facebook if you are interested. As of today, Bed of Spice, which is similar to Spiced Chai, and another one of my favorites, Cocoa Butter Mint are both available.

 

If it wasn’t already apparent, I love citrus scents this time of year. And what better way to relish the citrus than in another winter favorite, body oil! One of my very first posts was on Jo Wood’s Amka. That was nearly three years ago, but it continues to be a treat for my skin and nose that I reach for again and again. Amka possesses a great deal of sparkling citrus. Orange oil, bergamot, petitgrain, and mandarin oil abound in Amka, but are grounded by an incredibly smooth cedarwood. This counterbalance between vibrancy and tranquility is perfectly achieved in this fragrance and I still enjoy its soothing hydration and restorative scent after a warm bath before bedtime.

Aftelier Perfumes’ Blood Orange, Ginger & Blood Cedarwood candle is available at Aftelier.com for $50. *This was a collaboration with Nikki Sherritt of Gabriel’s Aunt.

Spiced Chai is available at Olive & Oud on etsy for ~$5.50

Jo Wood Amka Bath Oil is available at BeautyHabit for $100 for 100ml. Please note: this is different from the body oil I reviewed. It looks like the Body Oil might have been discontinued. Please see Beauyhabit for the Amka Bath Oil and the EDT which I also adore.

Photo of Aftelier candle and the Christmas Tree are mine. Products reviewed in this post are from my own collection. 

Share

Top Autumn Sensory Discoveries

I’m nursing a minor, albeit very annoying, cold at the moment. It’s the typical deal, stuffy nose, cough, fatigue- and all I can think about is warmth, comfort and pampering. Fortuitously, a lovely parcel arrived from Ayala Moriel Parfums last week which included a sample of her newest fragrance Zangvil, and its accompanying perfumed tea. Perfect for autumn, perfect for my achey bones.

 

Of course I was thrilled to give her latest perfume creation a try, but it was the tea I really wanted to dive into. OK, so I didn’t literally dive into the tea, but I definitely steeped in it. I held the cup close to my nose and inhaled its steam, allowing the aromatic vapors to heal my tender and congested self. Ayala uses very fine Jasmine Silver Needle tea leaves for Zangvil, which is harvested in the spring and then laced with night blooming jasmine during the summer. I envision the jasmine blooms opening and infusing the white tea leaves with their scent, just as Ayala’s Zangvil tea infused me with its restorative perfume. And not only with the perfume of jasmine, but also of organic crystalized ginger, ambrette seeds and vanilla bean. It’s a gorgeous tea and I think I need to make another cup as I continue to write.

 

Ahhh, now that I have the aroma of Zangvil swirling about me, I am tempted by my other autumnal (and common cold) indulgence- the bath! I guess this is when the real steeping begins right? It’s a simple pleasure really, immersing oneself in hot water. But when you add something deliciously scented into the tub, it becomes a truly pampering experience. My newest bath discovery is Persephenie’s Nanu Lei Bath, a fizzy mineral bath powder with the potent hydrating powers of coconut oil and cocoa butter and the captivating scent of tiare. Nanu Lei Bath has just the right amounts of coconut, tiare and a sparkling citrus to warm your senses with thoughts of a dreamy tropical destination without hitting you over the head with too much of any of them. I adore it.

During the fall and winter months, I like to ramp up the pampering, and apply a facial mask before dipping into the tub. Evan Healy’s French Rose Clay Mask has occupied my number one spot for just over a year now, but I decided to give a new one a try, Naturopathica’s Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel. My first test-drive timing wasn’t great as it was on a hot, dog day of summer, and I was not feeling the scent of pumpkin. Fast forward to the cold chill in the air of late October, and it’s ideal. According to the Naturopathica website, pumpkin is an exfoliator that is loaded with antioxidants given its high beta carotine content. Cinnamon is also in the mask which gives it a spicy aroma and also acts as an antiseptic. I’ll take their word for it, because after I rinsed it away, my skin felt smoother and softer and I had a curious craving for pumpkin pie.

