Mixin’ it up

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Inspired by a conversation with Kari, one of the sweet Yankee Candle Sisters, I’m showing off some mixology I’ve been melting this month. My endless stash of Yankee Candle tarts have nearly been forgotten since discovering vendor wax, but what else is a girl to do when she’s on a wax ban and isn’t sure when her customs and pre-orders are arriving? She returns to her wax roots, in my case, Yankee Candle. Kari mentioned experimenting with mostly bakery blends, while I gravitate to the fresher end of the spectrum. I aimed to challenge myself with a few and am mostly happy with the results.

Fails: Of course, not every combo is a winner.

Coconut Beach + Coastal Breeze

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I wish I’d tried Coconut Beach before mixing to judge it’s throw, combined with this, I only got a hint of perfumed coconut. The Coastal Breeze was a little old and may have lost it’s aroma, making this combo as pale in scent as it looked. My hoped for combo of Salty sea air/Coconut was a dud.

Black Sand Beach+Oceanside=Midnight Beach (Did I mention I love naming my creations?)

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I enjoy both of these especially having a patchouli heavy summer option with an added driftwood note in Black Sand Beach. This combo failed because the BSB simply overpowered my beloved Oceanside. Though, a watery marine note did enhance the patchouli, there wasn’t enough of a balance to be a proper mix. I think I’ll take the remaining half of Oceanside and mix with the leftover Coconut Beach and see what happens instead.

Successes:

Macintosh+Juicy Peach=Summer Jam. Inspired by Yankee’s retired MacIntosh & Peach candle which I never got a chance to try.

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Macintosh is a most beloved scent but doesn’t do anything for me on it’s own. Mixed with a summer fruit, it creates a punch of tart tangy apple and golden sweet peaches. Sugary, but not overly so, the combo becomes reminiscent of a fruit jam. It is a winner. Unfortunately, I don’t think Yankee offers a straight peach scent in their current lineup, but I believe this would also work with Mango Peach Salsa. I love this enough to get the candle if it ever makes a return appearance.

Lavender Vanilla+Stormwatch=The Calm before the Storm

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I’m not sure how often I’d mix these two but the lavender brought out the floral note in Stormwatch and the rich vanilla softened it’s somewhat soapy aspect. As they’re both singly wonderful I was surprised to find they were improved upon when combined. The result is a strong fresh floral perfume.

Dreamy Summer Nights+Golden Sands+Beachwood=I dream of summer

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Beach Wood dominates and is enhanced by the powdery vanilla of DSN and cool musk of Golden Sands. The GS is honestly too subtle and gets lost, but the triple blend makes for a more exciting beach fragrance as I’ve always found the woody note to be on the bland side. A soft, soothing blend for a cool summer night.

Peach Cobbler+White Gardenia=Southern Charm*

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Here’s an example of two scents I wouldn’t melt in wax on their own, the gardenia being too strong of a floral and the cobbler too sweet of a bakery fragrance. However, put together the combo is a revelation. Intoxicating gardenia blossoms become toned down by the syrupy nectar of brown sugar, peach juice and crumbly crust. This would make a stunning perfume or body mist.

*I’ve had success melting votives in my Yankee Scenterpiece warmer, but when using tarts, which have harder wax, it takes much longer to liquefy. I recommend using a few small bite-size tart pieces, but votives are better yet.

Fresh Mint+Juicy Grapefruit=Pink Julep

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Oooh, I adore this blend. The tangy grapefruit carries an earthy tone which blended with mint leaf becomes a vibrant cocktail of mouthwatering refreshment. Sparkling citrus and crisp mint make a crowd-pleasing combo. Yankee should create this fragrance!

Granny Smith+Sugar and Spice=Granny’s Pantry

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My goal with this blend was to find a complementary scent for green apple that didn’t involve caramel. I don’t care for overly caramel scents, but am also dreaming up combos for my green-apple-scent-loving niece, who is very finicky with her preferences. She likes apple, buttercream, vanilla, marshmallow, watermelon and pumpkin. I almost grabbed my French Vanilla or Merry Marshmallow until spotting S+S. Succulent green apples are drizzled with golden butter, warm tonka bean, brown sugar and spices of nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom. Not your standard spice mix, there is an additional toasted nutty flavor in which I can almost taste the crunchy note. I’m pleased as punch that I gave this combo a try and can’t wait to share it with her this fall.

