August Band of Bloggers

Band of Bloggers Photo

Pop quiz, hotshot: How well do you know your favourite Band of Bloggerette? Sure, we’re all reasonably up to date on each other’s interests, hobbies and the pretty, glittery things that make our hearts go pitter pat, but when it comes to the vitally important markers of a person’s character – favourite band, desert island scent, fight stance in the zombie apocalypse – how well do we truly know our virtual neighbours? ūüôā Let’s delve into 10 deeply random questions and find out, shall we?

1. No really, zombie apocalypse survival strategy: Fight or flight?

I always enjoy the assumption that in the event of such an unlikely scenario playing out, we all instantly turn into master marksman crack shots with nothing but pure ice water running through our veins.  I think the most likely course of action, in a world in which zombies are up and lumbering about, would be to tuck myself into the very furthest corner of a closet and just quietly go insane.  Then my cat will eat me.

2. You’ve been a bad, bad kitty and you have just one final meal coming your way. What’s on your plate?

My mom will be delighted to know that just about everything on my final meal menu is one of her delicious creations. ¬†To start, bruschetta with heirloom tomatoes and lots of garlic. ¬†Bit of Romano cheese on top. ¬†Starter flute of Kir Royale. ¬†Obscenely garlicky Caesar salad, made with raw egg yolks. ¬†Spaghettini Amatraciana (tomatoes, bacon, white wine, more garlic) with a side of fried chicken. ¬†Another Kir Royale. ¬†Big slice of mom’s apple pie, maybe two. ¬†Coffee, strong, black and sugared. ¬†Goin’ out in simple, delicious style with this one.

3. Aside from wax (or nail polish, or crafting supplies, or beauty products) what item do you have major multiples of?

Life in a condominium apartment presents certain storage challenges, the main challenge being there is none.  So cleaning house, in the literal and figurative senses, has been a casual ongoing project of mine for some years now.  As such, I have very few multiples of anything.  But at one point three or so years ago, I had five nearly identical, horizontally-striped, A-line t-shirt dresses hanging in my closet.  So comfortable!  I use the pilled, stretched-out guys today as swim cover-ups.

4. You’ve just won the lottery. Before best friends you didn’t even know you had begin to show up on your doorstep, what’s the first thing you buy without even thinking twice?

That gigantic Disney vacation I’m always going on about, just with a completely blind eye to money. ¬†As in it will be no object. ¬†First class plane tickets so we don’t get tased and thrown off our flight. ¬†The best rooms in the most top-of-the-line resorts. ¬†Reservations at Club 33, Disney’s not-so-secret supper club. ¬†A night’s stay in Cinderella’s castle suite. ¬†Fifty grand to close down the Haunted Mansion for three hours so we can ride it 13 times in a row solo. ¬†And a couple of bucks to throw at Gaston after he massages my aching shoulders. ¬†Gotta put those muscles – every last inch of them covered with hair – to good use. ūüėČ

5. Biggest celebrity crush? This can be anybody – an actress, a musician, a fictional character from a favourite movie, book or television show, or maybe even an historical figure.

I tend to like ’em dirty and deranged – Edward Norton as Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, Keith Flint of The Prodigy and, most recently, Jon Hamm in Baby Driver. ¬†But at the moment, quite contrary to my usual crush type, it’s Keegan-Michael Key. ¬†I just think he’s so handsome. ¬†Great eyes, kind, open face. ¬†Very little trace of the dirtbag. ¬†I feel like Buffy dating Riley – something’s just a bit off, and it might be the absence of scuzzbucket.

6. Flats or heels? Or are you running barefoot through life like some sort of hippie?

Flats these days (especially when they’re as cute as the adorable ice cream slip-ons below.) ¬†But a decade or so ago, heels all the time, and none of this wedge platform malarkey either – bona fide stilettos, and the more impractical, the better. ¬†I have this one pair of Ralph Lauren sandals that are naught but two flimsy bands of satin wrapped around a razor thin heel. ¬†They retailed for $475 15 or so years ago, but I nabbed them at an outlet for $25! ¬†That wearing them for any longer than half an hour is akin to your feet being whipped by a thousand angry Lilliputians is besides the point – they’re devastatingly sexy (if you can walk in them, and I can) and whadda deal. ūüôā

7. Whether it was created through a customs order or simple pick-and-mix blending at home, what’s the greatest scent blend you’ve ever stumbled upon?