My last autumn discovery is actually a rediscovery of a forgotten perfume love, YSL’s Paris Roses des Bois. This Paris flanker was released in 2004 and it’s been far too long since I paid it any mind. It’s much more wearable on me than the original Paris which I find too cloying. If you’re familiar with Roses des Bois, you know it to be full of pink roses and blackberries, with an added smidge of sandalwood and musk. Not your typical fall-ish fragrance I know, but it’s really working for me in this colder weather. The musk has taken on a new coziness this autumn as the rose feels a little wilder and the blackberry like a special preserve you ration out during the chilly months. Happily, I have a huge bottle that need not be used sparingly. This jammy rose can now take its rightful place at the front of my perfume collection.

What are your latest autumnal discoveries? Feel free to share in this blogging event!

And please visit the following blogs for more autumnal pleasures, and many thanks to Elena of Perfume Shrine for getting this together!

Katie Pukrick Smells

Perfume Shrine

Smelly Blog

The Non Blonde

Top most Image from PennGastronomyClub

Share

My recent Spirit Beauty Lounge splurge

Here’s a peek at my recent SpiritBeautyLounge order. Of course my favorite part of receiving an SBL package is the goodies inside, but I also love the entire presentation. The sweet pink tissue paper, the way in which each item has been carefully placed in the box, and the always generous samples make an SBL haul, a special haul.

I haven’t tried the Rahua hair samples yet, but you can be sure that lollipop went right into my mouth as I unearthed the Kahina Toning Mist that I’ve been wanting since I read Dain’s review as well as the Intelligent Nutrients Finishing Gloss that will replace my almost empty bottle.

I reviewed the IN Finishing Gloss last fall, and it’s back in heavy rotation this summer. I’ve taken to mixing a few pumps of the gloss with Weleda’s Rosemary Hair Oil and warming it all over my hands. I then run my fingers through my hair and pat the hair that frames my face to give it a little extra help tamping down the frizzies. A nice combing and an air drying gives me soft, pieced-out waves. Of course a great haircut also helps, but this method tames my thick, frizz-prone hair like nothing else.

In addition to my order, SBL included a Wild Rose Lip Balm by Phoenix Botanicals for me to sample for possible review, and I am so glad they did. I adore this little balm! Its cute design belies its 100% biodegradable packaging with sweet illustrations and a sturdy feel. I love how you pinch the bottom of the tube to access more balm which also makes it easy to use every last bit. The balm itself goes on smoothly and hydrates just as well as my holy grail of lip balms, Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Care Stick. The balm itself is a bit thinner than the Dr. H balm, but it feels supple and does the job.

As for the Kahina Toning Mist, I love it too. I would be hard pressed to do a more thorough job at reviewing the toner than Dain already has done, so please check out the above link to her blog, ARS Aromatica. Suffice to say, I am in full agreement with her rave review.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention my fabulously efficacious Soapwalla Deodorant Cream! I wrote about this product last summer and am thrilled that SBL has included it in their offerings. It’s a simple, all natural deodorant that truly works.

Intelligent Nutrients Finishing Gloss is $29 for 1.7oz, Kahina Toning Mist is $36 for 1.6 oz, and the Phoenix Botanical Lip Balm is $6, Soapwalla Deodorant Cream is $10. All at SpiritBeautyLounge.com

 

Share

Naturopathica Lemongrass Mimosa Body Scrub

 

The scent of lemongrass is just what you think it would be, lemony and grassy. It’s bright, green and crisp and is the perfect addition to bath and body products if a pick-me-up is what you’re after. But lemongrass is more than just a grassy-lemon scent, it’s also herbaceous and kind of spicy. Because of its use in cooking, lemongrass can easily conjure up culinary references, but in Naturopathica’s Lemongrass Mimosa Body Scrub, we are taken down a different path.

