Do You Suppose This is His Way of Telling Me I Smell?

Demeter Birthday Pic

Simply curious, as my husband gifted me with a metric butt ton (actual measurement, “butt ton”) of delicious Demeter fragrances for my birthday, and you just don’t do that unless a) someone really stinks (“This smells so great! ¬†Wear all of it at once, immediately”) or b) you know your spouse really well, as mine did when he correctly surmised that I’d love to receive such a bounty of beautiful birthday blends (also an affection for alliteration.) ūüėČ

So what terrifically odd combination of fragrances did my husband put together for his beloved on her 40th? Let’s take a peek, shall we?

Starting with the header photo, this apparently represents my birthday breakfast, a thing I actually didn’t have because I was fasting in anticipation of a blow-out Italian dinner later that evening. ¬†But the thinking here is that I’d wake up and snarf down a plate of birthday cake-flavoured cinnamon toast topped with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup. With a tomato on the side (which I wholly approve of; all that sugar needs a bit of tart and fresh to balance it out.)

Speaking from a dietary perspective, that’s kind of horrifying! ¬†But these fragrances are not – lovely single scents, all. ¬†I particularly like Cinnamon Toast, which smells like cinnamon hearts, and, super surprisingly, Tomato, which on initial application smells exactly like a ripe, sun-warmed tomato. ¬†It’s a unique smell that conjures up nice memories of my grandfather futzing over his heavily laden tomato plants out in the garden.

Demeter Zombie Collage

Next up we have the zombie fragrances, which, upon spritzing and sniffing, we decided I will never, ever wear because they smell like dirt and rot and probably skunk pheromones. ¬†I love the theming behind these Zombie for Him, Her and Dog fragrances (what, the cats just fend for themselves?) but wowza, do they stink. ¬†I suspect that Demeter’s Dirt fragrance, an otherwise pretty acceptable fresh earth kind of scent, is the base for all three of these colognes, with hits of dead flowers (for Her), decaying leaves (for Him) and something that’s erring awfully close to urine (for the Dog.) ¬†I adore them, they are so weird, but these will probably remain collectibles only. ¬†Also, you will pry my Snowmint Mallow from my cold, dead, zombiefied hands before I trade it in for something more apocalypse-appropriate.

Demeter Kitten Fur Pic

Leaving the best for last, we have my cat Weegie looking disillusioned (so basically a day ending in Y) beside a bottle of Kitten Fur! ¬†Which smells a bit like very mild laundry detergent. ¬†I don’t think Weegie’s tummy fur smells like soap (you get the best, most accurate results – also probably hissed and swatted at – by sniffing a cat’s tummy) but I suppose if any creature in this house is going to smell like laundry, it’s going to be the one that spends 22 hours a day lounging around on freshly washed linens.

All in all, a lovely, thoughtful gift full of fun surprises and some very unique finds. ¬†Well done, sweetie. ūüôā

Spring Scents: Another Rosegirls Haul

Rosegirls Haulage

This much-anticipated order showed up on my doorstep at pretty much the exact moment I succumbed to a (now) week-long bout of illness that has robbed me of both my sense of taste and smell, so I can’t say it’s made much of an impression on me beyond, “Hey, look at this stuff that arrived.” ¬†Lots of stating-of-the-obvious when I’m not feeling well.

But for those still curious as to my fever-induced thoughts on these Rosegirls goodies, here they are!

RG Spring Collage

In the adorable little two-pack muffin shapes¬†($7.00 US), I chose Rosegirls Garden, Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Bean Noel, a blend created by my friend Julie of The Redolent Mermaid during one of Rosegirls’ last rounds of custom orders. ¬†This was a real wildcard pick for me because I don’t generally care for floral scents, particularly rose scents, but I adore Rosegirls’ Raspberry Sauce, a super tart berry that overpowers just about everything it touches, and I’m warming up on the subject of Bath & Body Works’ ubiquitous Vanilla Bean Noel. And surprisingly, I really like this blend! ¬†I especially like the way each of the three notes is present in equal measure, despite my belief that the Raspberry Sauce would blight any (not-the-least-bit) icky rose notes from the face of the earth. ¬†It reminds me of a delicate, rosewater-infused pastry from a Middle Eastern bakery. Very nice, Julie!