Based off a Rosegirls’ scent they made last year, perhaps the year before, I created a stupendous custom blend with Sniff My Tarts that was – and is, although my stores are running low – one of the best darn smelling things to ever grace my nose – Mango Sorbet, Coconut Cream Pie and Vanilla Waffle Cone. ¬†It’s tart and juicy, with hints of crispy sugar cone and unidentifiably delicious creamy things, and I still can’t get over how well my decorated sheet cake turned out, both in terms of scent and aesthetics. ¬†Lovely.

8. It’s snack time! ¬†Are you reaching for the sweet or the salty?

Salty, always salty. ¬†Preferably salty, deep fried and starch-based. ¬†And I wonder why I have a weight problem (no, actually, I don’t wonder; I think this makes it pretty clear!)

9. What’s a personal style moment you’d never care to re-live?

I think I’ve always looked darn cute, no matter the style-of-the-moment. ¬†In grade 9 I even managed to rock ankle-zip jeans and a pink Northern Reflections sweatshirt with an embroidered LOON on the front. ¬†Or maybe I just thought I was rocking it? ¬†But I went through a bit of an unfortunate punk lite period after university that suited me in sensibility, if not style. ¬†Because there was very little of the latter, just a weird affinity for armfuls of cheap, studded leather cuffs and Emily the Strange hoodies (I shouldn’t knock the hoodie; I wore my cat ear’d (and paw’d) Emily the Strange zip-up on my first date with Mr. Finger Candy.) ¬†My hair also stuck straight up (and out) in an odd, product-enabled kind of spiky faux-hawk that made me look like a mad scientist who’s been electrocuted by her own creation.

10. You are going to live in a biodome beneath the sea for the next three years and have been allotted space for just ONE book (tiny dome!)  What cherished book will keep you entertained for the next 1095 days?

Under the Dome by Stephen King.  A very on-the-nose choice, I realize, but also a favourite novel, and a gigantic beast of one, at that Рclocking in at a massive 1072 pages, it represents the best value for your bitty biodome buck.

If you’d like to play along at home, please feel free to answer these questions in the comment section below, and we hope you’ll visit these Band of Blogger blogs and help support the blogger community!

Amanda at Thrifty Polished

Deb at It’s Always Something

Jaybird at The Candle Enthusiast

Jessica at The Meltdown Blog

Julie at The Redolent Mermaid

Lauren at LoloLovesScents

Liz at Furianne

Sandra – me! – at Finger Candy

If you are a blogger and would like to join the Band of Bloggers for our monthly posts, please contact us.

Tea Time

Tea Time Main

Afternoon high tea is such a deeply civilized and indulgent custom, isn’t it? ¬†I think it’s all those gold-rimmed cups, raised pinkies and tiny, crustless sandwiches. ¬†Or maybe I just love the idea of stopping mid-day to treat yourself, mull over the events of the coming hours, days and weeks from atop a steaming mug of Earl Grey. ¬†I think we’d all be better off – humanity, that is – if we were required to take a one-hour breather every afternoon. Stranger Things’ Chief Hopper may say that mornings are for coffee and contemplation, but I think afternoons are for tea and reflection. ¬†Also crustless cucumber sandwiches with herbed cream cheese, and a couple of those tomato-and-bacon jobbies with the spicy mayo when you get a moment, thank you.

Sitting down with a bracing cuppa, however, is but one way to enjoy the elegant pleasures of tea time. ¬†There’s also plenty of tea-based bath and beauty products, scented waxes and perfumes, as well as a vast assortment of things that just look like they belong on a tiered tray. ¬†Of the latter, I have much! ¬†It really made me realize how much my taste in decorating is rooted in the flouncy tea room aesthetic – so many vintage florals, and everything’s shaped like a petit four. ¬†I also really love it when my bath and beauty items look – and smell! – like wee pastries. ¬†And so what delicious assortment of treats has recently made an appearance on my tea tray of life? ūüėČ

Tea Time Whole Tea Set

Well, for starters, tea time would be no such thing without a proper tea set, of which I somehow had none. ¬†I didn’t even have a teapot, save the deeply unattractive – but wonderfully functional – diffuser pot I use for my day-to-day tea breaks. ¬†I pulled together this beautiful little set from a stunningly gorgeous display of mix-and-match items at Marie Antoinette, a favourite decor shop in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario. ¬†If you turned me loose in there for just 10 unbidden minutes, I could bankrupt myself and probably everyone else I know. ¬†Is it cheating to say, “I’ll just take the entire store”? Because I would. ¬†Twice!

