Bath and Body by Providence Perfume Co.

Apricot Blossoms

Providence Perfume Company has branched out into the realm of bath and body products which came as a very pleasant surprise to me. I knew nothing of this development until a box filled with samples of body lotions and shower gels landed on my doorstep. I’m not inundated with press packages like many bloggers, especially since I’m on a bit of a break,  but I get a few, so I don’t normally get too excited over these things. This was an exception. When I lifted the top off of the box, I was truly thrilled and couldn’t wait to give them all a try knowing full well I would want to share my thoughts with all of you.

There are five scents in this bath and body line: Stonefruit & Ylang, Sandalwood, Fern, Gin & Tonic, and Chai Cocoa. Stonefruit & Ylang is the standout for me, hence the image of apricot blossoms above.

Regarding their ingredients, the shower gels, body lotions, and hand creams are 100% natural and contain 90-97% organic ingredients. The shower gel is sulfate free and is infused with organic aloe juice. The lotion is made with olive, aloe, coconut and jojoba oils, while the hand cream boasts shea, kokum, mango and cocoa butters.

As you would guess from such high quality ingredients, these products feel wonderful on the skin. The lotion is lightweight and melts into the skin immediately. It provides excellent hydration and leaves your skin feeling smooth and soft. The hand cream is thicker of course, and takes a little more time to fully absorb, but is by no means greasy and is a very lovely treat for dry winter hands. The shower gel is very mild and non-drying, and doesn’t lather up a great deal on its own. I used it with a shower pouf to augment the suds which worked very well, and the scent from all of the five fragrances filled the shower beautifully but did not linger on my skin afterwards.

As I mentioned, Stonefruit & Ylang is my favorite. I did not receive a sample of the hand cream in this scent, but the lotion is fantastic. The fragrance lasts for hours and is juicy apricot perfection. It’s ripe and floral with an indolic tang that bursts when you first apply the lotion (or suds up in the shower). After the scent settles on your skin, ylang’s tropical blossom-like quality adds to the sweetness of the fruit, creating such lushness that it is hard to believe that it came from a small application of lotion on one hand! Stonefruit & Ylang is truly a fragrant experience, and I can only imagine that using it all over one’s body would be truly intoxicating.

sandalwood

Sandalwood is my second favorite, as it’s smooth with just the right interplay between creamy and dry. I like that it’s not too overpowering and find that it layers beautifully with Stonefruit & Ylang. As for the other fragrances, Gin &Tonic is a lighthearted lime with a floral twist; Chai Cocoa is a dark chocolate confection laden with cardamom and ginger; and last but not least there’s Fern, which will knock the socks off any oakmoss-chypre loving perfume nerd out there.

gin and tonic

These are all very reasonably priced for such gorgeously and botanically perfumed body products. $24 for the hand cream (3oz), $36 for the body lotion (9oz) and $30 for the bath gel (9oz). Available at ProvidencePerfume.com

Samples are also available.

Hindu Honeysuckle by Providence Perfume Co.

A little vial of Hindu Honeysuckle arrived at my door a few weeks ago, a welcome surprise during this time of remodeling chaos (see below). Currently, my perfumes are tucked away safely in the attic, save for a select few, so I welcomed the opportunity for something new and different. When I read the PR card that accompanied my sample, I was both reluctant and intrigued.

Jasmine sambac, not honeysuckle, is the featured floral, and since I’ve been hit with a case of jasmine fatigue, I admittedly had to hold back a heavy sigh. Then the word “coriander” popped into view, and my interest was sparked. Coriander encompasses so much of what I love in a scent. It’s a culinary spice of course, so it’s slightly piquant with a vibrant citrus back note. At the same time, coriander is also sweetly floral which lends itself beautifully to perfumery.

Because honeysuckle oil is very difficult to extract, making it rare and quite costly, you won’t find it in Hindu Honeysuckle. In lieu of this delicate blossom, Charna Ether, the nose behind Providence Perfume Co, created a “honeysuckle accord” with Indian Jasmine Sambac, Indian coriander, vetiver, rose absolute, botanical musk seed, and bergamot.

As mentioned above, jasmine sambac is the dominant note, and a glorious one at that. This jasmine is so clear and vivid that it radiates sambac’s pure essence. It smells just like the spicy and musky sambac concrete that I purchased at NYC’s Enfleurage a few years ago. Like coriander, sambac also possesses a bright citrus quality that is heightened by the use of bergamot in Hindu Honeysuckle’s blend. It is not indolic in the slightest which would have detracted from its vivid and powerful opening.

Jasmine sambac continues to be a strong presence throughout the evolution of Hindu Honeysuckle, but within the heart, coriander and ambrette emerge, grounding the fragrance with earthen musk. In the drydown, I took note of vetiver before realizing that is was actually vetiver. After a couple hours of skintime, Hindu Honeysuckle became surprisingly powdery in that powder-without-sweetness way that only vetiver can provide. The merging of vetiver and coriander in this final stage is wholly unique and really lovely.

For an all natural perfume, I found Hindu Honeysuckle’s sillage and longevity to be more than impressive. It lasts on my skin for an entire day, and its scent wafts with moderate strength from top to heart, and then gently through the drydown. Charna is now offering a 10 sample coffrett or you can buy individual samples as well. Along with Hindu Honeysuckle, I strongly recommend trying Osmanthus Oolong. It too is really special.

Hindu Honeysuckle is available at Providence Perfume Co. $115 for 1oz, $26 for 6ml, or $7 for a sample.

