Euphoria Soap Works: “Gift it to me baby” giveaway

20171112_141534A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to win a giveaway by the purveyors of Euphoria Soap Works. Not only was my prize delightfully presented in autumn gold and plaid ribbon, I was given a scent choice for the winnings. It was a tough decision for this indecisive Gemini, but Vanilla Sandalwood is one of my favorites, I couldn’t let it pass me by. Other sets included Fig, Cranberry, Apple Spice and Pumpkin Creme.

November is a hectic month in which I often let any self care slide, I so appreciated this excuse to soak in a relaxing bath and indulge in a favorite fragrance. The spa bath gift set is valued at $29.95, five scents are currently available on the website. Included is a large bath bomb and full chunk of 6 oz. soap, along with 4 oz. shower scrub and 2.5 oz. body cream, all hand-made.20171114_093711.jpgEuphoria’s VS scent description,”So warm, and surprisingly sweet in a delicate way with a hand-blended fragrance that is not a bakery vanilla scent, but more of a wearable vanilla, with soft floral undertones.”

One hesitation with choosing Vanilla Sandalwood is that I’ve been disappointed by the scent interpretation from vendors many times in the past. There are lower and higher grades of the exotic sandalwood oil and truly no substitute. My ideal is thickly dense sylvan woods, aged to dark rich resin. Not grassy or musty, but seasoned into a crackling dry spice, with a fine powdery finish. And holy smokes, I found it! Actually, it found me, thanks to the giveaway, but I’m delighted for it. That satisfying smooth oriental spice that I crave from the sacred sandalwood, skillfully blended with the creamy bitter vanilla bean. The result, an intermingling of both cool vanilla and warm sensual sandal spice, it’s divine. 

Soothe & Relax Bath Bomb- The one item I was least excited for, until it arrived. (I rarely use them). Smelling the gorgeous sandalwood vanilla through the wrapping and seeing the gleaming gold touches swathed across this planet-sized bath bomb so charmed me, next thing I knew I was running a bath on a Tuesday night. 20171112_142603Robustly scented with a distinct almond note when dissolving, this effusive bomb gushed properly for a full minute or two before fading to a softer, sunken fizzer. The golden sheen created a funky olive green bathwater but the rich scent of calming sandalwood mingled with misty steam (and a glass of red wine) made for a heavenly experience.

Luxury emulsified sugar scrub- of the four products, this has the most intense vanilla aroma. Speckled with vanilla bean pod essence, lathering this scrub onto my skin became a creamy custard-scented experience. Comparing textures, I’d place this scrub between The Bathing Garden’s coarse paste and the finer grains of Soak & Unwind’s thick whipped soap. Which puts it at a happy medium, offering enough gritty exfoliation while still a gentle touch for daily use and a nice clingy lather. The base of vanilla sandalwood lingers lightly on the skin. If this was a body oil, I’d use it too.
20171114_085316 (1)Sandalwood Vanilla Bliss Body Cream- With mango, cocoa and shea butters, organic coconut and olive oils, this is one thick But-tah. The thickness requires this cream be worked into the skin, but it doesn’t leave behind any greasy sheen. A softer concentration of vanilla than the scrub, the sandalwood imparts a delicate earthy wood note after applying. Designed for scent layering with the other products, I’ve been slathering this on post-shower and reapplying to my hands after washing, with noticeable results. Yesterday, my husband commented that my hands were ‘oh, so soft’. In the words of Austin Powers, “yeah, baby, yeah.”


Vanilla Sandalwood Silk soap- the only item I’ve yet to try as I’m working through another soap and it’s best to use up one bar at a time. Looking forward to scrubbing up with the musky sweetness of this hand-crafted signature though. Tussah silk is listed as an ingredient, fibers containing silk amino acids, which purportedly increases lather, shine and silky skin feel. I’m anticipating the complete Vanilla Sandalwood experience to leave me in a halo of my beloved scent all day. 

These “gift it to me baby” sets are obviously no-brainers for holiday gifting. I’m also impressed by the delicious looking Home for the Holidays soap sets, currently on pre-order at Euphoria Soap Works. Thank you so much for this incredibly generous giveaway! 

 Anyone anticipating luxury bath items this year? Which body care scents do you prefer to slather and layer with? I know a few people on my list deserve some relaxing spa experiences…




Salted Rock Bath Co: Buy one, get one free haul

In the continuing adventure files of trying new indie body care products, I jumped right in on a Buy One Get One Free shower scrub sale advertised by Salted Rock Bath Co. purveyors of handcrafted bath and body products.