Tea Time Cups Collage

How wonderful are these sweet little cups with their tiny china spoons? ¬†I’m smitten with the not-quite-matching detailing and the vintage floral design on these pastel pretties.

Tea Time Tea Pot

The nicest surprise of all – because it was actually something I neglected to check while I was in the store – was getting this cute little teapot home and discovering that it houses a convenient built-in diffuser basket. Form and function at its prettiest!

Tea Time Bath Bombs

Another sweet find from Marie Antoinette was this tantalizing trio of mini cupcake-shaped Bath Mallows from UK outfit Bomb Cosmetics in, left to right, Cherry Pie, Lavanille and Little Bo Peep.  These tiny treats are so scrumptious (particularly Little Bo Peep, which smells like cake and candied berries) I had to hold myself back from just snatching up mad handfuls of the delicious little buggers.  Oh, that finances and storage space were of no concern!

Tea Time Wax Scrub Perfume

Speaking of mad, here’s a few items that might show up on the edge of the Hatter’s tub, a playing card-shaped wax tart and tri-layered scrub from The Bathing Garden in Tea Party with Alice, a perplexing blend of strawberries, honeyed tea and clotted cream, and a dainty rollerball perfume from Solstice Scents in Blossom Jam Tea Cakes, a beguiling blend of spring florals, almond tea cakes and sweet icing. ¬†Appropriately enough, I’ve been driven sort of mad by both of these scents, as I really don’t care for either. ¬†Or do I? Nah, I definitely don’t like them. ¬†Or maybe I do? ¬†I’m deeply undecided on both, and it’s really messing with my head. ¬†The Hatter would absolutely approve.

Tea Time Yankee Tarts

None of these wax tarts from Yankee Candle smell like tea, but they remind me of tiny fluted tea cakes nonetheless. ¬†They also look pretty fabulous stacked up so sweetly in that header photo. ūüôā

Of these five tarts, Strawberry Lemon Ice is a favourite. ¬†It smells exactly like the strawberry sauce my church would serve atop its annual Strawberry Social shortcake, juicy, sweet and tart. ¬†Cafe Al Fresco is an unexpected favourite – smooth and creamy in a way I think none of us ever expect from Yankee Candle. Honey Lavender Gelato was pretty inoffensive, and you already know my feelings on Pink Sands. ¬†Peeps had no scent whatsoever, unfortunately. ¬†It happens, particularly with Yankee’s lighter scents, and you don’t get lighter than a marshmallow Peep.

Tea Time Tray of Sweets

Finally, we have a couple of cake trays laden with tantalizingly yummy wax treats from The Bathing Garden, including (top tray left to right) Summer Melon & Mint, Guava Berry Gelato, Summer Twilight, Sweet Madi and Happy Un-Birthday and (bottom tray left to right) Bee Smitten, Sweet Madi, Cheshire Cat, Sugared Pie Crust and Mid-Summer Song. Delicious little (non-edible) treats fit for an elegantly refined – and well-earned – tea break.

Pink Sands

pink Sands Collage

What started out as a (never) simple water marble mani turned into an ode to one of my favourite home fragrances so gradually, I barely noticed when I started scrounging around my house for sand, sand, where’s the sand?! ¬†And if there is any, could it be pink? Which is completely not a thing, but if I’m already inviting sand into my home, shouldn’t I be able to dictate its hue? ¬†It IS totally reasonable to have a jar of pink sand just sitting around your house, right? ¬†Then I realized I was carrying on a hypothetical conversation with DIRT. Decorative dirt, but still. ¬†Sense and reason righted themselves shortly after. At least for a while. ¬†I never did find the sand.