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Now, I’ll spill a secret…I used to dream up scent combos all the time as a YC employee. We were tasked with offering a ‘complementary scent’ with customers’ candle choices and I favored matching a fragrance with a companion. I even kept scent pairing lists. It’s been fun trying out some ideas with the stash I have, not quite as many as offered in store, but close. As a vendor wax customer I’m much more inspired nowadays, thanks to the innovative blends vendors are brewing up. I plan to return to my YC roots again with a festive mixology version later this year.

Do you practice mixology? Are there any appealing combos above, or some favorite blends of your own? Nothing’s too far out there for me to pair up.

July-Band of Bloggers

As mid-summer approaches, my mind drifts to vacation times, getaways or mini excursions out and about. One tank trips. Parks to explore. 
 
Do you take a summer vacation or do small getaways? What do you have planned? If not, what would be your ideal vacation or retreat? What are your favorite local haunts? Give us some places to check out! 
It’s been a glorious and busy summer already with much needed vacationing. My planned trips are about finished and in the books for summer 2017. We do have a mini excursion coming up later this month for our wedding anniversary, but the details haven’t been worked out yet. For July, I’m looking forward to lounging around at home, reading on the deck and enjoying the relaxation that June’s hectic schedule didn’t afford.
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Waldameer Park in Erie, PA 
As far as local haunts, we hail from the land of amusement parks, a water park tribe we are too. The Midwest may not tout “the Biggies” of Orlando or California, but we have access to approx. 25 parks in our region of Ohio and Pennsylvania alone. It’s been a summer family tradition for about the past 8 years to take a 1-2 day trip to visit a park. A few favorites have been Hersheypark and Kennywood in PA, King’s Island near Cincinnati, and this year’s trip to Zoombezi Bay in the Columbus Zoo. This time, my nearly 75 year-old dad outlasted me in the wave pool, even returning for more after taking the brunt of tidal punishment, you gotta love him.
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This curmudgeonly sea turtle held my attention at Zoombezi Bay Aquarium. I had to be pulled away.
My favorite amusement park from childhood will forever be Geauga Lake in Aurora, OH. The site of my first roller coaster ride, The Big Dipper, at the invincible-feeling age of six, snuggled safely against my dad’s side. It was a sad day when it permanently closed in 2007 after it changed ownership a few times. It’s probably cliche, but nothing beats a long summer day at a water or amusement park.
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I am not going to lie…. as summer starts revving up… I am catching myself not only daydreaming about vacation but also fall scents. I am sure it may be too early for some and others melt fall scents year ’round, but I must ask… where are you planning to order your fall smell goods from? It can be vendor wax, candles, bath and body or perfumes. ❤ Just spill!
To quote from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18, “…Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date…”
That’s my way of answering that summer comes and goes too quickly as it is and I’m not looking forward to fall anything. (Not the intention of the poem, that was about comparing a young man’s beauty to nature and assuring him his beauty surpassed it.)
But since we know that resisting summer’s short lease is futile and for the purposes of this blog question, I went ahead and looked into some fall fragrance possibilities;)
In wax melts, Julie’s mention of Dessa’s Homespun Scents led me to the creation of a to-try list at least 20 scents long. Dessa’s branding especially says fall, but I spied a few tempting summer scents too. I appreciate that her shop is open for several weeks a month with all scents available, an August order looks imminent.
If we’re talking fall candles, I already have loads that I’m actually trying to unload. Naturally, I’m keen to check out the newly arriving essential oil candle collection from Bath and Body Works previewed on social media. The Incense, Chamomile and Cypress are giving me a fallish vibe.
I’ve sniffed and really liked Yankee Candle’s new fall collection and even discovered a Woodwick or two that held some fall promise.
     Warm Woods Trilogy - Fireside, Redwood, Sandalwood Clove       Applewood
Perfumes. The one fragrance area I don’t change seasonally, or much at all. The Solstice Scents siren song is luring me in thanks to my indie perfume loving blogger friends. This autumn could finally be the time to go for it, I just need to do my scent research. Until then, I’ll be resisting the reality of summer’s end as long as I can.
Please, feel free to answer these questions in the comments section below.

