Solid Perfume Lovelies from Dabney Rose

Since I am a natural perfume blogger, it should come as no surprise that I prefer scents that wear close to the skin and refrain from too much public boasting. I also like that they (typically) don’t last into the next day or cling to my clothes like a tenacious sheet of Bounce. In the realm of fragrance, this tender intimacy is best captured in solid perfumes; fragrant balms applied with fingertips and softened by the warmth of touch.


Dabney Rose has created two beautiful solid perfumes, Amberleah and Rose Aimée, that are indeed intimate skin-scents but with a flirty, girlish playfulness. Rose Aimée is the more youthful of these two lovelies, bearing half opened buds of roses that are bereft of overripe powdery sweetness or earthy decay. Rose Aimée is dewy and honeyed, she’s pristine and a little childlike in her beauty but entirely suitable for a grown woman.


Rose Aimée has a fitting name as I do adore her, but I would love her even more if she weren’t so *fleeting. I know I just mentioned that I actually prefer the ephemeral quality of most natural perfumes, but Rose Aimée leaves a little too soon as the fragrance holds at about an hour and I’ve gotten used to most naturals lasting at least three, if not longer. I need to experiment with layering but I hope my next pot of Rose Aimée is longer lasting, but even if it’s not I will still revel in this beloved, or aimée, perfume. (Dabney, if you’re reading, I think Rose Aimée would make a fabulous body butter or soap!)

*Update: Dabney let me know that I had an older version of Rose Aimée and sent me her new formulation. The newer Rose Aimée is just as soft and lovely as the original, but does indeed last longer and the rose is a bit more pronounced. Love it even more now!


Amberleah, being the more mature of these two jeune filles, is not as shy as Rose Aimée as she’s willing to stick around longer and share her gourmand essences with not only the wearer, but those who lean in a little closer. Amberleah is true to her name with a delicious amber base of labdanum, benzoin, and vanilla. This aromatic triad sets the tone for a sweet and cozy scent that beckons for a warm fire and a plush blanket. Orange blossoms heighten Amberleah’s sweetness with a floral flourish and a tincture of ghee provides a buttery slip. Cardamom is also present in the mix and because it is a sweet spice, it also augments the sugared texture of Amberleah. Cardamom is warm and slightly earthy as well which brings out the resinous, mossy quality of labdanum.


So whether it’s a youthful rose or a sweet amber you prefer, get ready for some playful cuddling when you wear either one of these natural beauties.


All fragrances created by Dabney are 100% natural and the solid perfumes are in a base of organic jojoba oil and locally sourced beeswax. She also makes wonderful hydrosols and liquid perfumes which I have previously reviewed).

Dabney Rose solid perfumes are $25 for a 0.25 ounce tin or $55 for a 0.25 ounce brass compact in a handmade vintage kimono silk pouch: at DabneyRose.com

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


Posted by ~Trish

Image: Flaming June by Frederic Lord Leighton, 1895 at artmagik.com

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Scents of Comfort: A Joint Blogging Project

Today is the last day of winter, and as we pass from one season to the next we find ourselves in a moment of reflection. Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel Parfums has gathered a handful of bloggers to reflect on the remarkable scents that gave us comfort this past winter. Here is my selection of perfumes that provided warmth in the cold months and will continue to nest a sanctuary for me anytime of year.

Bancha is the first fragrance that came to mind when I received Ayala’s invitation. I wore it throughout the winter, and it felt nurturing and hopeful. Dawn Spencer Hurwtiz has named this fragrance after a type of green tea, but it is so much more than a “tea” perfume. It’s lemony and minty to be sure, but is entrenched in rich dark soil that provides sustenance to roots and bulbs, a reminder of emerging life. Bancha is equally as gorgeous and appropriate on a man, my husband specifically, which makes my affection for Bancha even stronger.

Royal Couple by Gabriel’s Aunt, is an overtly floral fragrance that is wearable and cozy. It starts with an intoxicating dose of jasmine, develops into a subtly spicy floral in the heart, and dries down to a gorgeous vanilla base. Royal Couple’s blend of jasmine and rose is impeccable and fortunately comes in a candle to help light the way when it’s chilly, be it from the weather or internal storminess.

