Where to begin with this trio of redolent treats? Each one is a unique creation of Mandy Aftel’s, who is probably well known to you if you frequent perfume blogs or have an interest in *natural perfumes. You might also be familiar with her book, Essence and Alchemy, which has influenced me a great deal in my blogging and personal love of perfume. Her evocative way with words and firm grasp of history makes it an incredibly inspiring and educational read. I believe she was able to write so poetically about the history of fragrance because she has an innate talent in creating fragrance herself. This expertise is exemplified quite remarkably in the gems pictured above.
Everything about the Laurel Whole Plant Organics line exudes love for nature and total commitment to the nurturing of our skin and selves through the power of flowers and herbs. Laurel WPO’s namesake and owner fully believes in the extraordinary efficacy of whole plants in skincare and is devoted to using only organic and farm sourced ingredients. Laurel goes even further to ensure the ingredients are as unprocessed as possible in order at reap the benefits the raw plants have to offer. The Laurel WPO website goes into great detail regarding the purity of their products, and I highly encourage you to read their “about our ingredients” page to really get a sense of the integrity of this line.
Travels to the Far East inspired Lina Hanson to create Satori. Notes of yuzu, ginger, and sandalwood were chosen to evoke the landscape and culture of China, Japan and Thailand. While I have never travelled to these countries, Satori feels as relaxing and restorative as a Japanese Garden. (If you ever come to Portland, you must visit our traditional and gorgeous Japanese Garden). Yuzu is one of my favorite uplifting, citrusy scents so I was anxious to try this immediately after opening the package Lina Hanson sent. Yuzu is a lot like grapefruit essential oil, with a similar sharpness, but also has the vaguely spicy quality of bergamot. I think it was a brilliant choice to pair yuzu with ginger, since ginger too is spicy resulting in a piquant citrus aroma.
Since this blog focuses on natural perfumes, you can imagine that I have a pretty big perfume collection. I have amassed fragrances that I’ve swapped for, been sent, bought, and gifted. I have a lot of perfume (natural and otherwise), and have smelled hundreds and hundreds more. As a result, I am thoroughly impressed with perfumes that are interesting and a little different, while still being beautiful. Gâteaux is one such perfume.
While I was in Maui, I was on the lookout for all natural, small batch skincare and found a gold mine in the adorable town of Paia. There I rediscovered Mana Foods, a crazy haven for all things natural, like your local health food store on steroids. There’s an alcove off to the side that is full of natural beauty items. When I happened upon Queen Bee I knew I would buy something from their line, it was just a matter of deciding what! I also stumbled into Wings, which is the cutest beachy boutique with a well edited selection of clothes, accessories, jewelry and skincare. I left Wings with a necklace, two hats and the Mahina skincare you see above.