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Vendor Feature-House of Phoebe Wax

This kaleidoscope of color represents one of my absolutely adored vendors. I named HoP my favorite find of 2016 in my year-end recap. Recently celebrating six months in business, House of Phoebe excels in my favorite scent types-earthy, woodsy, masculine, smoky and citrus. The store re-opened last week after a hiatus and I’m eager to check out the new fragrances Casey whips up.

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Each carefully wrapped black & cream package with gleaming golden touches presents a gift befitting of royalty, the 1.5 oz. cups inside resemble precious sparkling jewels.

The scent list is extensive and I’ve tried dozens. Because reviewing them all would be impossible, I shared a few of my favorite gems below. The melts run $1.35 and are sprinkled with shimmering glitter. Full-size samples included with every order. The categories featured on the HoP website are organized a bit differently, I grouped mine for broader simplicity.

Incense/Resins/Earthy:

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Baron La Croix-Cuban tobacco, earthy woods, musky sweetness.

Daenerys-Dragons blood, incense, bonfire, and blood orange. There is a quality spectrum of Dragon’s Blood oils, from rich smoky spice to sharper flowery notes. This falls on the good end, with an edge.  Imagine descending to the rocky depths of cool cavern air, rivulets run down the walls, when a sharp tinge of smoke creeps up…there be dragons ahead. A burnt offering of incense, fire and blood orange must be made.

Melisandre-Firewood, amber, currant, patchouli. Establishes it’s scent before you realize it, then it’s there, permeating the room with spice and sweet smoke. As beguiling and mysterious as it’s namesake inspiration.

Rebel Rebel-Lord of Misrule type (patchouli, sandalwood, citrus, black pepper) mixed with cedar, earthy moss, woody myrrh, and musky florals.

Third Eye-Saffron, sandalwood, leather, frankincense, and a touch of violets. Feathery wisps of sandalwood lighten rich, resinous frankincense. Aged leather provides a backbone to the powdery essence yet remains supple and tender, so as not to overpower. This fragrance soothed my inner savage beasts as I sought needed solitude to dwell in my own mind’s eye, to speculate on life, growth, change. I need to repurchase this peaceful, calming blend.

Vendetta-Smoky myrrh, scorched earth, a touch of citrus and light florals. The only bitter quarrel I’ll have is with myself if I don’t acquire more of this moody, musky, myrrh-soaked blend. Thank you Casey for fulfilling my sample request on this one, well done!

Citrus:

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Bless Her Heart-Sweet iced tea and lemon bars.

Bungalow-A tropical mix of pineapple, citrus fruits, and pomegranate over subtle tones of vanilla.

Mina-White tea leaves and lemon over earthy woods, rose petals, and a mixture of green florals.

Stars Chase the Sun-Orange citrus, bergamot, ginger, cypress, and rosewood.

Sansa-Sweet lemon cakes over notes of cedar and spruce. This was House of Phoebe’s first scent creation, inspired by Game of Thrones. (Character inspired scents related to the character are a must). 

Sugared lemon petit fours layered with chiffon cream and laced with delicate fondant served on a gilded tray. If cakes aren’t enough to send a young maiden into rapture in order to gain her secrets, then the clever nuance of stately blue spruce and sturdy cedarwood should do the trick.

On the lighter side, but I’m glad for it as both lemon sugar and cedar oils can be too much in heavy doses. I first received Sansa as a sample last August and adored it ever since. I try to grab it when available because I need this scent in my life.

Woody/Earthy:

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Forest Fairy-French lavender, lush green earth, sage, and eucalyptus. In love and admittedly confused by this one. I know I smelled a strong green minty tone when melting, and don’t believe I’m confusing eucalyptus with mint because they often pair together. Maybe it’s a more of an herb garden fairy? Either way, it’s fresh and strong.

Frau Holle-A blend of roasted pinecones and fir balsam with hints of apple and vanilla sweetness. A true-to-life fir tree essence enhanced by pinecones crunching underfoot.

Ygritte-Earth and foliage, spruce, and a hint of crackling firewood. Crisp, woody, smoky, warm, it holds every element I love about being outdoors on late fall days. Strong enough throw to melt half a cup.

*Better Call Saul-Cocobolo wood and boozy tobacco. (not pictured) An eye-opening experience, as if relaxing in a zen spa setting, a steam room outfitted in coastal cocobolo wood and tropical teak. My first cocobolo scent, but hopefully not my last. A HoP favorite, must repurchase.