A perfume can be a salve not so much because of its notes, but because of the association you have with its aroma. When I wore Ayala’s Hanami for the first time last spring, it was a near magical day at the Japanese Gardens with my young boys. The sun was bursting with much longed for radiant heat and the cherry blossoms were glowing with an otherworldly pinkness. Hanami was on my skin, and its floral notes of magnolia and mimosa made the day even sweeter. Despite its petal softness, Hanami is very grounded with woods, tonka, vetiver and subtle vanilla. So for me, Hanami is a complex fragrance that recalls a tender memory.

Buying a perfume after you’ve gone through turmoil is another way to experience well-being, at least in my scent obsessed world. I did just that after my recent unexpected surgery, as I deserved and needed a new scent to appease my situation, right? One read of March’s review of Strange Invisible Perfume’s limited edition Dimanche was all it took for me to decide what perfume I would indulge in. Thankfully, I concur with her glowing review. In fact, I’m having a hard time using any other perfume these days as I am in full-blown Dimanche infatuation. I agree with March that Dimanche is sharp in the beginning due to iris that isn’t tempered with something soft to round its edges. Instead, bittersweet cocoa and powdery rose heighten its intensity throughout the top and especially in the heart of the fragrance. Dimanche doesn’t settle until the drydown when hay and honey emerge, making for one interesting affair. It gets even more fascinating when the soapy quality of iris surfaces. This might sound like a motley crew of notes, but it works. It’s compelling, rich, and to use an overused word, a little bit fierce.

Chêne by Roxana Villa is a perfume I wished I’d had this past winter. Although it is a chocolate based fragrance, it suggests a similar ambience to DSH’s Bancha. Chêne is dark and rich with oud, woods and resins yet has a piquant vitality that keeps it from becoming too heavy. The base of this solid perfume is composed of cocoa butter, beeswax, and jojoba seed oil which is dreamy to apply, and perfect for the rainy days of spring around the corner.

These perfumes, and the Royal Couple candle, are all natural and contain no synthetics, petrochemicals, or phthalates. Many of them also use organic ingredients.

Please visit the other blogs who are participating in this comforting event:

SmellyBlog

Roxana’s Illuminated Journal

BitterGrace Notes

Perfume Shrine

Notes from the Ledge

The Non Blonde

Perfume in Progress

Katie Puckrick Smells

A Rose Beyond the Thames

I Smell Therefore I Am

Olfactarama

All I Am A Redhead

Savvy Thinker

Posted by ~Trish

“Bird in the Magnolia Nest” by Hadley Hutton available at etsy.

“This article’s title is an homage to Michelyn Camen‘s original article of this same name on Sniffapalooza Magazine in 2008, in which interviewed several perfumers to comment on what botanical elements make their perfumes comforting.

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HAIR: The Sequel

This spring, I was pretty much set in my haircare drill. Giovanni 50/50 shampoo and conditioner, along with John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler left my hair clean, soft, and shiny, and continues to be the backbone of my routine. In HAIR: Part I I had also become quite partial to hair oils rather than styling gels or creams, and Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil was the first one I used and I found it to be very effective at taming frizzes, adding subtle gloss, and curl definition.


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But, having a natural beauty blog means staying open to new products, especially when there’s interest from readers. My HAIR post continues to be one of Scent Hive’s most popular, so here are more reviews:

 

Aubrey Organics is a brand that has long interested me, and I can’t express enough how much I appreciated turning a conditioner bottle over to read the ingredients and seeing this statement at the top:

100% Natural Ingredients. No Parabens or Petrochemicals

At the bottom you’ll find: No Animal Testing, Vegan, Biodegradable

 

So Aubrey covers a lot of bases, including many organic ingredients of course. Since my hair is thick, wavy, and leans frizzy, I tried the Rose Mosqueta Nourishing Shampoo and Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner for starters.