I enjoyed perusing their website and poring over their incredible product list. Featuring two large branches, including “100% all natural” products and an “Almost all natural” section that may contain small amount of fragrance or preservative. The B1G1 lured me in, but the ingredients and varied selection kindled the surplus of my order.


My box arrived well-packed with the products neatly secured inside. All items had a plastic over-wrap removed for photos, but was extremely appreciated, both to extend shelf life and avoid spillage during transit.

Shower scrub photos courtesy of my sis’s beautiful newly redesigned master bathroom.

Sugar Whipped Soaps: Net weight 8oz. $12.00 each, 2 for $12.00 on sale.

Nature’s essence-Black Chamomile

The scent: Soft notes of coconut water and chamomile blend with tea leaves, wild lily and tonka bean. This fragrance has infused new life into my morning shower. It is sweet, herbal, and so calming when inhaled with the steamy air. Black Chamomile fragrance has infatuated this year, but this is the best version I’ve smelled yet. It pairs beautifully with my The Dirty Goat Black Chamomile natural deodorant.

The Nature’s Essence line is without colorants and enriched with only “essential oils and fragrances that invoke feelings of well being and a connection to nature.” This formulation is part cleansing soap and part gentle exfoliation.

It’s vegan, and paraben, phthalate and cruelty free, but the texture is my favorite bit about this light scrubber. Whereas, some whipped soaps are like an airy mousse and some sugar scrubs are thickly gritty, this sugar soap is similar to a creamy meringue. The same consistency of a homemade frosting. The sugar is felt, but not sharply and is well distributed. The lather has a cling that provides a soft polish.


Beach House Breeze

The scent: Feminine florals combine with sea salt, ocean mist, sea moss and geranium flower laid on top of a bed of earthy vetiver, water mint and white cedarwood.

Layered shower scrub perfection, but much more floral than I prefer my beach scents. I should know better from my Yankee Candle days that geranium can overpower and I think it does here. An unexpected cucumber melon note appears underneath, also not my favorite. There is an incredible salty finish to Beach House Breeze, combining with the other notes to make a strong scent, just not a blend I find agreeable. The gorgeous layered aesthetic does make it a stunning look on a vanity or shower ledge, however.

Black chamomile topped with chamomile leaves.

Cold processed soap: 4.5-5 oz. $6.00 


My husband recently tried his first indie vendor soap, part of a giveaway prize I’d won. When he ran out of his drugstore version, I pulled my vendor bar soap out of a drawer and said, “Here. Use this.” His reply was akin to, “Well only till I can get to the store.” A few days later he happily reported he loved using it as it smelled so good. Buoyed by his willingness to try a new product, I added a cold-processed soap to my order in hopes he will abandon his packs of Ivory, or basic gold Dial.

Frankincense and Myrrh oils are known throughout history to be valued as healing elements. The royal colored mica swirls atop the crest of the bar give a subtle nod to the richness of the ingredients. A faint resin note comes out, otherwise an understated fragrance. When holding up the bar and breathing deeply, my olfactory memory is jarred with the smoky incense of Sunday worship from my childhood, as the priest would swing the thurible containing the burning oils through the aisle. I find this a very comforting scent.

Mocha Earth face mask

$8.00 Net weight: 1 oz- 2-3 masks per package.


Facial care is a risk for me because I do very little in the way of anti-aging face products, of course I need to do more, I just find it an overwhelming industry.

Said to detox, tighten and exfoliate with natural clay, organic coffee and raw cacao, this was one yummy smelling mix. Coffee is the de-puffing agent with medium-sized granules acting as a gentle exfoliation. Raw cacao is claimed to have antioxidant properties; not something I’m able to prove on my own skin but it smells divinely reminiscent to a creamy hot cocoa with marshmallows. A scent by which one can’t help but feel a little more youthful around. The use of Bentonite Clay is for removing toxins and revitalizing tired skin.

With the exception of a spa facial, I haven’t personally applied a face mask since I was a teen and it was all the rage to whip up homemade egg yolk masks. It made the face as tight as a drum and feel as dry and cracked as…well, as old egg on your face. They’ve become quite the home beauty trend again, with more sophisticated ingredients these days.


Process: The instructions were simple: empty desired amount of powder into a small bowl with 3 TB of water, mix to form a paste. I may have erred on the side of extra water in my ratio, but it applied pretty smoothly. After a few minutes the mask dried and hardened, I washed it off with warm water and applied moisturizer.