Lemongrass is far and away the dominant scent in this gently invigorating scrub, but the inclusion of mimosa, ylang yang, rose and jasmine lend complex floral notes which heighten its spicy and herbal qualities. While massaging the Lemongrass Mimosa Body Scrub onto my skin, the shower fills with its uplifting and unique fragrance. And while it’s difficult to discern the floral notes as separate essences, they swirl together beautifully. As I sit here with some of the scrub on the top of my hand, there is a note that suddenly stands out, one that I have not noticed previously, and that’s vetiver. Vetiver, like lemongrass, is herbaceous and green, but with a sweet woody character rather than a citrus one. Like in perfume, vetiver melds seamlessly into floral blends and helps to bring out the earthy side of lemongrass.

As far as it’s performance as a scrub, it gets my highest recommendation. Although it is important to note that this is not a foaming scrub, it’s a thick walnut shell powder and shea butter based paste that’s creamy and does an excellent job of exfoliating. Naturopathica has succeeded in creating a scrub that does what it’s supposed to do, but without the unwanted side effect of feeling too rough. The walnut shells are very finely ground and the shea butter gives it a soothing creaminess that I really like.

Naturopathica Lemongrass Mimosa Body Scrub is $28 for 5oz. Available at Naturopathica.com

Visit Now Smell This for a past review of Lemongrass Mimosa by Jessica.

Watercolor image of Seaside Mimosa by The Joy of Color at etsy.

INGREDIENTS: Aqua/Water/Eau, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Shell Powder, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Glycerin, Cetyl Palmitate, Lactobacillus/Arundinaria Gigantea (Bamboo) Grass Ferment Extract, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Cymbopogon Flexuosus (Lemongrass) Oil, Rosa Damascena (Rose) Flower Oil, Jasminum Grandiflorum (Jasmine) Flower Oil, Acacia Decurrens (Mimosa) Oil, Citrus Hystrix (Combava) Peel Oil, Cananga Odorata (Ylang Ylang) Flower Oil, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens (Geranium) Flower Oil, Vetiveria Zizanioides (Vetivert) Root Oil, Urtica Dioica (Nettle) Leaf Extract, Silybum Marianum (Milkthistle) Leaf Extract, Filipendula Ulmaria (Meadowsweet) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Xanthan Gum, Potassium Sorbate, Dehydroacetic Acid, Benzyl Alcohol

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Naturopathica. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

In Fiore's Bois de Rose

 

After a long hiatus, I’ve started swimming again. I’m trying to remember why I stopped, and I think it had something to do with the arse-freezing water at the gym and not wanting to feel like I am gasping for air as I launch into my first lap. Our recent trip to Arizona rekindled my love of swimming as the hotel had a fantastic outdoor lap pool that made working-out blissful. I can’t say the pool at the gym is nearly as sublime, but the bone-chilling water has been remedied and I have been thoroughly enjoying my time in the pool.

 

The only downside is my terrifyingly dry skin. We’re talking seriously scaly which is not pretty to look at or touch. The product that came to mind above all others to cure my chlorine-induced dryness was the Body Balm by In Fiore. My last post was a review for In Fiore’s Lustra, and I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve written back to back reviews of products from the same company, but I can’t hold back because this has saved my skin.

 

In Fiore’s Body Balms are in a base of grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, beeswax and vitamin E. Sounds soothing but kind of simple right? Don’t let yourself be misled, as Julie Elliott, creator of In Fiore, has perfected their ratios which results in a luxuriously soft balm at room temperature that transforms into a sensual oil once it’s warmed onto your skin. Because the balm is thick, it takes about 5 minutes for the skin to completely absorb the oils, but less time is needed if you apply right after shower or bath. When I smooth this on liberally at night, morning arrives with no more dryness, just soft smooth skin and sheets that waft like a sachet.

There are six Body Balms in In Fiore’s permanent line, but my favorite is Bois de Rose and is exclusive to the In Fiore boutique in San Francisco. Bois de Rose falls into one of my prized fragrance categories, the woody floral. The rosewood in this balm is divine and melds into the Bulgarian rose absolute seamlessly. Both essences are exceptionally warm and a touch spicy, entangling themselves in a honeyed backdrop that is both soothing and sensual.