Rosegirls Garden Raspberry Sauce Vanilla Bean Noel

The other scent I chose in the muffins was Cookie Dough, Waffle Cone and Wackadoodle (oh, those names) which smells exactly like the air in an ice cream shop – all warm sugars and unidentifiably delightful cookie smells. ¬†It’s so delicious, I want to eat it (always a sure sign that it¬†smells great, no?)

Cookie Dough Wackadoodle

There were a number of scents offered this go-round in half pies, but none really spoke to me, and so I satisfied myself with these smaller chunk bags instead ($10.50 for roughly 11 oz. of wax.)

Starting off with one of my favourite Rosegirls scents, I nabbed two bags of Hotline Bling, a gorgeous, parrot-hued blend of Watermelon Slush, Raspberry Sauce, Lemon Biscotti and Cotton Candy Frosting. ¬†Sounds like a godawful mess, smells like a fruity dream! This is about as close to a punchy scent as I like to get (seeing as actual punchy scents – anything that could be described as “drink,” really – give me terrible headaches.)

Hotline Bling

Another favourite from this order is Cotton Candy Frosting Smoothie, a simple, comforting blend of Cotton Candy Frosting and Marshmallow Smoothie.  Pillowy, creamy dreamy cotton candy Рsounds delicious, smells even better.

Cotton Candy Frosting Smoothie

Finally, we have the dud, because there has to be one in every order. ¬†It’s Newton’s First Law of Wax. ¬†The misfire would be Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows, an ambitious blend of Strawberry Raspberry Guava, Mango Sorbet and Lollipops. ¬†Being a sucker for all things Mango Sorbet, I added this guy to my cart, forgetting that that lollipop note shares quite a lot in common with the headache-inducing punch note I spoke about before. ¬†As it’s the most prominent note in this blend, I’ll be taking a pass. ¬†Eh, you can’t win ’em all, even if you win most of ’em. ūüėČ

Sunshine Rainbow and Lollipops

New Scents From MooScents

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MooScents, wax offshoot of indie bath and beauty maker¬†MoonaLisa, has been creating a bit of a stir among some of my blogger friends lately, enough that I thought I should perhaps check out their waxy wares for myself. ¬†And so that’s precisely what I did, checking out a loaded virtual cart stuffed with delicious-sounding goodies when MooScents opened for orders in mid-March.

Bearing a small, yet comprehensive, scent list and a relatively quiet online presence, MooScents doesn’t seem to inspire the same kind of slavish devotion in its fans as some of the other indie wax makers. This means you can actually roll up to their site any old time you’d like, place an order without worrying about everything immediately running out of stock, and then have the beautifully wrapped package in your hot little (international) hands about two weeks later. I suspect that may change, though, as more and more wax lovers come to familiarize themselves with MooScents’ lovely products. ¬†For now, though, it feels like a fun little discovery that’s mine, all mine (and one or two chosen friends.) ūüėČ

But before we get to the really good (smelly) stuff, first some administrative details. Problems? ¬†I got 99 of ’em, but MooScents ain’t one! This truly was one of the most efficient, friendly and easy online retail experiences I’ve ever had. ¬†It was completely unremarkable, actually, save the fact that MooScents (through the e-commerce platform Shopify, which is based out of my hometown) followed up with a confirmation e-mail, my receipt and a thank you note within about 45 seconds of placing my order. ¬†Turnaround time was a very decent three days, with the entire transaction (from Moo to you, if you will, or I guess from Moo to me) taking just 10 days. ¬†That is quite impressive when you’re talking international shipping (which was a little over $14 for seven tarts.)

MooScents 1

My package was also exquisitely wrapped. ¬†It sounds silly to get all rapturous about packing materials, but savaged parcels are the bane of any online shopper’s existence. ¬†Nobody wants to take possession of a box that looks like it’s been mauled by a pack of terriers. ¬†But my MooScents order saw no terriers, arriving in pristine condition, the little clamshells securely nestled among layers of tissue paper, bubble wrap and a smattering of whimsical decorative glitter. ¬†Each clamshell was also wrapped in its own small plastic bag, a wonderful, “Why hasn’t someone thought of this before?” touch that kept the saturated fragrances from intermingling while en route. ¬†This was the first wax package I’ve ever opened that hasn’t immediately assaulted my nose with the mingled fragrance of nine different Lush dupe scent blends. And whether it’s an intentional move or not, I think it’s a deeply considerate one, taking into account a customer’s neighbours AND postal carrier, both of whom bear the headache-inducing brunt of poorly-wrapped wax parcels. ¬†Very nice.

