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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Jo Wood Amka

 I have learned that Amka means “to wake” in Swahili. (This information is on every site where the line is sold). And I agree that Jo Wood’s Amka possesses a lively quality, but it is soothing as well. I wear it to bed frequently because frankly, its lack of sillage and faint lasting power are good for the late night hours. I love crawling into bed after a bath, having just hydrated my skin with the Amka Body Oil and spritzed my skin with the Body Dew. I guess ultimately that is how I appease my heartbreak that this fragrance just does not last. Sad, but true. Because I love this scent so much.

 

Now that I have lamented its ephemeral quality, let me tell you why I still love it. I said it’s lively. This is due to the effervescent neroli Jo Wood has chosen. It’s slightly spicy, bursting with a piquant citrus aroma, yet mellowed by a beautiful warm cedar that envelops the neroli charge ever so perfectly. These opposing qualities have been balanced harmoniously. It is such a special fragrance that I am willing to forgive its transient nature, and enjoy its short-lived comfort and tranquility.

 

I know not everyone will have this kind of patience given its steep price tag. But take into consideration that Jo Wood has sustainable organic standards, and follows strict ECOCERT guidelines. She never uses petroleum products, phthalates, or parabens in her natural products. (See her website for more detailed information).  Also, I have found the best way to get the scent to last. I spray either the Body Dew or the Eau de Toilette (EdT) in my hair and then very liberally on my skin after applying the Body Oil, to get about an hour of scent time. I know, remember reading above about how much I love this perfume?

 

The difference between the EdT and the Body Dew is the EdT is softer and more floral, whereas the Body Dew has more cedar. Additionally, I’d say the EdT lasts longer on my skin; I can squeak out maybe two hours. But keep in mind that it wears very close to the skin. The Amka line includes the EdT, Body Dew, Body Oil, Body Lotion and Bath Oil. As an aside, the Body Oil is rich and luscious. It is very hydrating, and soaks into skin after about two minutes. The scent evokes the neroli, but the cedar is deeper and there are more hints of the rose otto than in the EdT or the Body Dew. And take note, I do not recommend the lotion. The texture is very watery and separates easily. Mine was quickly returned.

 

Jo Wood Amka is available at Beautyhabit.com

Posted by ~Trish

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