What makes Bois de Rose even more compelling is a substantial dose of vetiver which gives an earthy and tangy kick, creating the impression of oud as it commingles with rosewood. A minty green suggestion from geranium bolsters the richness of vetiver’s roots while simultaneously enhancing the smoothly harmonious floral rose absolute.

In Fiore’s products contain only the finest organic, wildcrafted or biodynamic ingredients, which heightens the luxuriousness of the balm and the lushness of its fragrance. I am so smitten with Bois de Rose (as well as Dayala) that I want to experience more of these balms. I’m thinking that a not-so-subtle Mother’s Day hint for the Body Balm Trio of Jolie, Shevanti and Tangiers is in order.

 

Bois de Rose is $95 for an 8oz jar. Please call the In Fiore boutique to order. 415-928-5661

Image by: Ignacio P. Camarlench, Una rosa,1894 at Wikimedia Commons

 

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: Bois de Rose is a part of my personal collection. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Holiday Gift Guide 2010

Can you believe the holiday season is already upon us? Thanksgiving will be here in a heartbeat, and the first night of Hanukkah is December 1st. So it’s time to hop to it and get gifting. I’ve gathered together some of my favorite bloggers (links below) to offer our recommendations for those special items on our to-give lists, and maybe even our own wish-lists. My list includes many price points ranging from $6.50 for a gorgeously scented soap to $325 for a precious limited edition perfume, with lots in between. As you might have guessed, all of my recommendations are 100% natural which means no petrochemicals, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, or parabens.


Urban Eden (Now Oilve and Oud) Shahrazad soap ($6.50 per bar) I recently reviewed Urban Eden soaps and at the time I had just started using my bar of Shahrazad. At this present moment, I have but a tiny sliver left and recently placed an order for another bar so I can continue to bask in its plentiful floral spiciness. Tuberose, frankincense, and cardamom are the standouts in this richly lathering soap that’s perfect for this time of year.

 


Gabriel’s Aunt tea light sampler. ($9 for a set of 10) After you spend some time at the Gabriel’s Aunt etsy shop, you’ll be glad you can choose 10 different tea lights in your sampler. Nikki Sherritt, creator of GA, has so many scrumptious scents to choose from that it really is hard to pick only a few. My favorite isRoyal Couple ($25 for 8oz candle), a rose and jasmine blend that warms a room with a finespun throw. You can read more about her liquid and solid fragrances here and here.

 

Wing and Prayer mini sampler ($10 for three 1/8oz rollerball) This has got to be one of the best bargains in the natural perfume world. $10 for three nicely sized fragrances? That’s a steal that we all need to take advantage of! I adore Flowers, a gardenia fragrance with sweet notes of linden and beeswax as well as Bella, a soft blend of verbena and neroli. An individual bottle is $35 for a 1.78oz spray which is also an incredible value for such gorgeous, all natural scents.

 

Scented Djinn Sahar ($25 for 5ml) This beauty boasts jasmine, sandalwood, and champaca infused with honey and vanilla. Sounds pretty right? It’s also calming and cozy and I love to wear it on cold fall mornings. I reviewed Saharthispast spring if you would like to read more.

 

evanhealy Sweet Blossom Hydrating Oil($29.95 for 4oz) Smoothing this body oil over freshly showered skin is a pleasure of which I will never tire. Frankincense, neroli and a light touch of ylang ylang intertwine to create a comforting scent that will put a smile on the lucky recipient’s face. And not only is it beautifully fragranced, it is made with cold pressed, organic oils of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, jojoba and apricot kernel so it feels as good as it smells.

 

Organic Apoteke Droseros Hydrating Mist ($30 for 5oz) Hyrdosols have become a part of my daily skincare routine. Sometimes I spray it on my skin when it’s dry and I want to apply a body oil (such as evanhealy’s above) and I also mist my face with a hydrosol before using my serum. Currently, Organic Apoteke is my favorite because it’s soothing and hydrating. But honestly, I really love it because it smells so darn good. It’s like there’s a magic honey ingredient in this mist that lasts for hours and swirls around my skin amidst delicate rose petals. I’ve got this in the travel size, and you can be sure it’s going with me on my next plane ride.