Masculine:

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Arya-Freshly fallen snow, warm hay, leather

Asha-Driftwood, sage, aquatic florals, sea moss, and rum.

The Bear and the Maiden Fair: Brienne (Clean citrus, rain water, mountain air) x Penny Dreadful (Herbal tincture of poppy and lavender)

Brienne-Clean citrus, rain water, mountain air. One of HoP’s most popular fragrances. It’s SUPER FRESH. If that’s not your happy scent place, it will likely overwhelm.

I’ll let you in on a secret to why I think this scent is beloved…it smells exactly like a swimming pool. One sniff reminds me of long ago summer moments; padding gingerly across hot concrete, peeking over the edge for that glimpse of crystal clear, shimmering water, first wading, then jumping into the bracing coolness. It also carries the tangy note I enjoy from aquatic plants and greenery.  Not chemical, or crisp, but misty and potent.

Outlaw-Vanilla liqueur, oak, leather, cherry tobacco

Floral:

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Amaterasu-Fresh bamboo, sweet lemongrass, coriander, and sandalwood

Earthling-Lavender and pink sugar.

Margaery-Crisp summer fruits over a bed of roses. My favorite rose scent ever. More rosewatered than fresh rose. Imagine a bowl of stewed fruits and dark berries just leaching their juice, layered with sugar and sprinkled with rose petals. It’s soft, summery, and special.

Penny Dreadful-Herbal tincture of poppy and lavender

Fruity:

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Cersei– Sweet white grapes, bergamot, and myrrh, the perfect mix of sweet and sunny fruits and smoky darkness. Saving this for July’s Game of Thrones season premiere.

Delilah – A mix of vanilla, amber, heliotrope, tuberose, and birch. No explicit fruit notes, but on cold it gave a ripened fruity sweetness. Upon melting, the most decadent vanilla I’ve smelled flowed forth into creamy, gourmand heaven. No floral appears, just divine velvety cream with hints of golden fruits and amber. At risk of repeating myself, I need to repurchase Delilah soon.

Screen Door in a Hurricane-Rich coconut, vanilla absolute, and tiare flower with a touch of lavender

Violet-Sugared lemons and blueberries, jasmine, violets, vanilla and cedar. One of the few HoP misses for me. A very muddled note smelled off immediately, the blueberry was the strange smelling culprit, I think. Wouldn’t repurchase.

Sweet:

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Decadent and Depraved-Candy cigarettes frosted in vanilla buttercream and pink sugar. Who conjures candy cigarettes scents? Maybe I’ll try this when I have the kids visit, as I don’t think candy cigarettes are widely available anymore. 

It’s Good to Be Queen-Rich black tea steeping next to fluffy white cake. Casey represents the classic blends well too, like this tea and cakes.

Outliers: scents which don’t easily fit into a category 

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Aristides-Mint Julep; bourbon and mint with a hint of powdered sugar. Brimming with a cool freshness, but thought it too minty sharp and boozy for my nose. My sister ordered some and raved about it, however. 

Lonely Girl-Tea rose, cardamom, vanilla, currant, and peach

Bastet-A rich blend of Egyptian amber, rich patchouli, jasmine, citrus, and musk. An unexpected surprise due to its subtle cold throw. Bastet, an Egyptian goddess, transports me to a balmy southern clime where smoky smudge pots of incense alight a green orange grove at dusk. The aroma of night blooming jasmine mingles with sacred oils. Misty amber clouds envelop the crisp night air beneath a perfumed veil. Stunning.

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Why do I love House of Phoebe so? The artistic blends ALL created in-house, affordable luxury, courteous customer service and the gorgeously saturated wax pools aren’t bad either. If I could suggest any future endeavors for HoP, I’d love to see clamshells make an appearance. They store easily and I know Casey would decorate them beautifully; it’s high praise, but this brand already shows glimpses of a young The Bathing Garden vibe. I wish House of Phoebe such luck and a long waxy future.

Sniff My Tarts-custom blend list

Beads of sweat appeared as my hot little hands hovered over our laptop keyboard on Saturday morning. Months of dreaming up fragrance blends, list making and revising all led up to this moment; the Sniff My Tarts 30 minute custom opening.