Anyhow, Pink Sands, a fresh, beachy floral from Yankee Candle, is an inexplicable favourite. ¬†Yankee’s website informs me that Pink Sands is a blend of melon, berries, osmanthus (os-whatnow?), spicy vanilla, musk and woods, which sounds like absolutely nothing I should like. ¬†And yet Pink Sands stands out as one of my very favourite scents, period – it’s a lovely little palette cleanser amid my usual fragrance menu of “things covered in icing.” ¬†And in the world of custom vendor wax, Pink Sands acts as an unexpectedly versatile blender scent – I’ve had great success mixing it with juicy strawberries, crisp candy apples and salt water taffy. ¬†I also think it would pair well with the usual assortment of beachy coconuts and salty aquatics (what say you, Candle Enthusiast, resident Yankee-blending authority?)

Pink Sands

But as always, matching nails aussi, because that’s just how Finger Candy do. ¬†Also kinda the whole point of this blog, as much fun as these little sideways leaps always are. Also¬†also always, this water marble manicure was a total jerk. ¬†They know no other way, pretty, swirly bastards. ¬†And I know no other way other than having to re-do my index finger three times. ¬†Ah, but you know what they say – consistency IS key! ūüėČ

Pink Sands Mani 1

Shattered Dreams

Shattered Dreams Main Photo

Oof, these busted bath and beauty items are giving me nuthin’ but shattered dreams (shattered dreams!) – unfortunate victims of a sudden drop and a short stop, both. ūüė¶ And yes, I know being crushed all to bits impacts the functioning of this Luxury Lush Pud bath bomb and Unicorn Horn bubble bar not a whit, but for blogging purposes, I always prefer to have these things looking their finest.

But shattered or not, I can’t say really say my dreams with regard to these items were all that grand – I’ve been a bit off Lush as of late. ¬†Or perhaps I was never actually “on” Lush to begin with – I’ve never really cottoned to their scent blends or company aesthetic. Then a string of expensive, dudderiffic bath bombs kind of sealed the deal on my whole informal Lush embargo, at least until I’ve used up the few items I already have in storage.

Which is where this Luxury Lush Pud and Unicorn Horn come in – might as well use up that which is busted all to crap, as no saying I know of goes. ¬†Anyhow, my Pud wasn’t too badly damaged in its swan dive off the counter, so it performed nicely, throwing off first pastel – and then ultra vibrant – swirls of pink, turquoise and yellow bubbles.

Shattered Dreams Pud

And the Unicorn Horn, jaundiced devil that he is (there’s seriously so much yellow in that Horn), provided mounds of creamy, lavender-scented bubbles beneath which to sink. ¬†A very relaxing and daintily-hued bath, broken bits or not.

Shattered Dreams Bath Art

Sweet Carnival Treats

Circus Header with Banner

I sadly can’t remember the last time I was at a carnival or a fair or an exhibition. Probably the last time the actual Exhibition was in town, a travelling carnival (complete with jerky carnies of questionable sobriety) that made the Canadian rounds every summer until I was well into my 20s. ¬†I loved going to the Ex so much; would actually go multiple times over its two-week run with my parents or my friends – ’twas no better place to people-watch, boy-hunt and play out your very dramatic teenage life than the dusty, sweaty and dirty Exhibition.

When I close my eyes, I can still see the flashing neon lights of the Zipper and the Pirate Ship and the godforsaken Tilt-a-Whirl bathing Lansdowne Park with their jaunty artificial glow. ¬†I can smell back bacon on a bun, perogies, miniature powdered donuts and candy apples. ¬†I can picture the trashcan beside the Himalaya where I nearly threw up in front of a boy I liked very much after we challenged each other to what was in retrospect an ill-advised pre-Himalaya milk-chugging competition (nobody won that day.) ¬†These memories are so potent, I can almost hear local punk act Furnaceface (opening for¬†Bryan Adams, yo) drifting (probably more like blaring) over the long-since-gentrified Lansdowne Park stands (it’s actually still a football stadium, now home to the Ottawa Redblacks, but these days it’s surrounded by far more genteel – and infinitely more boring – fare (Whole Foods, a splashy movie theatre and some chain restaurants that won’t be there in two years’ time.) ¬†*Sigh*…might as well just give in to the Grumpy Old Lady within and admit that I miss the Exhibition of my youth. It was dirty, but it was¬†our¬†dirt (to paraphrase The Goonies, “It’s our grime! ¬†It’s our grime down here!”)