DSH PerfumesÉpices d’Hiver ($40 for 1 dram/5 mls or $120 for 1 oz) Épices d’Hiver was launched by DSH Perfumes last fall, and got a lot of wear during the cold months, which here in the Northwest can last well into May. So suffice to say, I wore it many a day. Now that the rain and cold are upon us once more, Épices d’Hiver is back in action, providing me with a cozy spicy go-to fragrance suffused with nutmeg, hay and woods.

Ayala Moriel Parfums Palas Atena ($48 for 4mls or $120 for 9ml flacon) Palas Atena was the first Ayala Moriel fragrance that I fell for, and it still ranks high on my list of favorites of her creations. It’s a classic floriental with notes of patchouli, amber, champaca, cinnamon, jasmine, lavender, neroli, sandalwood, and sweet orange. Each essence flows into the next, moving in continuous harmony like a high quality vintage fragrance.

Intelligent Nutrients Aromatics in Focus ($50 for 0.85 oz) Feel free to spritz this alluring aromatic all over yourself. Mist it on your face, your skin, and your hair and let its organic vitamin e and castor oils hydrate while organic flower oils intoxicate. The neroli jasmine duo is swoon worthy, and so well loved, that I can’t imagine anyone not being thrilled to open up this 100% organic scent.

 

Roxana Illuminated Perfume’s Rosa Solid ($72 for 5.3 gm solid in a refillable silver compact) Oh lovely Rosa! Such a precious compact made even more so by its contents. If you are a rose lover, or know one, you should feel compelled to give Rosa a serious gander. Rose otto from Turkey and an absolute of rose bourbonica from India grace this sensual solid perfume, as well as woods, oud, vetiver and leather. Its rich and earthy bouquet is full but wears close to the skin. One of my favorite rose perfumes.

 

Aftelier Perfumes Candide ($150 for 0.25 oz which includes a 2ml mini, the mini is sold separately for $45) Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes has just launched Candide, and made a personal appearance last night at Bendel’s in NYC to celebrate its release. And believe me, she has much to toast as Candide is truly beautiful. It radiates with sparkling notes of pink grapefruit, blood orange and raspberries all wrapped up in sueded jasmine petals. Its lush and enticing, but cheerful and flirtatious as well. A suggestion of frankincense affords a bit of grounding, but to be sure, Candide is lighthearted through and through.

 

Strange Invisible Perfumes Elektrou ($325 for 0.25 fl. oz. pure perfume • Available in-store or by phone only. Call toll free: 800.919.7472) Strange Invisible Perfumes has lured me in once before with these limited edition gems. I caved and bought Dimanche last spring, and have not regretted it for a second. It exudes two notes that I can’t seem to get enough of, hay and honey, in a surprisingly sophisticated and provocative manner. Well, if you wish you’d jumped at the chance to get Dimanche, Elektrou is quite similar, with a few distinct differences. Dimanche’s opening is on the sharp side due to the edginess iris sometimes possesses. Elektrou on the other hand is immediately soft with its vanilla and smooth amber accord. Sandalwood plays a large roll in Elektrou’s suppleness, emanating a sensual ease. It’s going to take serious restraint that I am not sure I have to keep myself for purchasing Elektrou as I want every scarf I own to smell just like it. It’s a splurge no doubt, but one that the perfumista in your life (which is probably yourself) will adore.

Please stop by the following blogs for more gift ideas.

Perfume Shrine

IndiePerfumes

Roxana Illuminated Perfume

All I Am- A Redhead


Posted by ~Trish

image courtesy of Roxana Villa.

Share

Luscious bars of soap by Olive and Oud (formerly Urban Eden).

Is it laziness that I don’t take the time to put a body wash on my shower scrunchie anymore? These days it feels like an unnecessary step, especially when I have a deliciously smelling, beautifully lathering bar of soap at the ready. Not to mention there’s no waste of plastic tubes or bottles with bar soap whose packaging is easily recycled.