MooScents Bagged LavenderShortbread

The price point on these clamshells, $5.49 for 3.25 ounces, is on the higher end of the spectrum, a small nit to pick when the other details are so luxurious – a gorgeously textured soy/beeswax wax blend, strong, true fragrances and pretty, eye-catching branding and graphic design. ¬†I will absolutely be back for a second order. But first let’s take a look at my, um, first!

Starting off with my favourite, we have Lavender Shortbread, a scrumptious springtime blend of buttery shortbread generously sprinkled with steely lavender buds.  A luscious gourmand treat with no trace of artifice Рlove it!

MooScents LavenderShortbread

Next we have Blueberry Black Tea, a wicked strong blend of black tea and juicy blueberries. ¬†I don’t get a lot of the blueberry note on cold, such is the nearly overwhelming power of the astringent tea, but we’ll see how she performs once warmed. ¬†This is another true-to-life scent; it smells exactly like a freshly brewed pot of tea.

MooScents BlueberryTea

For my husband, who loves caffeine in all its varied forms, here’s Mocha Marshmallow Fluff, a delicious coffee shop blend of creamy marshmallow fluff, rich, dark chocolate and sweet, life-sustaining coffee. ¬†This is another hella strong, super realistic scent, with the sharpness of the chocolate and the tanginess of the coffee softened by mounds of creamy, dreamy marshmallow fluff. ¬†Mr. Finger Candy approves.

MooScents MochaMarshFluff

At the halfway mark we have an unexpected favourite, The Rumpkin, another gourmand blend of sweet-and-spicy lavender and pumpkin (scents that are supposedly male aphrodisiacs, no?) ¬†There’s something vaguely soap-ish (but not soapy) about this intriguing scent, with its delicious, spicy-sweet herbal notes. ¬†I love the colour of the wax – exactly the sort of pale, mauve-y coral you’d get if you mixed pumpkin and lavender – and I adore The Rumpkin’s label. ¬†Think I’m going to tuck this guy away until Halloween, where it will join…absolutely nothing else, because I have no other Halloween-themed wax!

MooScents TheRumpkin

Next up we have another contender for order MVP, Mango Lime Smoothie, a lush blend of succulent mangoes and zesty limes, splashed with just a hint of coconut rum.  This scent is not as in-your-face as most mango fragrances, but I like its tropical softness very much Рanother nicely realistic blend.

MooScents MangoLimeSmoothie

Second from last we have another fine chocolate fragrance, this time Chocolate Dipped Shortbread.  Featuring the same beautifully buttery cookie note as the Lavender Shortbread, the chocolate in this sublimely delicious blend is rich and smooth and not the least bit Tootsie Roll-ish.  A chocolate fragrance for chocolate haters.

MooScents ChocoShortbread

Finally, we have Strawberry Sugar Shortcake, a super girly blend of sweet strawberries, fluffy whipped cream and flaky biscuits. ¬†This is probably my least favourite scent; to my nose, it smells quite artificial. ¬†I have noticed that I’m quite off strawberry scents lately; I don’t really seem to care for them from any vendor. ¬†Love to eat the delectable little buggers, but I’m really not much for the fragrance any more, or the artificial interpretation thereof.

MooScents StrawSugarShortcake

So there we have it, order one from a terrific, new-ish vendor that deserves every bit of praise it receives for having its act together. ¬†So many online businesses don’t, or they excel in one area while majorly bombing in another; MooScents doesn’t suffer from this problem, getting it right straight out the gates on both the product and customer service fronts. ¬†I look forward to seeing what other delicious scents they come up with in the future, as I’ll definitely be back.

Metamorphosis: A Mini Lush Review

Metamorphosis Collage

This bath bomb totally looks like the Death Star, right? ¬†Actually, wait, before any big time Star Wars fans start nerding at me about the placement of the exhaust port amidst all of those little concave notches, I’ll amend my statement to say this bath bomb totally looks like Spaceship Earth, right?! ¬†For those who don’t speak Disney-ese, that’s the name of the attraction that resides within the giant geodesic dome at the front gates of Epcot. The ride is basically a journey through the history of human communications – a very, very slow journey. ¬†It also features some of the most disturbingly lifelike – and just plain disturbing – animatronics in any Disney park (and there really are so very many to choose from.) ¬†But it’s essentially 20 minutes of darkened, seated, gently moving air conditioning, which means there will always be a place for it in Florida.