Results: With only one application it’s too early to tell what, if any, benefits my skin may derive. Immediately after removal, my face looked faintly blotchy pink, that quickly cleared and the only noticeable difference I felt was ultra hydrated and moisturized. I don’t know if moisturizing plumpness is proclaimed as a benefit, but it is the change I noticed.

After slathering on my entire face, I had some product left over. Storing the rest in a tiny airtight container, I believe I’ll get 4 applications from this mask. 

Under Eye Beauty Serum:

Net weight 7 ML $14.00 Calendula infused Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Rose Hip Oil,Vitamin E, Rose Geranium Essential Oil


I’ve tried a few different serums, but none that stuck with me. I liked the ingredients in this version, and I’m always willing to give it a go when it comes to minimizing the serious matching luggage under my baby browns.
Per the website, “this specially formulated serum is 100% all natural and boasts some serious skin loving oils chosen for their hydrating, anti-aging, skin brightening and moisturizing properties. “
The formula is thick and slick, recommended use is twice daily. I found that it left a sheen that was tacky to the touch under my eyes, I’d use at least 30 minutes before applying make-up. With only a few days of intermittent use, I haven’t noticed a change in my skin. I will update if there is anything to report.


Sample soap shard in Spearmint and Clay

The logo stamped into the side is a nice touch, however spearmint is not a fragrance I’m fond of in soap. It is strong. I might add this to our camping supplies or tuck it into a gift. Of course, I can always reserve it for when my husband runs out of his current mega-pack of drugstore soap.

An impressive first order from Salted Rock, and I foresee future purchases from the Nature’s Essence line. With $8 shipping, the soap sale and a 15% new customer coupon, this was a bargain haul as well. I’ll be marking my calendar when the next B1G1 free sale is announced sometime this November, I think the sugar soaps will make amazing holiday gifts.

Soak + Unwind bath and body sale

Soak + Unwind has to be a favorite body care vendor name, merely letting it roll off the tongue is a relaxing experience. As I was scrolling through product posts a few weeks back, a Soak + Unwind sale caught my eye: A 25% off code for Father’s Day ON TOP of sale items. That was all I needed to know, providing a perfect opportunity to venture a little further into the body care product world.


Whipped Soaps– 4 oz size, on sale for $5.00 ea., regular price $7.

I haven’t tried whipped soaps before and have only become aware of them this year. They’re what appears to be cake frosting but are more of a bath frosting, unlike any type of soap I’ve used before. The texture is superbly light and fluffy due to the addition of the whipped air. Some settling occurred with the Pirate Ship soap, while the Tea Time remained perfectly at the top.


Pirate Ship-Crisp ozone, salty sea spray, seaweed, driftwood and a hint of water lily

Light and airy as expected without any lather. Tiny jojoba beads suspended throughout provided the gentlest burst of exfoliation, though it was a strange sensation to feel the beads pop in my fingers. Although I enjoyed this scent in the jar, it didn’t impart any fragrance onto my skin. 


Tea Time- Herbal white tea, raspberries, blackberries and elderberries infused with natural essential oils of cedar, ginger, mandarin, nutmeg, and ylang ylang. (Tea Time did sort of resemble my morning yogurt!)

Another cool and creamy shower experience, this soap was heightened by the scent, which was robust with berry juice. (If I do any berry products, I prefer razz and blackberries to blue or strawberries). I was worried this might be too sweet, but the tone was punched up by the tartness of the mandarin, becoming an invigorating clean. A well-balanced blend that I enjoy reaching for in the morning.

Whipped Soap shower scrub: 4 oz. on sale for $4.50, regular price varies.


Sexy Cuban-Masculine scent of cuban tobacco, fruity wine, spicy cinnamon, warm cloves, incense and earthy patchouli.

Here we have the whipped soap turned into a scrub. The texture is much denser than the soap and lathers up well, providing good coverage. Listed on the website as “previous formula”,  Soak + Unwind reformulated some products, but both previous and new soap scrubs contain moisturizing coconut oil and shea butter. I really liked the thickness of this one, but require more ‘scrubby’ exfoliation at times. I will definitely reorder as there are so many scrub types offered that I wish to try.

Sexy Cuban is amazing. Extracting cloves from the typical pumpkin spice bouquet is a revelation; they become a sultry, exotic spice. Cloves are dominant, but this is not a one-note scent. Patchouli provides a peppery lift while the tobacco leaf takes on a flowery depth. I love this intense fragrance.