Disclosure: A sample was provided to me by Providence Perfume Co. Opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

Image of Jasmine Strings from Wikinut

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Lilium by Providence Perfume Co.

Solid Perfume Balms are the latest offering from Providence Perfume Co, and they are fantastic. They are smooth and sensual, smell gorgeous, and the best part is that they are very reasonably priced. $36 gets you a 1/2 ounce jar of this shea butter based balm whose fragrance lasts throughout the day with an impressive sillage. There are four scents to choose from: Chiffonade is an earthy orris based fragrance, Moon Flower is a spicy, indolic jasmine with a soft sandalwood drydown, and Jazmina is a romantic melding of jasmine and rose laced with a touch of nutmeg for intrigue.

 

But it’s Lilium that really won me over, which was not my expectation. According to the Providence Perfume Co. website, Lilium is comprised of stargazer lily, almond, rose, geranium and spice. All of those notes are winners in my book, save for that darn stargazer lily. She and I are are decidedly not friends. Not even close. When given stargazers in a bouquet, I’ll admire their beauty for a moment, but then quickly ditch them into the compost as I find their fragrance to be overwhelming and headache inducing.

So you can imagine that I approached my trial of Lilium with more than a little trepidation. In fact, I almost passed on it entirely. But Charna Ethier, creator of Providence Perfumes, was very kind to send me samples of all four, so I felt like I should give Lilium a go.

Thankfully, Lilium does not possess the smothering scent of the stargazer lily. To be sure, it dances on the edge of the piquant aroma that the stargazer emanates, but Charna explores the spicy side of this quality via her stargazer accord.

Lilium’s spicy blend is gorgeous. It reminds me of a dense and rich carnation based perfume with loads of spices like cardamom, clove, and pepper. Rose and geranium give Lilium a foothold in the floral category and almond lends a bittersweetness, but the warmth from the spices gets all of my attention.

I’ve been looking for a carnation perfume to love for several years now. I’m pleasantly surprised that Lilium is where my search comes to a beautiful end. I can wrap myself in Lilium’s rich and exotic drapery, amidst its mystery and comfort, which is much needed for the chilly months ahead.

Image: Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose by John SInger Sargent at artmagick.com

Disclosure: Samples were provided to me by Providence Perfume Co. Opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.Share

Osmanthus Oolong by Providence Perfume Co (+ giveaway)

My first experience with a high quality oolong tea was two summers ago at the Tea Cup in Seattle. I wasn’t planning on tea shopping, but its charming storefront lured me in, and an hour later the very patient and knowledgeable staff were my new BFFs. Having been a longtime fan of jasmine green tea, I expressed interest in tea with a floral quality, and was very appropriately directed to their Green Dragon Oolong.


Oolong tea is made from the same plant as green and black teas, Camellia sinensi,  the difference being oxidation of the leaves. Oolong is semi-oxidized, black tea is fully oxidized, and green is un-oxidized. This “middle tea”  is grown in China and Taiwan, the most coveted being from their mountainous regions. My Tea Cup discovery, Green Dragon from Taiwan, is considered a High Mountain Oolong and possesses sweetness, complexity and a soft floral aspect. You can witness the large leaves unfold as the tea steeps, releasing its toasted floral notes.


The segue brewing here is that Providence Perfume Co’s Osmanthus Oolongis a perfume akin to the experience of drinking in the beautiful and soothing perfume of Green Dragon. Your skin and nose sip Osmanthus Oolong like a precious tea, as its aroma wafts tenderly and lasts well into the day.

 

Charna Ethier, creator of Providence Perfume Co, created the base of her oolong fragrance using a blend of black, green and roobois teas as well as tinctured apricots and peaches. Although these notes anchor the drydown with a fruity tannic infusion, they are very fluid throughout the composition, even from the opening. Yuzu and bergamot are in the topnotes as well, but added with sleight of hand. The citrus is barely perceptible but its presence allows for a sparkling beginning.


Just minutes into wearing Osmanthus Oolong, its fruity floral nature unfurls amidst the warm tea blend. It becomes fleshy and sensual with the peachiness of the osmanthus blossom which is heightened by the apricot and peach tinctures. I am continually mesmerized by the scent of osmnathus and its ability to be simultaneously dry and soft, fruity and balsamic. Champaca is another flower that embodies a similarly sophisticated dichotomy, and its presence creates a full-bodied heart along with rose otto and aglaia flower.


The heart also possesses another vital note which marries the tea aroma to the fruity floral melange; beeswax. Beeswax on its own exudes warmth and a honeyed sweetness of course. In Osmanthus Oolong it glides across the fragrance, all melted and smooth, like a resinous confection. As the drydown progresses, the beeswax melds into frankincense and copaiba balsam, finally evolving into a honeyed resinous perfume that is as beautiful as it is intoxicating.


If you would like to experienceOsmanthus Oolong, please leave a comment to be entered for a 1/2 oz bottle!  You can get extra entries if you follow Providence Perfume Co on Facebook. Extra entries as well if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect,Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! You have until Tuesday Nov.11th at 9pm PST to enter. Drawing now closed.


All Providence Perfume fragrances are 100% natural, made from plants, fruits, flowers and woods.

Osmanthus Oolong is available at ProvidencePerfume.com. $25 for a 5ml bottle, $68 for a 1/2 oz roller bottle, and $112 for a 1 oz spray.


Posted by ~Trish

Image by Barbara Carter at etsy.

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

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