Anyhow, with its little speckled dimples, I think this Metamorphosis bath bomb from Lush looks like Spaceship Earth. ¬†The ride is sometimes affectionately referred to as The Big Ball of Boring, which is also apt when describing this bath bomb – cool outward appearances aside, this one didn’t have much zing. ¬†Again. This is kind of becoming a trend with my bath bombs, and a highly regrettable one at that – I don’t like it when the insides don’t match up with the super cool outsides.

Metamorphosis Pic

While I didn’t love the scent of Metamorphosis, fans of the Lord of Misrule line (a black pepper, vanilla and patchouli fragrance) will find its spicy scent quite pleasant. ¬†And while I also didn’t love that this bath bomb puttered out in a little under a minute – again – I did appreciate the deeply unusual colour combination, an odd assortment of charcoal grey, mustard yellow, baby pink and, right at the very end, a tiny puff of grass green.

At the moment the Metamorphosis bath bomb is an online-only purchase.  It retails for $8.95 Canadian.

Customs Crazy: A Sniff My Tarts Custom Wax Haul

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Apart from nabbing items from one or two nearly-impossible-to-get-your-hands-on indie brands, the holy grail of the wax world is landing on your favourite vendor’s customs list. ¬†Getting a chance to play amateur candle maker is always so much fun, while providing a great opportunity to indulge in the creative side of the process. ¬†Plus, who doesn’t like saying, “Yeah, that amazing smelling thing? ¬†My idea.” ¬†With all humility, of course!

But as you can imagine, creating thousands of custom wax creations for hundreds of customers can be a rather daunting task, and so these kinds of openings don’t happen very often. ¬†So when a vendor does open for custom orders, you jump on it, because who knows when and if it will ever happen again.

Which is the reasoning that led me to place a customs order with Sniff My Tarts, an entirely new-to-me vendor popular with some wise blogger friends. ¬†Sniff My Tarts actually operates on a mostly-customs model, opening up just a couple of times a year for orders before closing down to then fulfill those orders. ¬†In between, they offer up the occasional sampler or mystery box, and they’ve somewhat recently begun offering ready-to-ship items on their website from the customs over-pours.

I placed my order within five minutes of opening on December 1st, 2016.  The specific time is actually somewhat important, as placement on the production list is determined on a first come, first serve basis.  So if you got your order in quickly, it would be made and you would receive it well before the person who placed their order after, say, 45 minutes (who may receive theirs months later; further impetus to order fast, order early.)

Unless of course your order is being shipped internationally, in which case, get ready for it to take a three-week odyssey through the (Canadian) postal system, landing on your doorstep, cold and a little bit damaged, nearly three months after you placed it. ¬†And that’s despite being quite high up the customs list. ¬†And paying an absolutely ridiculous sum in shipping that I will not disclose to you, because if I did, you’d correctly assume I was a complete fool. ¬†All I’ll say about that is if you’re an international customer (and this applies to any product, not just scented wax) pay very close attention to the shipping details. ¬†As always, that’s where you’ll find the devil, and man, oh man, does he like his postal tariffs.

Anyhow, I really jumped in the deep end on this one, friends, and I’m pleased to report that for the most part, outrageous shipping shenanigans notwithstanding (and I’ll take most of the blame on that one for not seeking clarification on the exact details) my first customs order with Sniff My Tarts was a deliciously-scented leap worth making. ¬†Let’s take a closer look at some of my creations.

smt-mango-coconut-waffle-cone-custom-collage

Starting off with the big guns, this is a decorated sheet cake in Mango Sorbet, Vanilla Waffle Cone and Coconut Cream Pie. ¬†Apart from being just absolutely gorgeous (how am I supposed to ever cut into that adorable little glazed cone?) this cake smells incredible – as good as I had hoped (and I had pretty high hopes) or¬†maybe even better. ¬†I’d purchase this exact blend again in a heartbeat. ¬†It actually smells just like the inside of a Baskin Robbins ice cream shop, all tart, fruity creams and sugary waffle cones. ¬†Yummy!