 

Rose Mosqueta Shampoo, is wow…super scented. Rose musk anyone? And the scent lasts all day long. So if that’s a deal breaker for you, go ahead and jump to the conditioner review. It’s not entirely a deal breaker for me depending on the day. If I want my hair to be my scent of the day, then I’ll go for it because this shampoo is high quality. It has an excellent lather, which is not to say it will be sudsy like a mainstream shampoo, but for a natural shampoo, it’s lovely. My hair felt well hydrated after using Rose Mosqueta and was shiny to boot. I only wish it weren’t so intensely fragranced. I’ll admit that musk is not on my preferred scent list so I might be a bit sensitive to it. But if you like musk, you will love this shampoo.

 

Aubrey Organics Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner also gets high praise for its performance. It’s thick and rich and I love its first ingredient; coconut fatty acid cream base. Give me more of that in my hair please! I love running a comb through my hair when it’s being conditioned, and this allowed for smooth combing action. (Not quite as effortless as John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler, but smooth nonetheless). With a name like Island Naturals, I was expecting a tropical scent of pineapple, mango, coconut or a hint of gardenia, but instead found mint and rosemary on my head. Fine by me, just not what I was anticipating. Indeed, you will find balm mint and rosemary oil in the ingredient list, with some coconut as mentioned above, but apparently the aromatic herbs are too much for the little island fruit (or seed to get technical). Regardless, my thick hair met its match in Island Naturals Replenishing Conditioner and will be in rotation among Giovanni 50/50 and John Masters Organics Citrus and Neroli Detangler.

 

Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner says it’s for “Dry Brittle Hair”, but I found Island Naturals to be far more hydrating. The Island Naturals Replenishing provided so much moisture, that fine hair might be too weighted down by it, but I think the Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner could be doable in a small amount. If you find that starts coating it too much, give Blue Chamomile Hydrating Conditioner a try, it gets rave reviews on the Aubrey website from the gals with thin, fine hair.

 

As for styling products, I’ve been keeping it simple with hair oil after the shower. My routine: Towel dry, 3-6 drops of oil rubbed all over the hands, distribute through middle of hair, ends, then hairline. Comb it. Wrap it up in a clip for a while. Done. I’ve discovered Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil and have found my new favorite styling product. No doubt that Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Hair Oil is a quality product, but Weleda’s helps tame the frizzies a smidge better and makes my hair just a bit softer. And the rosemary scent is delicious.

 

For some fun, not so serious hair care, give John Masters Organics Sea Mist Sea Salt Spray with Lavender a go. While it added too much body to my hair, it would be perfect for someone whose thin hair needs some life. Or if you’ve got some bedhead and need to give it a boast, spritz this on and refresh your hair with a lavender scent and a little wave.

 

If you’ve got some favorite natural haircare products, by all means, please share your discoveries by hitting the comments button below!

 

Posted by ~Trish

image from http://blog.vva.org/?m=200808

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Daybreak Lavender Farms: Full Body Treatment

Perfume collectors and scent hounds love to discuss the indolic nature of certain perfumes, especially those that contain jasmine. So what exactly does indolic mean? This is very interesting. Indoles are produced by bacteria that are found in human feces, and give it a fecal odor. Indoles are also found in flowers such as jasmine. For instance, pure jasmine oil has about 2.5% indole content, according to the scholarly Wikipedia. Orange blossoms, gardenias, and tuberose are also indolic flowers and depending on the concentration, can lend a voluptuous and sultry redolence to a perfume. But if you’re new to the term and you’re thinking: Perfume can smell like poop? The answer is: not literally. But kind of. Maybe you’ve never noticed it before in your deep jasmine fragrances, but it’s a little like hiking through fecund woods on a muggy summer day and smelling a skunk in the far off distance. Some people are repelled by that scent, while some are drawn to a little earthy skankiness.