Okay, time to step off the nostalgia bus and focus on the real task at hand here, eyeing-up this fun assortment of carnival-themed wax, snacks and bath and beauty items. ¬†As always when putting together one of these themed posts, I’m amazed at the sheer number and variety of items I was able to pull together from just ’round the apartment. Why do I own so much circus and carnival-themed stuff when I haven’t been to either in over a decade? ¬†Who the heck knows! ¬†But it’s fun and pretty, and I had a blast putting together this little still life photo shoot. ¬†MUCH easier working with cotton candy and sugar scrubs than trying to stuff babies dressed like begonias into flower pots, trust. ūüėČ

Circus Lights Photo 1

First, a bit of carnival-themed wax, including clamshells in The Bathing Garden‘s unexpectedly delightful¬†Clowning Around and¬†Poppet’s Coaster Ride, and in the little cup, a few thematically-appropriate scents, Rosegirls‘¬†Cotton Candy Frosting and Waffle Cone and The Bathing Garden’s¬†Tunnel of Love.

Both Clowning Around and Poppet’s Coaster Ride were favourites from an order I placed with The Bathing Garden earlier this year, and unexpected ones at that, on account of the popcorn note in Clowning Around and the lemon note in Poppet’s Coaster Ride – the latter tends to give me headaches and the former is nearly always totally yucky. ¬†But the popcorn note in Clowning Around is completely inoffensive, adding a pleasant, almost grassy tinge to its tri-layered blend of sweet cotton candy, even sweeter candy apples and fragrant kettle corn. ¬†And wonder of wonders, the lemon note in Poppet’s Coaster Ride, a dee-licious combination of raspberry cake bites, peach jam and luscious lemon curd, did not give me a headache! ¬†Praise the fragrance gods! ¬†And so I snapped up one of each scent in both the wax and scrub formats. ¬†The sugar scrubs are loooonnnnng gone, having fulfilled their intended purpose in life, but they were too pretty to not share alongside these shots of their stupendously gorgeous clamshell companions.

Circus TBG Wax and Scrub Collage

By now you will have noticed that as ringmistress of this particular blogging circus, I’m focusing on the more pleasantly-scented side of the carnival circuit. ¬†As in the cotton candy and the frozen custard and the caramel apples, and not so much the sweat and the outhouse and the chip grease (and the dust and the pig-on-a-bun and the cheap body spray.) ¬†If that’s your thing, though, Demeter probably has a scent for you!

Circus Lights Photo 2

And if you’ll now direct your attention to the centre ring, ladies and gentlemen, you’ll find a fun assortment of carnival-themed bath and body care, including¬†a festive fragrance from Solstice Scents (Foxcroft Fairgrounds, a beguiling blend of cotton candy, taffy, funnel cakes, crisp Fall air and wood smoke), a candy floss-scented bath bomb from The Goat Milk Soap Store, an¬†Experimenter bath bomb from Lush, and a bottle of one of my favourite indie nail polishes, Candy Lacquer‘s¬†Carnival Games.

Okay, okay, so with its funky old man smell, I’ll concede that The Experimenter is not exactly carnival-inspired. ¬†At least no carnival I ever wish to attend! ¬†But the mad burst of rainbow-hued bubbles it gives off reminds me of the garish, ultra vibrant neon lights of the attractions blinking feverishly in the sultry summer nights.

Circus Experimenter Bath Bomb Photo

And Carnival Games is the gold standard in mega chunky glitter bombs, a bonkers assortment of every shape possible in every colour imaginable. ¬†Bright and whimsical, just like its namesake (though definitely not rigged, and certainly not a waste of money.) ūüėČ

CG Bottle

Finally, we have a mixed bag of carnival-inspired goodies from The Bathing Garden – a bundt-shaped wax tart in Nights at the Circus, a scrumptious pumpkin-apple blend, lotion in¬†Candy Carousel, another “scents of the midway” fragrance, whipped soap in¬†Fried Candy Donut, a favourite of Mr. Finger Candy, dipped candy apple-shaped wax tarts in¬†Victorian Midway (left) and¬†Vintage Circus¬†(right), two blends based off one of my mother’s favourite fragrances, Bath and Body Works’ Winter Candy Apple, another long-since-used sugar scrub in Fried Candy Donut, and a tiny, perfectly-shaped donut wax tart in – once more, with feeling! – Fried Candy Donut.