smt-strawberry-mango-twinkie-custom-collage

The second of my decorated sheet cakes, a blend of Mango, Fresh Strawberry and Twinkies, is equally beautiful, but less successful in terms of execution. ¬†My choice of Mango here, as opposed to Mango Sorbet, lends a floral note to the already quite flowery Fresh Strawberry, which is then amplified by the powdery Twinkies. ¬†A real shame of a misfire, as this cake is so pretty and I now have so much of it (each cake is about one pound, eight ounces.) ¬†But it regrettably smells like cheap little girl perfume – Strawberry Love’s Baby Soft?

smt-large-cookie-collage

The smallest blending option available were these large frosted cookies. ¬†Each cookie weighs between four and four and a half ounces and spans my palm. ¬†Available with the same number of blending options as the cakes (up to three), these substantial cookies are a popular choice if you’re looking to try out some unconventional blends on a smaller scale than the large pies and cakes on offer. ¬†Let’s take a closer look at these adorable blended cookies, which also happen to smell pretty darn terrific.

smt-large-cookies

Starting with the top row and going from left to right, we have Blueberry Grunt Cake and Vanilla Marshmallow Smoothie (purple), a sweet and juicy confection that smells exactly like Strawberry Shortcake’s buddy, Blueberry Muffin. ¬†I’ve only heard great things about Sniff My Tart’s blueberry, and this little cookie bears out the praise. ¬†Incredibly delicious.

Next up is Pink Sands and Salt Water Taffy (pink), a soft, beachy floral roughened up with salty, rip-out-your-fillings taffy.  A pretty scent totally unlike my usual.

After that we have Danish Butter Cookie, Creme Brulee and Vanilla Butter Fudge (yellow), or as I like to call it, “Diabetes in a Wax Melt.” ¬†So this one sounds a bit repulsive – I even thought as much myself when creating it for Mr. Finger Candy, who likes his scents far more cloying than I – but in reality, it’s a comforting delight of creamy vanilla bakery, sweet and buttery without being butter-oid. ¬†A splendid blend.

Moving down a row, we have Pomegranate, Mango Sorbet and Celtic Moon Spice (brown), a sweet and slightly spicy blend that has me going back and forth on the “I Love It/I Hate It”-o-meter. ¬†I was attempting to recreate a favourite cocktail with this one, forgetting that the drink itself contains a hefty dose of super sour raspberry to balance out all the SWEET! ¬†As blended, I think this cookie is not quite tart enough, with a powdered sugar kind of lean to it that just doesn’t agree with my nose. ¬†Thankfully, I think I have a way of literally tarting this up a bit, so all is not lost with this conflicting blend.

Finally, we come to Sweet Lavender Marshmallow Cake and Lemon Cake Pops (also purple), a beautiful, bright and fresh blend that smells like springtime. ¬†Lavender and lemon are scents I like in the smallest of doses only, but they’re wonderful together in this pairing, with the light gourmand notes softening the steely, almost soapy astringency of both. ¬†A decorated sheet cake in this would have been so lovely!

smt-no-fuss-chunks

Continuing on with my custom picks, I also chose three bags of no-fuss chunks, tiny little petit four-shaped wax melts that remind me of the “Eat Me” cakes Alice scarfs down on her journey through Wonderland. Available with the same number of options as all the other blendables (up to three), these little no-fuss melts really live up to their moniker – just drop one in your melter and you’re good to go.

Starting at the top, we have a blend of Pizzelle, Blackberry and Vanilla Marshmallow Smoothie. ¬†I was a little hesitant about the Blackberry in this one, confusing it initially for Blackberry Jam Butter Cookies, a popular fragrance oil that I really, really dislike. ¬†But Sniff My Tart’s Blackberry is straight-up fruit and juice, and in combination with the crisp, waffle cone-like notes of the Pizzelle and the creamy Marshmallow Smoothie, the whole thing comes off smelling like fruity tea and cakes. ¬†It’s really not at all what I was expecting – it’s¬†better.

Moving down, we have another Blackberry blend, this time Blackberry, Mango and Twinkies. ¬†This is another unexpectedly delicious blend – fresh, fruity and a tiny bit floral – that works in spite of its components, which simply don’t mesh very well. ¬†Going forward, I think both the Mango and Twinkies scents will be off my customs menu. ¬†But I like this blend very much – in combination, the Blackberry and Mango notes remind me of an old school Party Lite fragrance.