 

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Now you’ll know what I mean when I say Daybreak Lavender Farm’s Jasmine is not, let me repeat, not indolic. It is one of the cleanest jasmines I have ever smelled. I’m sure many of you are tired of the exaltation of indolic jasmines, and if you are, this review is for you. Daybreak’s Jasmine, also called Taj Majal, is not of the musky variety either, which makes it quite unique because “clean” typically means “musky”. Their jasmine blend is richly floral, soapy (even when it’s not soap) and elegant. After applying the Taj Majal Body Balm, the word that comes to mind is pure. Pure, because my skin smells of soft jasmine petals without any musk or hint of tangy bodily, ahem, aromas…it’s just clean. I never thought I’d be attracted to such a tropical floral, but I’m drawn to Daybreak’s jasmine on hot days when I don’t want a lot of fussiness.

 

As for the products themselves, I have been duly impressed with their 100% natural ingredients, many of which are organic and grown on their farm. When I placed an order for several skincare items (the By U 4 U Facial Cleanser is wonderful), Jody Byrne, the owner, was very generous to send me a wide variety of Jasmine and Taj Majal body products to sample and these were the stand-outs:

 

My favorite everyday product: Jasmine Flower Shea Butter Soap with 33% Shea Butter comes in a big brick that you cut into bars yourself. I wasn’t sure I’d like the idea of cutting the bars, but now I love it. This allows you to make the soap the size you want, and I’ve also cut off bars and wrapped them up for friends. The soap creates a superb lather, and because it’s made with 33% shea butter, it is very moisturizing. 

 

My new favorite discovery: Jasmine Lovelight Body Candle was a complete novelty for me as I’d never seen anything like it. The candle itself is made from shea and cocoa butters as well as old comb beeswax, so when you light it and the base melts, you can apply it directly to your skin. Let it cool for a few moments, and pour it on! I found that simply dipping my fingers into the melted candle was plenty for moisturizing my hands and arms as the warmed up “candlotion” covers a lot of area. The lovelight body candle would make a perfect gift, and as the name suggests, lends itself to a little romance. 

 

My favorite indulgence: Moisturizing my hands with a luxurious body butter before bed is a favorite ritual of mine, and the Taj Mahal Extra Shot of Moisture Body Balm is a worthy contender. The ingredients include aloe gel, vegetable squalene from olives, unrefined shea butter, pure lanolin, sweet almond, jojoba, beeswax, and honey. Like all Daybreak body products, you get to choose what scent you want. Mysore Sandalwood, Damask Rose, and Lemon Verbena are just a few of the other offerings. I would love to order this in the Sandalwood Vetiver next go around. The texture of the body balm is very thick, smoothes easily over the skin and is readily absorbed.

 

My favorite summertime body spray: Taj Majhal Spray Silk is a spray-on moisturizer that has a refreshingly fine mist and provides a light hydration for your skin. On those hot muggy days when you want a light scent and a cool mist, the clean jasmine bouquet of Taj Majal Spray Silk is ideal. Sweet almond, apricot kernel and wheat germ oils provide the moisturizing ingredients of the Spray Silk, and lavender flower tea provides its invigorating quality, especially if you keep the bottle in the refrigerator as the Daybreak website suggests.

 

Jasmine, be it clean or indolic, may not be your scent preference. Don’t let that stop you from experiencing Daybreak’s wonderful and vast array of  body and skincare offerings. You can also check out Dain’s review of Daybreak’s Rhassoul 5-Piece All-Natural Skin Care System. I too have been using the Rhassoul Complexion Polish along with the Prairie Oat Mint Exfoliating Bar when I want to exfoliate my face and back. Be on the look-out for a more extensive Scent Hive review of those two products in the coming months.

 

Daybreak Lavender Farms; available at their website

 

Posted by ~Trish

Jasmine in Medicine Bottle by opart at etsy.com

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Scents & Serendipity; Ayala & Persephenie Part I

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 FLOWER PARTY

BlundaAromatics in Los Angeles is an exquisite olefactorium/ artisan enclave/ scent school/ alchemical collaboration run by Persephenie Schnyder. Blunda’s website describes its store hours as Saturday: 11-5, Monday – Friday: By Appointment or Chance. It truly was a magnificent accord of chance, serendipity, a dash of divine intervention, and a dear college friend that dispatched me to Blunda a couple of Saturdays ago to experience natural perfumery in the flesh and to hear Ayala Sender describe her Ezra Pound haiku-inspired scent Hanami.