20170521_080552As a first time custom wax customer, I was anxious about ordering for many reasons, from computer glitches to untested blending skills. Luckily, I wasn’t going into SMT completely nose-blind. My lovely blogger friends shared some of their custom blends, giving me a generous taste of SMT’s scent offerings. I’d also have been much more in the dark if one of my besties hadn’t joined the Facebook group just to keep me updated on the custom news front-that’s friendship! She is very welcome to any of these, assuming they work out.

Order 1: The Spring/Summerish order

8 oz chunk pie:

*Barbershop overpour, Aveda rosemary mint, pink sugar

9 oz muffins:

*Blue Raspberry overpour, Sweet lavender, Cotton candy, Rosemary mint (inspired by a scent from Tori’s Tarts, not sure what the raspberry note was exactly but hoping this comes close)

10 oz No fuss chunks:
*Sun ripened raspberry overpour, fresh basil, spearmint (a collaboration w/my friend for a nice summery blend)

*Salty sea air overpour, Barbershop, Sandalwood

4 oz frosted cookies:

*Japanese cherry blossom, juicy grapefruit, pink cotton candy
*Apricot, swt lavender, angel food cake
*Sugared violets, vbn, blueberry noel (inspiration from Furianne, Liz’s blend)

Single scents:

Pink coconut
Lavender vanilla coconut milk
Vanilla baby powder

You can tell I started devising my customs during Springtime, with lots of herbal mint, floral and current favorite, shaving cream blends. I’m most excited for the chunk combos. I debated between blackberry and raspberry herbal mint, but thought the blackberry I tried was a little soft and might end up overpowered.

Noticing a lack of marine notes in the previous scents, I was overjoyed when Salty Sea Air popped up in the updated list. I have high hopes for that one.

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Loved this divine blend of Mango sorbet, Coconut cream pie and Vanilla waffle cone. I would have ordered it too, if I hadn’t pre-ordered the exact same scent from The Fakery Bakery wax, coming in July.

I made two separate orders hoping to get my summery blends sooner and to be less overwhelmed with a monster pile of wax all at once. Time will tell if this method proves successful.

Unfortunately, I made a mistake when transferring my paper list to the online cart and forgot to include my Creamy coconut, Chai tea, Coconut latte blend. A bummer as I really wanted to try SMT’s new Creamy Coconut, also because I planned it with my husband’s scent preferences in mind. I couldn’t get to the second, later time slot opening and thought 3 orders would be a tad excessive.

Order 2: The Fallish/Winter order

8 oz chunk pies:

*Buttercream sprinkles overpour, peppermint swizzle sticks, cream soda

*Marshmallow Fireside overpour, Sweet lavender, peppermint swizzle sticks

10 oz No fuss chunks:

*Barbershop overpour, Dragon’s Blood chunks

*Pie crust overpour, fallen leaves, marshmallow noel (inspired by Super Tarts’ Misery scent, with added mallow)

9 oz muffins:

*Lord of Misrule overpour, sugared violets, pink sugar, vanilla smoothie (inspired by Electric Love by Bonjour Wax Co)

4 oz frosted cookies:

*Cranberry spice, apple cinnamon, whipped cream

*Toasted pistachio, vanilla sugar

Single scents:

Eggnog Bread
Serendipity

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The above melt was a Lord of Misrule, peppermint swizzle sticks blend from a friend’s decorated wax cake. Melting it prompted me to include a second swizzle sticks pie. The little snowflake was revealed as the wax melted😊

Though I wanted one badly, I chose not to order a decorated wax cake. I’d rather spend the money on another combination instead, but I’m looking forward to seeing the beauty of these cakes as others receive them.

Now the long wait begins for my creations to be made. So does my summer wax ban, but at least it will be filled with visions of custom scents dancing in my head.

Okay ladies and gents, if any combo catches your eye, I’m very willing to trade for Creamy Coconut!

April: Best & Best

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This mish mash of fragrant goodness represents some of the best melts I’ve experienced in quite awhile and they couldn’t be more different! Spring has carried lovely scents my way, ergo these melts are a must for April’s recap.

Best fragrances of the month year:

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I only melted the tail if you must know.