*Each scrub purchase comes with a teensy rose gold plastic dipping spoon. Adorable, but too fiddly in the shower, where I grab scoopfuls of the product to slather onto my skin.

Sample Aloe lotion  4 oz. versions are $6, though tons of scents are on sale for less.


Lavender, Apple & Oak-Unisex scent of apples, woodsy touch of oak and soft lavender. A gorgeous unexpected blend. Apple scents don’t always appeal to me but this is just right.

Sometimes sample products aren’t worth much of a mention. However, this aloe lotion felt incredible and was my favorite item. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a lotion photo and have since used most of it up. Know that the texture is bouncy and substantial but lightweight enough to not leave greasy residue after applying.

The key ingredients listed on the website are: “aloe vera, oat extract, buckthorn extract and panthenol”. The aloe vera is the stand-out and must be the reason this lotion feels so wonderfully different from a basic Bath and Body Works formula. I’m primed for a new hydrating lotion; therefore, I’m returning to the shop to pick out a few full-sized versions. I’ve never actually turned around and ordered after receiving a sample, that’s how much I love this aloe lotion.

With shipping of $10, but receiving a $5 Paypal promotion, my total order came to $15.88. Making this new-to-me brand a fun little experimental haul, and creating a return customer out of me. Have you tried Soak + Unwind, or taken a chance on a new vendor lately, what goodies do you recommend?


The Bathing Garden-spring collection haul

As I witnessed all of the beautiful spring Bathing Garden orders roll in on social media the last couple weeks, I had far-fetched aspirations that mine might sneak a 5 week TAT instead of the usual 6. Alas, it was not meant to be, but when you’ve already waited 6 weeks, what’s a few more days?

I had more than my usual The Bathing Garden splendor to look forward to with this order; it was my largest one yet and there were one or two waxie Easter gifts inside. Not to mention, I’ve nearly finished my last sugar scrub and was craving a new shower scent. Luckily, it arrived in time, and in all it’s gorgeous spring glory. Initial impressions below, but will gladly update upon melting. Featuring a few of my great Aunt Jay’s Pysanky eggs.

Easter Basket-Fresh orange, cake, & vanilla layered with sugar crystals. 


A pastel pink and orange dream which smells exactly like those creamy sherbet pushpops my siblings and I would run to our neighborhood ice cream truck to buy. A perfect scent for my sis, a Dreamsicle conniseur, who’s fallen hard for TBG. She’s generously shared some melts in the past, therefore, I might procure another cube or two. A few orange creamsicle types give me a headache, but I would sniff this vanilla clad Easter Basket all day.

Frolic-Blood orange patchouli fizz

Question asked of myself when ordering: Would I like blood orange patchouli fizz? Answer: Yes, yes I would!


Frolic dreamily carries me off to an opulent ballroom. Gilded chandeliers sparkle as sultry, exotic-smelling entertainers cavort to fervent music. A tangy punch of succulent blood oranges is spiked with bubbly champagne adding to the dizzy air of the couples gliding round. A scent that dances with fiery depth and sparkly effervescence makes a special occasion melt.

Gardenia Coconut Cream-White gardenia, shredded coconut, and creamy vanilla


Gardenias always sing of spring renewel. These blooms are bursting with aroma right off the bush, but the creamy coconut note is hiding. Holding the ornate clamshell at a particular angle to the nose reveals the delicate coconut flesh sprinkled on top. A sweet tropical perfume enhances the gardenia which I hope isn’t overpowered by the heady floral notes when warmed.

Marshmallow Frosted Mango Tangerine-Mango and tangerine are frosted with yummy marshmallow fluff. 


Fruity/bakery blends may not cause a stir in my world, but marshmallow scents are another beast altogether. Mallow fragrance carries a tang that fills my nose and throat in the most mouthwatering manner, and my hopes are for this marshmallow cream to capture my senses the same way. Zesty tangerine is softened by swirls of mango puree creating a uniquely balanced scent. Not too tart, a splash of juice and a hint of cream produce sweet, yummy goodness. One of my favorites from this order.

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Neroli Orange Blossom-A beautiful true Mediterranean Orange Blossom scent.

I took an admitted risk with this fragrance, hoping for a breezy refreshing blend. Contrary to that is one of the most intense oils I’ve encountered thus far. Bitter neroli mixes with the cloying floral to conjure a pungent cloud that had me gulping for fresh air. If I was surrounded by this full-bodied scent, I’d hyperventilate and pass out. Not a repurchase, but eye-catching to look upon.