As I slipped out of the blazing SoCal sun and into Blunda(a Swedish word meaning “to close one’s eyes”), I was greeted warmly by Persephenie herself and an ethereal enclave packed with natural perfume devotees.  The walls were replete with sculptures, art, and shelves — shelves teeming with delicate glass vials of essential oils and jars of all sizes containing exotic substances; Ayala refers to this as a perfume organ.

The desserts Ayala and Persephenie prepared for our motley crew were other word-ly. Neatly stacked rows of sakura mochi (Japanese rice pastries filled with Azuki bean paste and wrapped in pickled cherry leaves) greeted us along withAyala’sperfumed teas, fresh and tiny tea sandwiches with cucumber, watercress, minted radishes, carrots, ginger and cream cheese, and wickedly delicious marble-sized handmade perfumed White Potion and Guilt chocolate truffles. As I tried to control my primal instinct to hoard and/or devour, I wondered how have I missed this genius; this cool lounge-like sliver of smell-hounds in LA? This brilliant speak-easy of taste, intelligentsia, and performance scent-art?  Thank chance and the prodding of Trish for this revelation!

GENUFLECTIONS BY A NEW NOSE

Ayala’s presentation was a wonderful introduction to natural and organic fragrance for the botanically naïve. After describing her personal inspiration for Hanami and reciting the rich Ezra Pound lyrics that inspired the perfume and Heather Ettlinger’s  poetic perfume project:

In a Station of the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Ayala began by passing around scent strips dipped in her base notes of Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Cassie, Siamwood, Vanilla CO2, Copaiba Balsam and Bakul Attar. (For photos, check out her own SmellyBlog post here). As we passed and considered each note through the group, it felt surprisingly beautiful, holy and communal. There with Persephenie’s perfume organ as a back drop, we exchanged musical nose notes in quiet revelry.

Breaking Hanami down note by note seemed especially appropriate given the deconstructive nature of the tradition up-ending haiku written by Pound. With its unpredictable metrics (the musical notes/cadence of a poem), the poem shifts between hard clip urban consonants and noun images, and the gorgeous seductive nature of soft dark s’es and sh’s, p‘s and b‘s. Ayala’s base ensemble captures this brilliantly.

Cassie, as she explained, is a type of mimosa used in tanning leather and appropriately, it speaks with a musty earthen, even industrial and honeyed depth. Vetiver, a simple grass root with an incredibly rich and complicated wet woods and marshland scent, bowled me over. Vanilla CO2, she used because it is shearer than Vanilla and has a half milky half watery sense. Ayala identified these choices as a desire to pull a deep metallic, dark and dusty –even gloomy — smell.  The final woodsy, metallurgical accord is spectacular.

Then Ayala moved to the heart notes allowing us to appreciate the individual notes of Pink Lotus, Magnolia, Tuberose, Violet Leaf, and Oleander, before providing the scent strip fan of the Sakura Accord in its entirety. Again this process, especially for a novice like me, was extraordinary. There is something truly mystical and transformative to sit (or stand) in a jam-packed room and reverently pass these deep, dark woodsy and floral scents among one another. And finally, for Hanami’s top notes, she purposefully steered away from citrus and turned instead towards earthy-wooden florals — Cabreuva, Frangipani, Mimosa and Rosewood.

There is a hard softness in the core underpinnings of this perfume that beautifully echoes the elegiac quality of the poem itself.  This heavy metal base creates the perfect enduring and quixotic caesura (pause) in one’s mind, a kind of olfactoric undertow. The floral tip opens up a deep and resonant space for that urban anonymity, the alienation and intimacy of modern living, to transpire in all its crushed complexity.  It is a lot like that final image Ezra Pound leaves us with – Ayala’s final fragrance looms like the enduring apparition of our lives, of our faces, anonymous, mysterious, individual, as petals on that wet, black bough. Ayala’s composition is not just a perfume, Hanami (and Ettlinger’s entire poetry project) should be installed in MOCA or MOMA, as an art experience. It is a stunning and sublime fragrance.

