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…

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Black chamomile topped with chamomile leaves.

Cold processed soap: 4.5-5 oz. $6.00 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

I’m with the Band

Hello, dear friends, I’ve just joined a band! Let me ‘splain…as much as I’d like to announce it is a rock band, my lack of musical ability ended that dream long ago. The band I’ve joined is of a different sort~but the members are rock-stars in their own right. I’ve joined a band of bloggers. I’ve followed a few of these blogger’s sites for awhile, others are newer to me; some, I consider friends and others I’m excited to read about and get to know.
What is a Band of Bloggers? A group of harmonious bloggers who contribute to a monthly newsletter on a topic. Each member takes turns and starts the conversation, while the others respond in kind. It is the conversation that I’m looking forward to most. I hope you join me and follow the band.
 
We all here at the Band of Bloggers would like to welcome you to a brand new year. We hope it will be full of good health and much happiness, and of course a plethora of fragrance.
Let’s kick off the new year by asking what your fragrant plans are for 2017. Are you trying new vendors, going on a low-buy or no-buy, or planning on burning more candles? Do you dream of new wax blends, trying out incense or something entirely different? Are perfumes, indie bath and body or artisan body care on your list? Or do you plan on making your own home made brews?
 My adventures in vendor wax aren’t even a year-old, thus many vendors are still new to me, though I have a few favorites that I repurchase. I’m looking forward to trying newer brands this year and diversifying my blog accordingly. So far, so good. I’ve hauled and loved Wax Junkie Melts and have a Ten Digit Creations order waiting to be sifted through soon. I also have my eye on some small candle brands I’m tempted to test out. This week, I’ve been burning my winter faves so I’ll have less to pack away in February-I’ve only bought one SAS candle this year and am attempting to purge before buying more.
Every February (and July) I do a no-buy. My bank account needs a little recovery after the holiday bills, so Feb gives it some cooling off time. As much as I’d like to start a no-buy in January, I can’t resist the post-holiday deals. Sometimes, I splurge a little and buy myself an item that didn’t get crossed off my Christmas list. This year, it’s a purse. I’d like a spring-hued one, so I’m gonna have to get on the ball and find one before February.
Incense you say? I actually just found my incense burner in a drawer a short time ago and thought I’d burn it at night to relax. I still have two scents, peppermint and vanilla to use up. There’s a little shop in the Coventry section of Cleveland, City Buddha, that has tons of quality incense sticks to choose from. That would be fun to revisit sometime this year.
Indie body care is my newest foray into small business vendors. I’ve tried my first sugar scrub from The Bathing Garden, the divinely scented Ever Night, and am expecting my first Candy Panda scrub, it will be fun to compare. I’ve got a product review from the Dirty Goat waiting in the wings, too. Natural products will be on my watch list this year as alternatives to more chemically processed buys. If anyone has suggestions for a dark spot corrector or sun damage reversing miracle, my tired skin can use it.
 
 Thanks for reading, I’m excited to see what the Band of Bloggers will bring this year! And do tell us what your aromatic plans and goals for 2017 include!
We, sadly, have had a few bloggers lay down their pens. And they will be deeply missed. However, we are welcoming some new bloggers to this motley and aromatic group.
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Please visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!
If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.