Serendipity and Anniversary No 2

 

I knew I would discover amazing natural perfumes and beauty products when I started Scent Hive two years ago to this day. That was a part of my inspiration, to experience the world of naturals more fully in order to share what, in my opinion, is the best of green beauty available.


Although I am very intentional about Scent Hive, there have been many surprising discoveries that have knocked me out of longheld prejudgements about my preferences. Case in point; my past disregard for rose is now a burgeoning love affair. I did a two part post on this fragrant subject over a year ago, but my appreciation for this classically romantic flower in reality, has just begun. Since that post, I have relished in many gorgeous rose perfumes like Velvet and Sweet Pea Bed of Roses and Gabriel’s Aunt Royal Couplewhich are so compelling that I keep coming back for more.


Serendipity, a new limited edition fragrance from Wing and a Prayer, is another rose perfume that has elevated my adoration of this flower. Like most people, I find the scent of roses easy to love when they are in the garden or freshly cut in my home, but in many perfumes, its tendency is slightly one-dimensional. Such perfumes can be very pretty to be sure, but I like more complexity than most rose-centric perfumes offer. In the right blend though, rose has the potential to take on a rich and multi-layered quality. Such is the case with Serendipity.


Upon first spritz, I wasn’t completely taken with Serendipity. Its opening is reminiscent of a crepey, vintage tea rose which again, is pretty and most die hard rose fans would love it, but I wanted a little more to grab on to. Fortunately, it took mere minutes for a full-bodied woody citrus scent to emerge, and grab me it did! Nowhere in the notes is a citrus of any sort mentioned, but there is no doubt that I feel petitgrain or the essence of a bitter orange rind present when I wear Serendipity. The heart is reminiscent of my favorite citrus perfume, Red Flower’s Guaiac, with thick rose petals pressed atop its bright and sparkling radiance.


After inhaling its blissful heart for a good 45 minutes, the path to the drydown materializes, leading to the herbaceous, fruity-floral glory of boronia. Boronia is an evergreen plant with exceptionally fragrant blossoms, native to Australia. I envision this plant and its little blooms as super hearty, bearing down against intense heat and beach winds to bring us its fabulously woody and warm floral aroma. (I don’t know if boronia thrives by the sea, but it’s an image I enjoy). In Serendipity, boronia bestows its tannic depth and floral nuances that recall honeysuckle and a bit of peppery freesia, giving the rose essential oils more richness and texture. What I love most about boronia, is that for all its complexity, it remains lighthearted and conjures up that insouciant image of a warm, breezy beach.


Serendipity lasts for hours, at least 6-8 on my skin, and in its final stage it evolves into a musky rose that resembles Wing and a Prayer’sFlowers with the same subtly sweet ambrette musk. For an all natural perfume, its longevity as well as its sillage are very impressive, and the price is quite reasonable. Since roses are the quintessential Valentine’s flower, consider Serendipity for the occasion if you want an alluring variation on a classic.


In celebration of Scent Hive’s 2nd anniversary, Wing and a Prayer is giving away a bottle of Serendipity to a lucky reader. Please leave a comment to be entered for a 1/2 oz. bottle of this limited edition fragrance. Extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! Drawing is now closed.


Serendipity is available at Wing and a Prayer’s etsy shop. $45 for 1/2 oz or $90 for 1.7 oz.

Posted by ~Trish

 

Image: Standing Ovation by sintwister on esty.

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Gabriel's Aunt Royal Couple, Jasmine and Rose Bliss

Gabriel’s Aunt (GA) isn’t entirely new to me. Nikki Sherritt, the creator of GA’s natural candles and perfumes, also pours candles for Ayala Moriel Parfums. I adore Ayala’s White Potion candle, so I figured I should give Nikki’s concoctions a try as well. I wasn’t expecting to be as crazy as I am over GA’s scents. In fact, after I wore the perfume samples Nikki sent me for a couple days, I promptly went to her etsy site and ordered some candles figuring if her perfumes were this good, her candles must be as well.