Much to our collective joy, Ayala brought several of her other signature perfumes with her as well as small samples of her entire collection.  I was immediately taken with Bon Zai, another Japanese-derived scent. It is minimalist, woodsy, and the Juniper is fabulous. Juniper! Juniper! Fete D’Hiver I found bewitching as well, although totally different from Bon Zai. It is described as “Spicy roses with incense and amber dries down to a powdery snow on fluffy fur” on the website, and this really says it all.  Now to start saving up so that I may purchase all THREE.


Please come back to Scent Hive on Tuesday for Part II of Scents & Serendipity, Ayala & Persephenie

Hanami is available at Blunda Aromatics.

Written by guest contributer ~duVergne Robert Gaines: a neophyte to the odor order, is a professional feminist and occasional poet.  She lives in Los Angeles near the La Brea tar pits with her partner David Riley Shackelford and their two cat children, Trotsky and MadX.

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Anya’s Garden: Rivercali

 

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It’s such a pleasure to experience a perfume without having seen any advertising, marketing, or even peeked at the perfumer’s website. To be able to wear a fragrance relatively free of those associations and without expectations is a rarity these days of media overload. My only prelude to Rivercali was knowing that its creator, Anya McCoy, is a devout natural perfumer from Florida and that her little box of samples was so beautifully packaged that I could hardly stand to open it up. But open it I did, as I clearly had to get to the vials inside. Rivercali was the first one that caught my eye, and I dabbed away.

 

Rivercali is a lush walk through a dewy oceanside garden, abundantly adorned with citrus blossoms. Neroli and petitgrain waft like an ocean breeze, and make you want to roll up your pant legs and splash in the surf. Rivercali is supported by a rich floral base of Turkish Rose Otto, yet in no way would I label this a rose fragrance. The rose otto offers spice and strength, providing a foundation for the heart, but does not overpower Rivercali’s inherent tropical leafy greenness.

 

This flirty, citrusy floral continues through to the drydown where just a hint of sandalwood and vanilla show themselves. Only slightly though. Just as this is not a rosy scent, this is also not a woodsy or vanillic one either. It’s a lush blooming fragrance that is heaven for floral lovers. Especially those with a penchant for orange, lemon or lime blossoms.

 

As I mentioned above, Anya is a natural perfumer and never uses synthetics in her fragrances. She also uses organic, wildcrafted and sustainable essences whenever possible. Additionally, her perfumes are housed in boxes that are made from the sustainable Daphne plant and recycled paper. They are also imbedded with wildflower seeds, so you can plant the box and grow your own garden in a pot or in the ground.

 

You can also visit the blog I Smell Therefore I Am for a recent review of Anya’s Garden Kaffir fragrance.

 

Rivercali is available at Anya’s Garden. Also, there’s a deal at Anya’s Garden, take 10% off with coupon code kaffirlime, good through 4/4.

Posted by ~Trish

Photograph of lime blossoms by alasam on flickr

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In Fiore: Dayala Body Balm

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I am recently back from my trip to San Francisco, and unfortunately did not get a chance to visit the In Fiore retail shop. They aren’t open on the weekends anymore, and don’t hold many retail hours in general. So I don’t have anything to report in terms of smelling their perfume solids like I had hoped. But, a few weeks ago I did get their Dayala Body Balm from Beautyhabit.com so I’ll go ahead and review that for you all.

 

bbtrio1-mDayala is a jasmine based fragrance like Maia, which I have previously reviewed here, yet it is more innocent and playful in comparison. The jasmine grandiflorum in Dayala is reminiscent of Maia, deep and gorgeous. But the lemongrass lightens the mood and adds brightness to the heady flower. So while Maia is sultry and smoky, Dayala is green and sunny. However, both possess the underlying jasmine that is stunning and unparalleled in its depth and richness. 