Circus Lights Photo 3

And with that, dear audience, it’s time to draw this carnival to a close – dismantle the Zipper, pack away the flammable prizes, turn off the cotton candy…blowers? ¬†Sure, we’ll go with blowers. ¬†See you out there in the circus of life, friends. ūüôā

Summer Solstice Scents

Summer Solstice Main

While the rest of North America swelters under a record-breaking heatwave (no climate change to see here, nosiree!) here in Ontario it’s pretty much summer business as usual. That means it rains a lot, especially on important milestone holidays (can’t wait to see the hurricane that will accompany Canada’s upcoming 150th) alternating with periods of crap heat and brutal humidity. ¬†It’s absolutely nothing compared to the conditions that Phoenix is experiencing today, but then again, what is?

So I feel quite fortunate that the heat and humidity in my neck of the global woods is not so oppressive that I can’t enjoy this recently-acquired quartet of Solstice Scents fragrances – and on the Summer Solstice, no less. ūüėČ ¬†No finer time to delightfully delve into a handful of beautiful bakeries, fine florals and one apple-jacked pick for Fall.

As it was with my first Solstice order, I had zero issues with this purchase Рit was remarkable only in its unremarkableness.  Oh!  Except that Solstice quite generously refunded nearly $9.00 in shipping overages, a lovely little treat I discovered only after noticing that a refund had gone through my account; I had had no idea one was coming to me in the first place.  It would have been pretty easy for Solstice to not inform me of a potential refund or to simply not issue one at all.  But they did, and in the most low-key, efficient and friendliest manner possible.  Customer for life with that kind of service, really.

Also?  This is a nice little personalized thank-you, and beside it, a thoughtful compendium of perfume-sampling tips (such as the important reminder to let your perfume sit a bit before passing final judgement; like a great stew or a fantastic soup, perfumes need a bit of time to settle and develop after bottling and shipping.)

Summer Solstice Cards

I picked up four 5 ml perfume oils this time around, with each blue cobalt rollerball retailing for $15.00 US.

Summer Solstice Main Up Close

And while my heart truly belongs to that most cherished of peppermint-vanillas, Snowmint Mallow, I think I can find a little room in there for these lovely and light summer scents, and that one autumnal outlier.

Summer Solstice Collage

Starting with the Fall favourite, Corvin’s Apple Fest is a scent I chose so I could layer it with another Solstice fragrance I own, Vanilla Pipe Tobacco. ¬†By itself, Vanilla Pipe Tobacco is a sweet and sticky herbal fragrance – heady, like steamy night air rising from a sun-warmed cornfield. ¬†I bought it because my grandfather smoked a pipe, and he always smelled a bit like the pouches of pipe tobacco he kept rolled up in the pockets of his Arnold Palmers. ¬†Being a farmer, he also often smelled like sweet corn.

But my grandfather smoked highly aromatic cherry tobacco, and what Vanilla Pipe Tobacco was missing was the tart and tangy element only a touch of fruit could provide. So I picked up Corvin’s Apple Fest with the hopes that it would be lovely both on its own and as a blender, and indeed, it’s both of those things. ¬†This is a really beautiful apple fragrance – fresh and sweet and juicy, with the barest hint of something tarty, cobbler-y or crisp-y. ¬†A great season-jumping addition to my fragrance collection.

Corvin's Apple Fest

An unexpected favourite was Lemon Ginger Creams, a tart and tangy hit of lightly-spiced citrus. ¬†This smells exactly like a lemon-glazed gingersnap, if there is such a thing, and if there isn’t, there should be one now! Like, right here with me right now, on a plate, waiting to be eaten.

Lemon Ginger Creams

A more traditional pick for my scent palette was Chantilly Cream, a sumptuous blend of fuzzy peaches, juicy mandarins, lightly-spiced vanilla and whipped cream. ¬†This is a gorgeous gourmand fragrance that effortlessly tows the line between lip-smacking dessert and sweet scent, a lovely choice for those not spun by anything with “cake” in its title. ¬†Ooh, I love this fragrance – soft and mild and sweet, perfect for those sultry summer evenings.

Chantilly Cream

And finally – as according to the tenants of Beauty Retail Law, there must be at least one per order – we come to the fragrance I am the least jazzed about, Blossom Jam Tea Cakes. ¬†Oh, how I wanted to love this scent! ¬†It was the first one into my basket, and I also seriously debated picking up a burnishing glace in the same fragrance. ¬†But as always, I’m glad I ultimately held off, as there’s just a¬†little something here in this lilac-tinged, lemon tea-and-cake blend that, to my nose, errs awfully close to something approaching powdery baby wipes.