Balance and Glow- Candles from the Keeping Room (gifted) Delicate honey blossoms kissed with sunny citrus, infused with lavender and Echinacea blooms. Ribbons of raw vanilla and honeycomb wrap the scent in sheer delight.

Not explicit in the description, but this is an amazing tea scent. When melted, my husband searched me out just to tell me how good it was. Not dripping with honey, but lightly sweet and invigorating. Imagine sipping a green tea Starbucks refresher, but better with added herbal essence. No tea scent I’ve tried comes close to this uplifting brew.

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Fresh cucumber and Pink sugarRosegirls chunks.

Though I’ve melted this beloved vendor before, I made my first official Rosegirls pre-order last month. Honestly, they all rocked my world, but this simple blend became a fast favorite. Cotton candy perfumed berries and carmelized sugar twines with crisp, crunchy garden cucumber. Though cucumbers may not be for everyone, this blend works. And I’m not the only one who thinks it, as I’ve read others rave about it’s distinctive scent. Fresh, identifiable, sweet and relaxing.

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The Golden EggThe Bathing Garden reviewed here. Sugared marzipan atop dainty almond pastry filled with vanilla bean rose cream. I doled these eggs out like a wax easter bunny. They were such a hit with my entire family and melt like a dream.

Speaking of The Bathing Garden…

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Sugared Pie Crust- The Bathing Garden

This exquisite pie-shaped sample didn’t last 24 hours in my house before I had to try it. My nose was rewarded with warm flaky dough, baked to golden perfection, sprinkled with a dusting of sugar crystals. The blue-ribbon worthy top note is a dash of salt, just like in an authentic pie crust. SPC is the current scent of the month bundle for TBG and the first I’ve had to strrrugggle to resist.

Spunky Monkey Bread- Lasting Scent Candles reviewed here, SPM was the winning scent from my not totally successful LSC haul. And yes, I have no shame in admitting I’d snap this up in a loaf if I ever got the chance. Pure peach perfection.

White Gardenia fragrance plug-in-Yankee Candle Peach, Berry, Clove top notes, with Gardenia, Jasmine, Lily, Freesia and a base of musk.

I’ve never touted a fragrance plug-in before, but this performs too well not to. Diffusing near the garbage bin in my kitchen and every time I walk by I think, who gathered the bouquet of fresh flowers? Dizzy, intoxicating botanical perfume tones.

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Water Garden- Yankee Candle (gifted) water flowers, melon and musk. This takes me back to the floating water gardens of Jardin Botanique in Montreal. Green pools, misty droplets of hothouse air, water lillies, aquatic hyacinths and delicate fern fronds. The epitome of a fresh spring scent. I can’t say how long it’s been since I was excited about a candle from Yankee.

Best:

Way to chisel my heart of stone:

At our annual Speech Night fundraiser held in early April, our graduating seniors surprised us. Whereas, typically after the performances my husband, the coach, gives a few closing remarks on the individual seniors and their accomplishments. This year, the seniors delivered brief letters to both of us, acknowledging how speech has changed their lives, what they’ve gained and how they will miss it, us, each other.

I can’t express how it touched my heart to hear those heartfelt words of admiration and gratitude for the commitment we make to our team. I’ve spoken an awful lot of them because they are so special to us. Painful as it is to see these students go, I’m honored and grateful to be a part of their successes, their failures and a cherished piece of their teenaged lives.

New method of Easter egg decorating: Using shaving or whipped cream, who knew? 

My niece did (those are her hands) and suggested using as an alternative method for dyeing eggs. It takes food coloring, some practice and a lot of cool whip! All worth it to create these artistic eggs. Tip: for a marbled pattern, skim the egg across the swirls, don’t over blend. For a soft watercolor effect, submerge the egg in well-blended colors.

Read: “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Listening to the audio of this tightly woven book kept my mind focused on the workday commutes. I plan to review sometime soon if I can do it justice.

Throwback to the early days of dating:

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After striking a deal to fix up his old acoustic guitar, my husband’s been breaking out in impromptu serenades. Not since the days of early wooing, ages ago, have I been treated to 90’s classic renditions of “Glycerine,” “I’m Free” and “Please Do Not Go” by Bush, Oasis and the Violent Femmes respectively. It’s been sweet, mood-boosting nostalgia and I think it’s kinda cool.