I will review everything I bought and was given by GA over the next few days (or weeks) but I wanted to start with Royal Couple, a heavenly combination of jasmine and rose that comes in both a cream perfume solid and a candle. Nikki describes her cream perfume solids as having just one or two essences in them to encourage layering. Yet Royal Couple’s short list of jasmine and rose belies its complex bouquet and is entirely lovely on its own.


After smoothing the perfume solid on my wrists and neck, I was reveling in thick and juicy jasmine petals…of the indolic jasmine grandiflorum variety. It’s a potent jasmine, but not so intense that it chokes the wearer or those around you. Rose was not a part of this jasmine-fest at the outset, but slowly made its way onto my skin, along with a spicy jasmine sambac development. I don’t know what jasmine Nikki uses for her Royal Couple blend, maybe it is a combination of the two. Regardless, the evolution of Royal Couple from heady and densely floral to a more piquant yet refined jasmine, was unforeseen and welcomed.


The drydown was equally delicious because I love a well-done vanillic floral base. Only Nikki knows if there’s a touch of vanilla (or maybe benzoin?) in Royal Couple, and if there isn’t she’s got a magic touch with the raw local beeswax she uses in her perfume solids. Organic coconut, jojoba and sweet almond oils are also used in the solids, making them a pleasure to apply to the skin. The scent has excellent longevity and I am seriously elated that Royal Couple is also offered in a candle.


GA’s candles are soy based, made with locally grown, Non-GMO soywax. Nikki never uses soy/paraffin blends which allows for clean and environmentally sound candle enjoyment. And like her perfumes, the candles are made with 100% all natural essences. The Royal Couple candle is a nice accompaniment to the solid perfume, as the rose essence flourishes with heat. It’s a freshly cut rose that is very full, thanks to the support of jasmine. As I began writing this post last night, I had the perfume solid on my skin, the candle burning beside me and I felt like I was in a royal garden filled with the freshest of jasmine and rose blossoms. It was bliss.


Royal Couple Essence Cream Perfume Solid is $25 for .85oz/25ml and the Royal Couple Candle is $29 for 8oz glass holder. Gabriel’s Aunt is also available at etsy.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: A sample of Royal Couple Cream Perfume Solid was provided for this review by Gabriel’s Aunt. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.
“Madagascar Jasmine” at art.com

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Ormonde Jayne Ta’if

Last night, I experienced a tender moment with my younger son. During the goodbye to my boys, as my husband and I were leaving for a night out, my five year old leaned into me and said, “Let me smell you!” He nuzzled into my neck and exclaimed, “You smell good!” He smiled and scurried off to play with his babysitter and brother. I always get such delight when my sons comment on my perfume. This small pleasure doesn’t happen that often, so when it does, I know they are expressing their olfactory preferences and creating potentially powerful memories.

Ormonde Jayne’s Ta’if was the perfume that elicited my son’s lovely and loving acknowledgment, making me adore this ambery rose scent a little bit more. Ta’if is beautiful no doubt, but it’s complex with an air of cultivation brought about by the interesting and unique combination of notes. He’s got sophisticated taste my little guy!

The top notes are listed as pink pepper, saffron and dates, but Ta’if is not overly sweet, peppery or fruity. The opening is opulent with a hint of spice that seems to come more from freesia’s petals rather than pink pepper. Rose is immediately present as well, but as a silhouette, not a rose in full bloom. The dates and saffron are not detectable to me as individual notes, but combine subtly to create the exotic feel that a perfume bearing the name Ta’if should possess. Ta’if  is a Saudi Arabian city and I imagine strolling through its bustling markets amidst spices, chewy delicacies and flowers when I wear its namesake perfume.

Freesia, which is listed among rose, orange flower absolute and jasmine as the heart of Ta’if, has as a strong presence. The interplay between the freesia and rose is dynamic. The green, pepperiness of freesia allows Tai’f to become more than a “rosy” scent. Freesia, in my opinion, is the backbone of Ta’if, bringing together the flowery and spicy components harmoniously and compellingly.