Oddly, though, I don’t dislike this scent. ¬†In fact, I find myself returning to my wrists to sniff it time and time again, marveling with each pull at the ever-changing kaleidoscope of fruity, floral and barely bakery notes. ¬†It’s kind of delicious, and in hindsight, I might sort of love it. ¬†I clearly have some conflicted feelings on the subject of this perfume.

But given that I’m so deeply undecided on Blossom Jam Tea Cakes, I’m going to take Solstice’s fragrance-testing advice and tuck it away for a bit, see how its scent develops in a few months’ time. ¬†Provided I don’t, you know, drain the bottle this summer taking undecided whiffs off my wrists (reminder to self: don’t do this in public, it’s weird!)

Blossom Jam Tea Cakes

Once again, just a beautiful, beautiful order from Solstice Scents. ¬†It wasn’t my first and it shan’t be my last. Shan’t! ¬†I’m just so impressed with their scent offerings and presentation, and their customer service is second to none. ¬†A very happy – and deliciously-scented – camper, indeed.

The Secret Bathing Garden: A Haul Post

TBG Main Photo

Or not-so-secret, as here it is, in all its deliciously-scented glory. ūüôā

So it would appear that my previous protestations that I am not a beauty product person were weak efforts made in total vain, because you guys, look at all the pretty beauty products!  I bought so much!  Not one demonstrable ounce of willpower on display, not a one.  Birthday mad money very well spent.

This is the part where I’m supposed to scold myself for glorifying capitalism and mindless retail expenditures. Except it wasn’t mindless! ¬†For that you’ll have to check out this fun story of the time I narcotics-shopped my way into a $200 bounty of shimmery unicorn makeup. ūüėČ

But regardless of where you stand on the “My, that was a silly purchase” spectrum, I think we can all agree that these Bathing Garden items, a lovely treat facilitated by one of my sweet online friends, are absolutely beautiful and well-deserving of a SHOWING OF THE STUFF. ¬†So let’s show it!

TBG Scrubs Collage

First up, we have four lovely sugar scrubs in, from left to right, Sugared Pie Crust, Tea Party with Alice, Fried Candy Donut and Parisian Strawberry Fields. ¬†Shannon, the mistress of all things Bathing Garden, makes the most gorgeous scrubs – they’re finely textured, beautifully scented and not too oily, perfect for everyday use. ¬†I tore through the two scrubs I purchased some months ago with great haste – not too surprising given that I used them (and continue to use them) to buff my tired tootsies every day as a nice little post-workout treat. ¬†I’m really the sweetest smelling, most well-exfoliated lass in the land. ūüôā ¬†These 8 oz. scrubs were $9.00 US each.

TBG Pie Time

Next up, I spy with my little eye something that is…pie! ¬†Regrettably non-edible, but that may be a blessing in disguise when you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating plan, and also when the items in question smell as delicious as this bundle of Sugared Pie Crust sweets. ¬†Not to get all rapturous on you or anything, but these items – the sugar scrub we saw before, a light lotion, a wax clamshell and that adorable little lattice-topped pie slice – smell like sex on stilts. ¬†Sugared Pie Crust, you incredible bakery beast, where have you been all my life?!

Here’s the part where I killjoy all over your piqued interest by noting that this scent is no longer available. Offered as part of The Bathing Garden’s monthly featured scent bundle, Sugared Pie Crust was a bit of a one-and-done (or a one-and-done…for now; these popular scents tend to make annual reappearances.) ¬†The items in each bundle vary slightly from month to month (May’s featured the most adorable little popsicle-shaped wax tarts and a lush whipped soap) but this particular assortment of goodies retailed for $18.50.

TBG Tea Collage

Then following pie time comes tea time – a playing card-shaped wax tart and a tri-layered sugar scrub in Tea Party with Alice, a honeyed tea, clotted cream and strawberry jam fragrance. ¬†Both items are beautiful (even the scrub, with its sadly melted rosebud embellishment) but I’m quite undecided on the scent. ¬†To my nose, the honeyed cream and tea layers combine to create something unpleasantly sour and astringent – it’s an odd combination somewhat redeemed by the rich strawberry jam scent. ¬†The sugar scrub, which we saw above with its yummy sisters, was $9.00, and the gorgeous tri-layered tart, sprinkled with beautiful eye-catching embellishments, was $3.00.