I’ve already touched on the lows of this month and sense a slow shift towards feeling more like myself. It’s been a hard climb, but I’ll take it because I have to. 

What have you treasured lately? Any new beginnings or bittersweet endings on the horizon?

Lasting Scent Candles: Way waylaid review

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In January, a fellow waxie posted a pic of her Lasting Scent Candles order, online. I’d heard of the popular brand previously, but wasn’t aware of the store opening because updates are made soley through Facebook. Unable to resist the wicked temptress of catching a hard-to-get brand’s opening, I made an impulsive decision to order. Results revealed below.

Lessons from my Lasting Scent Candles order:

  • It’s unwise to make impromptu orders for a first transaction with a shop, picking at random while knowing nothing of scents offered, turn around time, or having a scent list in mind.
  • I probably don’t have the required patience for a 9 week TAT and I will likely forget what I’ve ordered.

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  • Expectations of greatness may lead to disappointment upon first sniff.
  • If that happens, always take a second sniff. Lukewarm about my order when it arrived, partly because I was given an incorrect scent, but also hadn’t received a packing slip. After checking my original order confirmation in Paypal to clear up confusion, I let it sit for awhile. When I returned to it, most of the scents improved in my estimation.
  • Strange soy wax consistency here, super soft and squishy!

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  • Not all ambers are equal, but amber and vanilla do make a glorious combination eventually. Starting with half of a 1.5 oz. melt (using the whole scent shot is recommended by LSC) then adding the other half. About 30 minutes before I was able to detect the fragrance, but then, a warm comforting veil of amber descended upon the room like a blanket. Oh so sweet and cozy, if subtle. Better for a small space, performance-wise.

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  • I had no recollection of ordering a scent titled Spunky Monkey Bread. After double-checking, it turns out I had and I’m happy I did. Major yes to these honeyed peaches and spice, yes to gooey bread, yes to this sweet nectar-of-the-gods, best-peach-smell ever-to-cross-the-path-of-my-nose. Described as, sticky pull apart bread filled in the center with a peach compote and topped with a sugary glaze. Um, yes!
    1/2 a melt worked perfectly with delicious throw on this one.

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  • Lemon Custard Cookies is the one I was sent, in error, for the Creamy Lemon Chai Latte. Out on a limb with the lemon latte pick, this is probably the better scent. My nose seems to have an aversion to lemon bakery notes lately, however, so into the giveaway stash this goes.
  • Pam, the vendor behind LSC, was prompt and professional in dealing with the mistake, once I got around to emailing the customer service contact. She responded in hours and refunded the cost of the scent shot.
  •  By waiting so long to ask about an incorrect order, I missed out on a chance to try the correct one. Pam explained she waits a period of time before selling RTS after shipping out preorders in case of mistakes. Lesson learned.
  • Passionate-Comforting Lavender scent…with Crushed Patchouli Leaves, a hint of Sandalwood, Sweet Neroli, and Woods with a touch of Agave Nectar and Orange Blossom.
  • I should love this based on these oils, but on cold throw, the only note that came out was a generic patchouli. It bloomed into a sweet, gentle floral when warmed. Perhaps too mild, I crave more spice, less powder from Nag Champa types. Guess I like a little more champa, but a pleasant background scent.

 

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  • These two I (weirdly) did not enjoy. Sweet DreamsPink sugar, lavender, sticky sweet marshmallows.  Purple Haze– Mint Mallow Creme and sprinkled delicate Lavender Buds on top. All notes I’m pretty fond of; however, something smelled off with the mallow, kind of syrupy and gummy.
  • I knew not all mints are for me, I learned neither are all marshmallow scents, maybe not all lavenders? 

2 full-sized! generous samples came with:

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  • Me thinks there’s wintergreen in Below Zero, but also a rustic woods and icy mint I’m digging. Reserving judgement till after melting.
  • Strawberry Crunch Muffins smells just like my Strawberry Shortcake doll from childhood! The addition of the crunchy bread pairs well enough to make me like a strawberry scent, it’s that good.
  • Having learned I really don’t have to fall into the ‘must order every hyped vendor with rare restocks trap’, I will likely order from LSC again, gotta get more Spunky Monkey Bread!

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. 

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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!

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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

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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. 

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

Samples:

Let’s peruse this sample menagerie, shall we?

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.