Finally, we have the blend I thought was going to be a total slam dunk, a combination of Strawberry, Vanilla Waffle Cone and Cream Cheese Frosting. These chunks actually don’t smell like anything at all, an effect I’m chalking up to the fact that this bag was savaged at Customs – sliced open and then left to freely rattle around the bottom of the box. ¬†Never stop taking pride in the service you provide, Canada Post. ūüė¶ I’ve since rebagged them, in the hopes that they somehow reconstitute themselves. ¬†Fingers crossed.

smt-piped-hearts-collage

Moving away from my custom blends, I also chose four piped hearts in single scents (or scent blends) in Marshmallow Noel & Candy (white), a crisp, nose-tinglingly yummy vanilla-mint, Apricot Vanilla (yellow), a close recreation of Sally Hansen’s ultra sweet and fruity apricot cuticle cream, Blueberry Grunt Cake (purple), a luscious blueberry tinged with the barest hint of crunchy bakery, and Carrot Cake (brown), which I actually don’t care for at all. ¬†Nutty, so nutty. ¬†Carrots and nuts. ¬†My wedding cake? ¬†Yes! ¬†But as a home fragrance? ¬†Not so much.

smt-small-cookies

Finally, for my husband, who loves coffee scents, I purchased three bags of small frosted cookies (four cookies per bag), one in Sprinkled Sugar Cookie Latte (light brown) and two in Starbucks Vanilla Latte (darker brown.) Coffee scents are not really my thing, but Mr. Finger Candy assures me that these two scents are legit, and who am I to argue with that?

smt-samples

These are the samples I received with my order, a small grubby tart (love that term, “grubby tart”) in Sticky Pink Marshmallow, a popular, Pink Sugar-based blend, a small frosted cookie in the improbably delicious combination of Blackberry Latte (fruit and coffee, whaaaaa?) and two cubes of Red Macintosh Apple, a super strong apple that, despite being securely wrapped, permeated the entire package and most of my condo’s mail room.

Finally, a quick word on Sniff My Tart’s customer service, of which providing tantalizing samples is indeed a nice part – it was wicked prompt and super friendly. ¬†Upon learning that my package had gone MIA (an event well beyond their control by that point) they assured me that virtually none of their shipments had ever gone missing for good, but that if it didn’t show itself soon, they wouldn’t leave me hanging. ¬†It was a deeply considerate gesture – one that turned out to be rather unnecessary given that my order finally showed itself a couple of days later, but appreciated all the same. ¬†My order was also nicely packed, with each item wrapped snugly and securely in bubble wrap. ¬†Or at least it was before it hit Customs. You can’t tell from these pictures, but my strawberry sheet cake is in four jagged pieces. ¬†I think it, too, may have been savaged by the same handsy agent that worked over my strawberry no-fuss chunks. ¬†Why the berry bias, Canada Post?!

Most importantly, though, my order smells bloody fantastic, and absent one or two scent choice SNAFUs and some stupid postal tomfoolery, I’m overwhelmingly pleased with my order. ¬†I’ll definitely be back for a second round of customs (only next time I’ll try to find a way to maximize that shipping charge.)

Meltology!

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Like mixology, except instead of various alcohol combinations, it’s scented wax and…yeah, okay, that might be a bit laboured. ¬†But what else would you call futzing about with dozens of scent possibilities to create (or re-create) favourite blends? ¬†Blendology? Now, that just sounds stupid. ūüėČ

Not stupid? ¬†These terrifically yummy blends I created using indie vendor Rosegirls’ Mini Melters, single scents (also sometimes house-blended combinations) you can combine in whatever fashion you see fit. ¬†Smell fit? ¬†No, no, definitely see fit.

Mini Melters are a product that’s really only now offered a few times a year (announced via Rosegirls‘ quite active Facebook page) and so if you do manage to catch an opening, stock up on a few favourite scents – they’re lovely and convenient to melt on their own (simply toss into a burner, no messy cutting required) and so much fun to combine in infinitely delicious-smelling variations. ¬†Variations such as…

Coffee Shop Favourites, a tart and spicy blend of Cranberry Marmalade, Orange Danish and Lemon Poppyseed. ¬†All of the bright scents of a coffee shop pastry case, minus the people taking up space at tables with their laptops while they work on their “screenplays.”

mm-coffee-shop-favourites-collage

Monster Berry Crunch Donuts, a ludicrously yummy combination that Mr. Finger Candy created featuring Berry Creme Brulee (it smells like raspberry Bubbalicious!), Vanilla Crunch Donuts and Monster Cookie.