And since no Bathing Garden order would be complete without at least a few clamshells, I picked up some of those. ¬†Plus, you know, nine or 10 others. ūüėČ ¬†These clamshells were $3.75 each.

TBG Clamshells 1 LabelBare Collage

Representing Team Brown, we have Fried Candy Donut, a favourite wildberry donut scent, Eat Me, a complex, beguiling blend of what I swear is chocolate and wood shavings, and that glorious Sugared Pie Crust fragrance, on whose many delicious-smelling qualities I have already expounded.

TBG Clamshells 2 LabelBare Collage

From the recently-retired Spring Collection, we have Sweet Green, a bracingly strong blend of mint, clover and other grassy things, Pomegranate Lime Sweet Tarte, a delightfully yummy fragrance that smells exactly like all four of those descriptors, and Spring Fling, a mild blend of citrus and cupcakes.

TBG Clamshells 3 LabelBare Collage

Next, we have three delicious new favourites, Cheshire Cat, a fun and fruity combination of lemon, raspberry and vanilla, Happy Un-Birthday, a not-so-basic blend of yellow cake topped with mounds of cotton candy icing, and Parisian Strawberry Fields, a super fresh and sweet-tart blend of strawberries and mangoes. Fantastic, all!

TBG Clamshells 4 LabelBare Collage

Finally, we have my three favourite clamshells of this order, both in terms of fragrance and aesthetics,¬†Clowning Around, an I-shouldn’t-like-this blend of popcorn, candy apples and cotton candy,¬†Knave of Hearts, a candy sweet blend of fresh strawberries and brown sugar coconut cake, and¬†Caterpillar Mischief, a sweet and creamy combination of mild coconut cream and apricot. Mushroom-induced fissure notwithstanding, just look at this gorgeous tart! ¬†It’s stupendously beautiful, even a tiny wee bit roughed-up. Tiny wax works of art.

Caterpillar Mischief

Finally-finally, we come to my favourite part of any Bathing Garden order, the free samples and fun little extras. ¬†I suspect I am not alone in my outright awe of Shannon’s generosity, which is second to none – at least one full size item of her choice comes with any order over $90.00, and that’s in addition to the many, many, many sample size items that routinely come with each order as delightful little enablers. ūüėČ

As this order was a little bit mine and a little bit my friend’s, we split the freebies roughly 50/50. ¬†There were, however, a number of scents that simply didn’t speak to me – that happens when 3/4 of the scents you like have the word “cookie” somewhere in their name. ¬†So I left those in the possession of my friend, who I¬†know will sniff and suss out their hidden depths and glories far better than I. ¬†So this bounty, which includes one of the full size sugar scrubs we saw before, represents just my half of the extras, and then just a fraction of those (wow, seriously, so many unintentional fractions in that last paragraph!)

TBG Freebies

Generously-provided freebies, clockwise from left to right, include a full size sugar scrub in¬†Parisian Strawberry Fields, a small tri-layered bundt in Cheshire Cat,¬†a sample size sugar scrub in¬†Knave of Hearts (ooh, this one is so delicious in a scrub, and that red velvet hue is to die for!), a small blue and purple bundt in Summer Twilight, a calming berry-lavender blend, a small green rosette in Summer Melon and Mint, a nose-tinglingly yummy combination of watery melons and mint, a large yellow coin in Bee Smitten, a light, honeyed floral, a small yellow rosette in¬†Happy Un-Birthday, a small pink star in¬†Guava Berry Gelato, a popular blend of creamy vanillas and sweet berries, a large pink coin in¬†Sweet Madi, which regrettably smells a bit like plastic disposable diapers (which is pretty rank, but I suppose you can’t win ’em all) and a small blue rosette in¬†Mid-Summer Song, which smells like a memory from my past that I can’t quite put my finger on right now, but which will undoubtedly come to me in the dead of night or some other thoroughly inconvenient moment.

So there we have it, another lovely Bathing Garden order that more than tickles my fancy – it also exfoliates, moisturizes and leaves my fancy smelling just divine, thank you! Secret no more. ūüėČ