Ooh La La Wax Tart-Vanilla cream, white floral, and rich Tonka beans


As much as the previous scent pushed me away, this one drew me in. An authentic vanilla is difficult to capture unless it’s directly from the bean pods. A nod to that bean is present in the wax decoration and a hint obtained from the intial fragrance notes.

Being vanilla, it’s subtle to get much on cold sniff, but I know Shannon’s multi-layered blends flourish upon melting. I’m looking forward to those heart notes of Tonka bean to develop into a gourmand treat.

Parisian Strawberry Fields-Ripe strawberries blended with vanilla, mango, and peaches.


If you’re thinking, Jay ordered a strawberry scent, is she feeling alright? You would be right to wonder. My tastes have changed slightly this year, but not that much. Strawberry is one of my mom’s favorites, throw in the addition of Parisian anything and it’s a gift of gold. One I’m delighted to bestow to her this Easter.

The berry isn’t jammy or plummy, but clear and bright. Peach nectar adds refreshing frosty notes resulting in a smooth ‘pink drink’ concoction. Much more palatable than the gelatinous strawberry pie glaze present in many a berry scent.


The Golden Egg Shaped Tarts-Marzipan, Cassia, almond, and lemon; with hints of benzoin and rose candy.


Apprehensive over how this scent would turn out (I don’t even know what benzoin is) but very pleasantly surprised. How could I go wrong with Shannon’s artistic, vintage style packaging? I haven’t been this enthusiastic over colored eggs since I wore a frilly Easter dress with my hair in pigtails, and mine never looked this pretty.


Slightly off-smelling on cold throw, melting a chunk of Golden Egg determines it’s greatness. The sugared candy dough fondant melts away into radiant liquid magic. Delicate as almond puff pastry, laced with dark vanilla and golden honey. Gentle spices whisked with warming Cassia oil make an intoxicating brew. A bed of cream roses lingers on the air. It’s vibrant throw persisted several hours as I typed this post.


This fragrance offered in a lotion, would be perfection. Also, I sure hope someone is making puff pastry for Easter dessert because it’s all I can think about now.


Spring Fling Coconut Butter Sugar Scrub-A bright and sunny citrus blend with coconut frosted cupcakes.


My favorite purchase is this shower scrub. I plan to scrub myself into happy submission with all 8 oz. of this pillowy coconut butter balm. I’ve also sniffed the lid for at least an hour. Airy sponge cake, luscious coconut fruit whipped into cocobutter and that sweet, tangy pop of lemon in the base? Divine. Shoulda gotten Spring Fling in a clamshell, or six.


Let’s peruse this sample menagerie, shall we?


Rainbow Candy Cream Soda– Sadly, this full-sized rabbit didn’t make it unscathed, but with his head melting in one warmer and sweet hindquarters in another, it will feel just as festive. 


A 3-D mini-egg in fruity Caterpillar Mischief. Bunnies in Alice in Lavenderland (could be worth breaking a wax ban for) and Looking Glass.

2-D eggs in Lavender Custard, an herbal flavor I’ve ‘heard tell’ about, and an unlabeled strawberry blend similar to the Parisian one. Perhaps I’ll melt this egg to give berry a go, probably not.


Three larger shapes: Scandalously Talking Floral Bomb, a cherry Bunny Whiskers peep and a heart in Old-Fashioned Valentine, which confused me a moment because I also received it as a sample with a November order.


These minis are just the darndest things! A chocolate ganache covered bundt in Eat Me, a raspberry pink swirled bonbon in Poppet’s Coaster Ride, and a teensy perfectly latticed pie-crust in…Sugared Pie Crust! Worth the whole 6 week, 3 day wait right there, folks.

My third ever TBG order exceeded expectations. I have a plan to dip my toes into both rumored summer collections if I can create an alliance with a fellow TBG lover or two. I should just about have half of these samples used up by then.

The Goat Milk Soap store-vendor feature


I never take baths; feel free to exit now Lush lovers. No wait, come back! I did take a bubble bath for this post. I should clarify that I rarely indulge in a relaxing soak. When gifted some bath bombs for Christmas, however, I realized I was long overdue, by about 7 years. What then brought about the planetary array of bath fizzies above?

A friend found these bombs when shopping on a trip to Louisville and included them in a pampering present.