Handmade soaps from etsy are a great place to start if you’re interested in boosting your bar soap inventory, but after some etsy soap searching you’re sure to feel overwhelmed. So let me introduce you to my favorite soap of the moment, Tranquility by Urban Eden. All of Urban Eden’s soaps smell wonderful and have an exceptional lather and I bet you’d be hard pressed to find one you don’t like. But there’s something about Tranquility with its soothing sandalwood, vanilla, and cardamom blend that creates one sublime showering experience. Lemon, ginger and vetiver give this soap a touch of sparkle, but Tranquility stays true to its overall sandalwood impression.


You might have noticed that Tranquility’s ingredients read like notes from a perfumer’s website which is the case for all Urban Eden soaps. For example, here’s Urban Eden’s description of Vetiver Lime:

“…the refreshing tang of Mexican lime contrasts with the sweet earthiness of vetiver and patchouli. Allspice and black pepper add intrigue; French tangerine slightly sweetens the lime; lavender acts as a bridge between the vetiver and citrus. Lime is the predominant note, but instead of a summery lime, it’s like lime wearing a fall coat.”

Such a lovely and utterly accurate olfactory sketch of this yummy soap! Shahrazad is another soap whose following list of notes would be worthy of a luxury perfume: tangerine, blood orange, bergamot, tuberose, ylang ylang, amber, frankincense, myrrh, cardamom, clove, black pepper, coriander and nutmeg. There’s a lot going on in Shahrazad, but the end result is a rich, spicy citrus scent that is subtly floral.


In addition to the gorgeous essences, there’s olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil and organic palm oil in these 100% natural bars which make them hydrating and long lasting. At $5 per bar ($6.50 for the costly tuberose in Shahrazad) they make for inexpensive gifts or a guilt-free treat for yourself.


Urban Eden is available at etsy.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Urban Eden. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share

Sunless Tanning by Chocolate Sun

In the past, sunless tanners had never appealed to me. I felt like they would take too much time and I didn’t want to incur the risk of streaking and turning orange. Hence, I steered clear. Then I came across Chocolate Sun’s Shea Sunscreen for Body SPF30 at the SpiritBeautyLounge website and promptly ordered it. When that purchase was a success, I figured their Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream would be worth a shot and while I was at it, I gave Cocoa Illume For Face a trial run as well.


Here are a few important details before I get to the self tanner review: my skin is light to medium and olive in tone, so I chose Cocoa Glow which is their sunless tanning cream for medium tones. The “lite” is for paler skin and “absolute” is for darker skin tones. The Cocoa Illume for Face comes in light  and medium/dark, so I opted for the light.

I hinted in my previous Chocolate Sun review that my sunless tanning experiment went very well, and indeed it did. The body cream is applied with ease, just like a daily body lotion. I use one pump per leg, and one pump for my arms, chest and upper back. I have used the body cream at least 4-5 times and have never had any streaking, only a lovely sunny glow sans orange. The Cocoa Illume for Face is just as simple to use. I’ve applied it three times, after washing my face in the morning and again, no streaking to be found. The Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream has a pleasant, albeit strong scent of bittersweet cocoa butter that lasts for several hours.


The ingredients in all of Chocolate Sun’s products are 100% natural and the “developer” in the sunless tanners is derived from beets. The bottles have extensive application directions on the labels which I find much more practical than searching for a pamphlet each time I put it on. (I like to refresh my memory regarding their recommended techniques while I’m in the newbie stage). But in reality, the directions are almost unnecessary as they are so easy to use.


So now that Chocolate Sun’s body and face sunscreens are working out so well for me, I really do need their sunless tanners to keep up my summer glow. If sunscreen wasn’t such an important part of any skincare regimen, I’d be a little suspicious of a Cocoa Glow conspiracy!

Cocoa Glow Sunless Tanning Cream is available at SpiritBeautyLounge, $40 for 8oz.

Cocoa Illume For Face is available at SpiritBeautyLounge, $17 for 2oz.



Posted by ~Trish

image from vangaurdgallery at etsy.com
Disclosure: Samples from SpiritBeautyLounge were provided for this review. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Share