The basenotes of Ta’if are broom and amber. Broom, I am not familiar with, but amber has become a friend of mine lately, and in this perfume it adds another dimension to its unfolding. Ta’if evolves into an ambery rose fragrance in the drydown, allowing freesia to fade as it acquiesces to the soft amber and vanilla finish.

 

Tai’f is also available as an Essential Bathing Oil that is presented in a gorgeous glass bottle. The oil, like the perfume, is not 100% natural as it does contain some synthetics and petrochemicals, but is free of parabens, genetically modified ingredients and colorants. I have not used the Bathing Oil in the bath as I am loath to use it up too quickly. Instead, I use a drop or two to moisturize my hands and smell Ta’if’s sparkling aroma throughout the day. While the oil is not as smooth as the EdP, it is a more affordable way to indulge in one of Ormonde Jayne’s stunning bottles.

On the Ormonde Jayne website, it is stated that Ta’if “prefers dusk, the night, parties, promises and assignations.” I do think it’s appropriate for the day, especially the Bathing Oil since it’s not quite as rich as the EdP. But Ta’if does take on a more magical quality in the dark hours, causing my sweet boy to declare emphatically, “You smell good!”

Ta’if is available at the Ormonde Jayne boutique in London and at the Ormonde Jayne website. It is £68.00 for the 50ml EdP and £48.00 for the 100ml bottle of Essential Bathing Oil.

Disclosure: Samples from the company’s PR agency were provided for this review. The opinons in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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The Winner of Demeter’s Vintage Naturals Rosebush is…

bulleid3Sharon! Congrats on winning this lovely natural perfume. And thanks to everyone who commented on both Part I and Part II of my Rose Series. It was a pleasure to focus on one floral note, especially one that I had not fully appreciated or thought I was particularly fond of. Please keep your eyes on Scent Hive in June for more fabulous giveaways!

 

Posted by ~Trish

Girl With Rose Basket by George Lawrence Bulleid on artmagick.com

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Pacifica Egyptian Bergamot Rose & French Lilac

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Pacifica has introduced Egyptian Bergamot Rose into its perfume and body butter line this spring. It has been a favorite scented soap and candle for years, but Pacifica’s perfumer and co-owner Brook Harvey-Taylor decided it was time to expand its horizons. Personally, I am glad she did because Egyptian Bergamot Rose is a lovely ambery floral fragrance that will appeal to the casual fragrance lover along with the devoted perfumista. For this review, I sampled the perfume solid which is incredibly convenient in its portability and price ($9), but is also available in the perfume spray ($22).

 

pacifica-roseEgyptian Bergamot Rose begins mildly herbal with a bright hit of bergamot. The citrusy freshness dissipates rather quickly and allows for a powdery, gentle spicy rose to move forward, but it’s all very subtle. The amber base settles in after an hour, but not like Spanish Amber. Egyptian Bergamot Rose is more floral and powdery, and it’s laced with a stronger hint of vanilla. The vanilla in Egyptian Bergamot Rose is not  particularly potent, but it has more of a presence than in Spanish Amber. I’d call this is a very pretty fragrance, and I don’t mean it diminutively or in a belittling way. Sometimes that is just what you want.

 

il_430xn296327521Another very pretty fragrance from Pacifica is their French Lilac. This is also a new offering in their solid perfume line, but previously existed only in the other forms (spray perfume, natural soap, body butter, and candles). For those of you who love lilacs, I cannot recommend this enough. I have this on right now, a few dabs from the perfume solid, and I feel like there is a bouquet of fresh lilacs in the room. It is that realistic. There’s not that much more to say about it. French Lilac smells like lilacs! I have never tried Pacifica’s natural soaps, but here is a rave review for the French Lilac soap. This is definitely going on my shopping list.

 

As an aside, you can see the Pacifica Update post for more information regarding their product information. They use organic coconut and soy wax as the base for their perfume solids and do not use any petroleum products. 

 

Pacifica is available at their websiteSephora, Whole Foods, and probably your local health food store.

 Posted by ~Trish

Antony and Cleopatra by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema 1883
Lilacs photograph by BroomhillPictures on Etsy.com

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