 

infiore_dayalabb-thumbnaillarge1The Body Balm itself is luscious. Its base is made from grapeseed, organic jojoba oil, and vitamin E. The consistency is thick like a cream, but when it warms on the skin, it melts like an oil. Once applied, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. I prefer to smooth it on my skin when I am just out out of the shower, before my skin is dry. I have noticed that the beautiful scent of fresh jasmine still lingers for days on my bathrobe if I wear it just after putting on Dayala. I know some of you were looking forward to In Fiore’s Maia being released in the Body Balm, which it hasn’t yet. But for those of you who just can’t wait to get your hands on a lovely, grassy green, slightly indolic jasmine, Dayala will certainly tide you over.

 

~Please keep your eye on the In Fiore website which will be updated in the next few weeks. When it is, you will find these gorgeous amulets offered. I also want to clarify that In Fiore never uses petrochemicals or synthetic ingredients, and this information was confirmed by the owner, Julie Elliott.

Dayala Body Balm is available at Beautyhabit.com and InFiore.net.

 

Posted by ~Trish

photograph by Taifighta on flickr

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Oracle Organics Earth Body Wash

Winners of the Chergui decants are SUZY and ALYSSA! Send me your addresses at scenthive@gmail.com and I’ll send them off ASAP. Congrats!

 

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I have several criteria that need to be met before I fall in love with a body wash. Easy to use packaging. Recyclable packaging. Reasonably priced. Rich and foamy, luxuriously cleansing lather. Wonderful smell. And last but not least, it needs to be made with ingredients I want and nothing I don’t want. Amazingly, Oracle Organics Earth Body Wash meets them all. So yeah, it’s pretty much a perfect match.

 

Thankfully I read about this little company based outside of Eugene, OR on Fig + Sage’s website. All of their ingredients are either organic, wildharvested or handcrafted without the use of chemicals. Additionally, all of their products are vegan and never tested on animals. Oracle Organics also does not use palm oil as, according to the owner Michelle Gomez, palm oil plantations are responsible for the destruction of Southeast Asia’s rainforests. (You can read more about that here on their website).

 

After perusing the Oracle Organics website, I knew I had to try a couple of their products. Not only did I appreciate their devotion to the environment, their full disclosure of ingredients as the gals pointed out in their review over at Fig + Sage, but I was also taken in by their lovely scent offerings. When I saw the Earth Body Wash with vetiver, it immediately went into my shopping cart. I was a little leary of the Douglas Fir in the description, but decided to give it a go. I am so glad I did. The vetiver lives up to the wash’s name with its earthy, balsamy scent. While the fir is barely perceptible, (no Christmas potpourri action thank goodness) it’s just enough to give it some green depth. There’s a touch of patchouli, but don’t be scared. Even though we’re talking Eugene, Oregon this is not a hippie scent. The delicate patchouli lends itself beautifully towards this warm earthy scent, and the abundant soapy lather that develops effortlessly.

 

I also tried the Ginger Lime Sugar Scrub which I will give a rave review for the product, but not so much for the scent. The scent part is really my fault though. I don’t like ginger and I’m not sure why I got it. I think it’s because the product description mentioned it being a “scent of the islands”, but I should have known better. I think I will try the Purify Sugar Scrub with mint and green tea next time because overall, I loved the scrub. The consistency is like a paste and is not messy at all. It’s not too granular, feels great on the skin and is nicely moisturizing. 

 

And I have great news! Not only is Oracle Organics reasonably priced to begin with, ($12 for the wash, $14 for the scrub) everything on the website is 25% off until the end of March. The discount is applied once you add the product to your shopping cart. 

 

Oracle Organics, available at their website.

 

Posted by ~Trish

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Pacifica Update!

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After I posted my review of Pacifica’s Spanish Amber perfume, there was some concern in the comments about the use of synthetic ingredients in their formulations. I corresponded directly with owner Brook Harvey-Taylor and she clarified this issue. Pacifica’s products contain 85-95% naturally derived ingredients, with most products falling on the high end of this scale. And to be clear, their products (perfumes, lotions, washes, etc) do not contain petrochemicals, parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes, phthalates, GMOs, or triclosan (an anti-bacterial derived from benzene). In addition, Pacifica adheres to the following practices:

 

•No animal testing or ingredients
•Manufactures in the USA
•Works with local suppliers
•Provides full health and dental benefits for all employees
•Provides full 401K and 125 savings for all employees

 

(I also like the fact that the perfume solids are made with organic soy and coconut wax and the tins are recyclable!)