As I looked into the brand, I liked what I saw. From the Goat Milk Soap Store’s Home page: We are a family run and owned farm started in 2014. Thirsty Creek Ranch is home to LaMancha dairy goats, free ranged chickens…Goat Milk Cheeses and numerous farm grown fruits and vegetables. Located in old apple country of the Kansas countryside, we have a small orchard…We offer farm fresh eggs and our own line of Goat Milk Soap, Goat Milk Lotion and Lip Butters.”

They even have a “Meet the Milk” page featuring pics of the goats and their personalities; my favorite’s Peanut. This is the kind of small business it feels good to support. Perusing the online offerings, I discovered a bulk buy deal and as I was in the market for additions to some gifts, it was too good to pass up. I especially enjoyed the amount of variety when ordering.

I used the buy 10 regular bombs and receive $5 off discount. At $2.60 per bomb, I got 10 for $21.00. The Goat Milk Soap Store  offers free shipping on orders over $50. This shipped for $8.95 and arrived 2 days after ordering!


The one drawback was the bombs were rolling around the large box without any packing material (I added the crinkle paper for photo purposes). They weren’t any worse from their travel however, as none came broken or dented.

After enduring a recent fractured sacrum flare-up, my tailbone ached for consolation. The Stress Relief bomb was just what my body needed.


As it turned out, our tub valve wasn’t closing properly, possibly due to many years of neglect. A rubber stopper was procured and plugged the drain nicely, but I lost a bit of hot water before I realized the tub wasn’t filling up. Lesson learned, always be prepared with complete working parts before bath photo shoot commences.

Fragrance: Stress Relief is an earthy eucalyptus/spearmint combination. At the risk of being cliché here, when I sunk into the water, the tension truly began melting away. I could tell by sniffing through the wrapper, this scent was an intoxicating herbal brew. Not a cool, bracing eucalyptus, more of a soothing vegetal fragrance.


Performance: Even without prior bath bomb experience, this was a disappointment. I held the orb afloat for a few seconds as the fizzy effect generated, but once I let go it sank and never recaptured the initial effervescence. This photo shows the diminishing bubbles after retrieving it from the bottom of the tub. Apologies for the quality, I had one that showed the saturated color but must have deleted it. Major props to all Lush swirl photographers, because it was not easy.

Once dissolved, the color payoff was a serene aqua hue, providing the look of floating in a tranquil lagoon. And the ingredients turned the water and my skin silky smooth. On a scale of 1 to Lush, I’d rate the color a 3.

But the bubbles are where this fizzer really fizzled. Completely used up in around 40 seconds meant a bit of a letdown. I’m guessing I could have produced more with a little plastic wand and some dish soap. On a scale of 1 to Lush, it ranks a weak 2.*


That mega size there, the sun to my solar system, I got for my niece’s birthday. The XL bombs are supposed to fizz longer. At $5.95, it’s humungous, fruit loop scented and holds a surprise bath toy inside. No word yet on what floaty friend was revealed. I can say that my niece was pretty excited, and said she couldn’t wait to try them. I gifted the birthday cake bomb too, to seal the cool aunt deal.

I’m satisfied with my GMSS products and especially enjoy the variety and fragrances. As for the rest of my order, lavender/rosemary, watermelon and citrus smell enticing. Ultimately, I’m not converted into a ritual bather, yet. Maybe if I had a larger tub.

*Update: The owners of The Goat Milk Soap Store contacted me after posting (and are just the sweetest by the way) to let me know why their bombs don’t float. Due to the amount of cocoa and shea butter used, the specific gravity is heavier than water and will never float. The trade off is a deliciously moisturizing bath, however. They also informed me they chose not to use SLSA chemicals which create the foaming action in Lush bath bombs. I was so grateful for this added information and am always happy when I get feedback from the vendors I feature. That sound level of customer service will keep me coming back.






Vendor review-Fresh Picked Scents

What is your deciding factor when selecting an online wax or body care brand? Being relatively new to the vendor wax game, I rely on word of mouth or reliable blog reviews. With no Facebook account, I am pretty reliant on Instagram and make most purchases to vendors with a presence there. Of course, when people I trust rave about a product, I’m likely to check it out. My sister is a big Etsy shop buyer, I learn about some unknown vendors through her, too.

