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.

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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. 

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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

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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

 

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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.

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