 

In the spirit of putting closure on this issue, I will not be opening this post up to comments. If you have any specific questions about my correspondence with Brook or have a question you would like me to ask her, please contact me at scenthive {at} gmail {dot} com.

 

Posted by ~Trish

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Trying Something New. MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser

3182143705_4cbfea7a3d1I have been a Dr. Hauschka skincare devotee for quite sometime now. I use their Cleansing Cream and Cleansing Milk religiously, and even go so far as to integrate the Lavender Bath oil into the process. Sometimes I just cleanse with the Milk; sometimes just the Cleansing Cream. Sometimes both. When I have enough time I fill the sink with warm water, add a few drops of Lavender Bath oil and rinse my face with the aromatic brew and feel like I have just treated myself to a relaxing ritual. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Hauschka’s products, they are beyond lovely. They employ sustainable farming, fair trade practices, and of course no synthetic ingredients.  And because they take into account the cycles of the moon when they plant their flowers that are harvested for their organic formulas, I feel like little celestial fairies have somehow helped create my tubes and bottles of goodness.  

 

The only downside, is that they are a German company. If you are in Germany, that’s great! If you are in a different part of the world, that means your skincare has to be flown over the ocean to get to you. Not ideal if you are trying to decrease your carbon footprint. Not to mention the high cost of their products. It’s an expensive routine. But breaking my Dr. Hauschka skincare habit is a tough one. I’ll illustrate it with a true story. 

 

A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant with my husband and older son. I got a cell phone call that I had to take, and excused myself from the table. While I was away, my son asked who I was talking to. My husband said, “Mommy’s talking to a doctor.” My son then asked, “Oh! Dr. Hauschka?” Yeah, even my son knows about Dr. Hauschka; even how to pronounce the name correctly. I’m a little attached. But, in the spirit of looking for more locally made skincare, at least on this continent, I went shopping.

 

38859hnydewcleansrunsc44oz1MyChelle Dermaceuticals has been my first attempt. MyChelle is based in Colorado and does not use phthalates, parabens, or petroleum ingredients in their products. Some, but not all of the ingredients are organic, such as organic honey, blue algae and glycerin in the Honeydew Cleanser. I have heard  about their high quality reputation over the years, so I figured this was a good enough place to start. And well, Colorado is a lot closer to the Northwestern US than Germany. I saw a travel sized bottle of their Unscented Honeydew Cleanser at my local health food store about two weeks ago and decided to take the plunge. I am happy to report excellent results thus far.

 

I like to warm a nickel-sized amount in my palms and massage it on my face. It has a silky slip when applied and rinses nicely with warm water.  The consistency is creamy but does not leave a residue. Nor does it leave my skin feeling taut; just clean and soft. (As an FYI, my skin in general is fairly normal, but prone to dryness in the winter and breakouts every now and then). After two weeks’ worth of use, my skin looks as good if not better than it does when I use my beloved Dr. Hauschka routine on a twice daily basis. Even though the Honeydew Cleanser is labeled as “unscented” there is a mild, slightly floral scent that is very pleasant but does not linger. 

 

For those of you who enjoy a cream cleanser, I encourage you to give this one a try. I don’t think I will ever stop using Dr. Hauschka’s Cream Cleanser, which is not creamy but rather granular and more of an exfoliator. And I won’t abandon the aforementioned cleansing ritual entirely. But I think I am ready to let go of the Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk and allow MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser to be its lovely, and far more reasonably priced, replacement.

 

~MyChelle is sold at Whole Foods and many health food stores. See this link to find a store near you in the US.

~MyChelle Unscented Honeydew Cleanser is also sold online at a discount at Vitacost.

 

posted by ~Trish

photograph by muffet on fllickr

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