I can’t explain the reason I ordered from Fresh Picked Scents, a new to me vendor. Their name showed up in my feed when they liked a photo of mine. In turn, I checked out their page when they happened to be promoting an upcoming restock. It showcased cleanly packaged, uniform wax melt shapes. What really kindled my interest were some of the multiple oil scent combinations. Two factors that I value in a wax brand are variety and complexity, with a 15% off coupon code listed on Instagram on restock day, I went for it. My order arrived within a few days* including a sample melt and approx 1/3 oz body butter sample.


Al Bundy– 4 wax cubes totaling 3 oz., $2.99. Raw honey, orange blossom, mountain floral and vanilla tied together with sweet country apple.

I do love a good honey scent and they aren’t abundant, so I scooped this one up hoping for the best. Al Bundy was peculiar and interesting.


There was a lot going on, maybe too much. Richness from the honey and vanilla mellowed the woody floral and fruitiness. The blossom notes were powdery and gave off a distinct soapy aroma. There’s a hint of apple peel but it’s overshadowed by the rest. The throw for 1 cube was powerfully strong, lasting about 6 hours in an electric warmer.


It’s Raining Men– 6 wax cubes totaling approx 4 oz., $4.50. After shave, pure rain, white sandalwood, and white jasmine. These notes should be a dream to a fresh scent lover like myself, but I could tell with one cold sniff this wasn’t for me.

When I worked at Yankee Candle, there was a scent called Wedding Day that reeked of aerosol hairspray. It sat on the shelves till someone needed a bridal shower gift, no one ever bought it for the scent. It’s Raining Men smells very similar to that. I suspect it’s the white jasmine blend, hopefully, not the after shave because it will put me off that scent for certain.

One cube had a medium-strong throw and the alcoholic aerosol quality thankfully settled down after 15 minutes.


I wouldn’t repurchase either, but I preferred the scent of Al Bundy. There’s a phrase I never thought I’d write, though I adore Ed O’Neil.

 My Clothes Smell, sample-described as pure, light and airy linen with a pop of fresh fruity tones. I considered ordering this one, and was happy to receive it as a sample. I quite enjoyed this impressive scent.


Juicy citrus is dominant, there could be a touch of something more exotic like mango, however, fresh orange comes to the foreground. I like the clarity of the orange note in this, it’s not syrupy or cleaner-like at all.

Like drinking a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice wrapped in a warm blanket. I haven’t had many orange blends since I discovered I don’t like Creamsicle scents, but it is certainly one of the best I’ve tried.

FPS carries sugar scrubs and body butters, which I inevitably started to dabble in, as many vendors provide both. I added a 4 oz. sugar scrub to my cart as well, so I could sample from each product range.

Whipped soap scrub-4 0z. $6.50 Dreams– lavender, marshmallows, pink sugar

20170210_085710Upon opening, I was disappointed to see the scrub’s volume was a good 1/2 to an inch below the top, there was plenty of room for more, with it’s domed lid.

Even more disappointing was the scent. I know and love lavender pink sugar mallow, it’s a favorite. Whatever Dreams is, its not that. I don’t smell any lavender, only a plummy syrup, with an unnatural quality to my nose.

One unique aspect was the gritty scrub texture felt extremely wet and saturated with oils compared to others. Ingredients per the website; emulsified scrubs: e wax (no btmd) steric acid, yellow organic bees wax, vitamin e, 100% organic essential oils, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil & phenonip as our preservative 3 kinds of sugars (organic brown cane, white cane &brown).

The sugars don’t dissolve into the skin, and need rinsed off. But, the good news is that it was the most polishing of the four brands I’ve tried thus far. My skin was as soft as a newborn’s after use.

Fruit loops body butter sample (left) whipped scrub (right)

It was so effective that I might repurchase this product, in a different fragrance. Currently, there is a 40% off flash sale on some scrubs on

Overall, I would only repurchase 2 of the 4 items. *The shipping method was an aberration, the scrub sent separately in a manila envelope. Costs could be lowered if mailed in one package.

An announcement on the Fresh Picked Scents Instagram page declares they’re changing their look and scent collections soon. I wish the owners, Alecia and Rachel, the best of luck on their business.

Scrub down-shower scrub review

A scrub down, like a throw down except with shower scrubs, and it sounds nicer than a scrub-off. Why review scrubs from two of the most sought after indie body care vendors you ask? Observing their huge social media fan following has piqued my curiosity. What is at the heart of the intense popularity behind these brands? Is it because their wax is so beloved that it spills over into their respective body care lines? Or are these shower scrubs hoard worthy in their own right? Because judging by the online stash photos, shower scrubs are definitely being hoarded. I don’t know what apocalypse scenario the hoarders are preparing for, but as long as there’s a supply of water, they’re going to have well-exfoliated skin at the ready.


I recently tried both brands, first purchasing wax melts from The Bathing Garden then venturing into bath products. With Candy Panda, I went straight for the scrub, once I could get my hands on it. Is one superior over the other, how do they compare, and most pressing, do they live up to the hype?


The Bathing GardenEver Night Shea Butter scrub


Fragrance:  “Lavender and lilac are highlighted with a touch of eucalyptus and blended with soft woods, white musk, and sugary vanilla.” Topped off with a smattering of buds and a decorative flower, it’s a classic herbal lavender, very floral and woody smelling. This is a rather sharp scent; straight up lilac petals and lavender buds can be. But it’s also stimulating, romantic and feminine. The scent I’d reach for when readying for a date night or special occasion when I want to feel ladylike.


I do admit that although encouraged by good word-of-mouth, what put this scent choice over the top may have been the elegant label featuring a chandelier and spooky little owl.

Feels: Texture wise, this shea scrub is the coarser of the two. The plumper grains make for a scrubbier experience. Ultra skin-sloughing when applied dry, it lathers smoothly when rubbed in with a few extra swirls upon wet skin.


It rinses off cleanly and truly leaves my skin feeling polished. Due to the coarse grains, I wouldn’t use this every day. Because of its exfoliating capacity for dry skin, however, I wouldn’t need to.


  • Special packaging and ingredients provide an elegant product
  • Ease of access from The Bathing Garden website because they’re made to order. This means no worrying about trying to catch an opening or a product selling out.
  • A hearty exfoliation that leaves my body feeling hydrated, also, a little can go a long way once worked into the skin as a soapy lather.
  • Several scrub options are available with each of TBG’s rotating scent line-ups, including; aloe butter, avacado oil, borage oil and coconut oil scrubs and parfaits which are a split product of sugar scrub and whipped soap.
  • Only costs $9.00 for 8 oz. and Shannon sends a couple generously sized scrub samples!


  • Turn around time of 6 weeks is a deterrent for many people. In this case, made to order can be a major con.
  • Wide diameter jar takes a lot of shelf space in a typical shower.
  • Though moisturizing, not so much so that I can forego lotion afterwards.

Candy PandaComfortably Numb whipped body scrub


Fragrance: The description reads, notes of musk, molasses and vanilla. A pronounced floral tone to the musk keeps this scent from being manly or unisex really. The sugary molasses makes for a unique and inviting creaminess. Opening the jar and inhaling it creates a delicious and sensual showertime ritual. Comfortably Numb is aptly named because the blend provides an instant mellow mood for my morning routine.

It’s not fruity, fizzy or bakery, which could explain why it was still available 2 hours after a restock when I had a chance to check during my lunch break. This is how being an atypical scent lover has its benefits, it was the one scent I wanted to try for and I was tickled it was still there. Very sweet and unique, I think many Candy Panda fans would love the scent if they tried it.


Feels: A smoother, finer grain than the previous scrub, however, still fairly scrubby. When slathered on wet skin, it forms a brightly colorful paste. The thick consistency melted into the rough outer layer of my dry skin, then evaporated quickly after a rinse.


  • An extensive fragrance list that can appeal to all scent lovers.
  • Smaller, taller jar footprint makes it easier to store in the shower. Candy Panda just announced a switch to flip-up lids which will be more convenient to use.
  • Once purchased, shipping is within a week.
  • Fun happy colors make a fetching product display, especially for those with stacks of jars.
  • Costs $12.00 for 10.5 oz. I did score 2 wax melt cups as a surprise with my order.


  • Restocks can be a frustrating shopping frenzy in which you may lose an item in your cart as you attempt to pay, if you aren’t quick enough.
  • Also requires lotion after use. Slightly less exfoliating.

The scrubby results:

Both got the scrub job done! I’d recommend either brand because each gave a satisfying amount of exfoliation* and left my skin with a similar feel. I believe I’ll try an avacado oil scrub from The Bathing Garden next, and maybe go fresh rather than floral. The Candy Panda also has whipped shaving soaps to try for and a new line-up of scrub scents each month.

*If you’re looking for a lotion-optional scrub I recommend The Dirty Goat.


Two superior quality scrubs well worth the hype. Hoard worthy? Hmm, I’m more of a buy one as I need one scrubber, but I may indulge in a back-up of a favorite. Would I repurchase? I’d like to see somebody try and stop me:)