mm-monster-berry-crunch-donut-collage

Cotton Candy Fluff Puffs, a recreation of what is surely already an existing Rosegirls scent, a sweet and creamy blend of Cotton Candy Frosting, Monster Cookie and Marshmallow Smoothie (Rosegirls refers to their Monster Cookie-and-Marshmallow Smoothie blend as “Fluff Puffs.” ¬†Basically you can Fluff Puff virtually anything and it will be fantastic. ¬†Also sort of naughty-sounding? ¬†Yeah, I’ll fluff yer puff, heheheh. ¬†See, dirty!)

mm-cotton-candy-fluff-puffs-collage

Sweet Raspberry Lemonade, a mouthwatering, Lemonheads-like blend of Raspberry Sauce, Swizzle Sticks and Sweet Lemon Confection. ¬†I find I don’t much care for any vendor’s lemonade scent (they all tickle my nose; just me?) ¬†Here the combination of Sweet Lemon Confection and even sweeter, vanilla glaze-type Swizzle Sticks makes a far less irritating alternative!

mm-sweet-raspberry-lemonade-collage

If you enjoyed this post, stay tuned for more Mini Melter mixology missives in the near future – I’ve been having a blast creating custom scents for whatever the day brings my way, and I’d love to share my cool blending discoveries. ¬†I also now have, like, 8,657 photos of melting wax. ¬†Is that weird? ¬†Yeah, pretty sure it’s weird! ¬†Well, so be the weirdness – at least it smells fantastic in here!

Winter Solstice

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Before I do the show-and-tell thing with this beautiful order I received from indie parfumerie Solstice Scents, allow me to share with you one of those odd little serendipitous moments that makes you feel at one with the universe. ¬†Or mildly creeped out. ¬†Depends on your world perspective, I suppose. ūüėČ

Anyhow, after choosing a title for this post – Winter Solstice, because it’s winter, and this is an order from Solstice Scents – I thought to myself, “Huh, IS there such a thing as a winter solstice?” ¬†Turns out there is! 2016’s winter solstice – you may know it as the shortest day of the year – was December 21st, which is the day I received this order. ¬†Dun dun duuuuuunnnnnnnnn. ¬†Really nothing more than a coincidence (Alanis would probably call it irony) but a cool little blip amid the atrocious randomness of the universe nonetheless.

Okay, so now that we’ve got that heavy stuff out of the way, let’s move on to the perfume! It’s been ages since I’ve been this excited about a new vendor, and even longer since I’ve worn perfume (I worked for many years in close-quarters courtrooms, pretty well the last place you should be doused, or even lightly spritzed, in anything.) ¬†So when this tiny, potent pack of goodies arrived a handful of days before Christmas, I was in *just* the right festive mood to dive back into the world of olfactory delights,¬†and delight in discovering a new vendor.

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First, the basics. ¬†I placed my order on December 13th, Solstice shipped it from their Florida location on December 14th, and I received it here in Ontario a week later on the 21st. ¬†That lightning fast turnaround time allowed me to sample some of the fragrances over the holidays, where I discovered a fabulous new favourite that smells just like me. ¬†It’s the best thing I’ve smelled in forever! ¬†My items (four 5 ml rollerball perfume oils, two 2.5 ml spray samples and six sampler vials) came neatly packed in a tiny box filled with the most gorgeous dark green tissue paper adorned with a festive sprig of evergreen – a lovely little touch. ¬†Lovelier still were the postcards – including a handwritten thank you – depicting some of Solstice’s fragrances, as well as maps and bulletins from the Town of Foxcroft, inspiration for a number of their perfumes.

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Thoughtful aesthetic touches aside, let’s take a closer look at the contents of my order, shall we? First, I purchased four perfume oils in these cute little blue glass rollerballs. Each bottle was $15.00 US.

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Owing to what I’m assuming are infuriatingly random trade rules, Solstice is unable to ship sizes greater than the 5 ml perfume oils internationally. ¬†So I’m stuck with these baby bottles until such time as I can ask an American friend for a fragranced favour, because I’m in LOVE with one of the scents I chose, Snowmint Mallow, and would very much like it in a larger size. ¬†This is the fragrance I described some weeks ago as smelling like a beloved perfume I wore in high school, a refreshing, creamy and comforting blend of peppermint, cake, cookies, coconut and marshmallow cream. ¬†Holy lord is it fabulous, and not remotely as heavy or gooey-smelling as you’d imagine from that description.

Of the other three perfume oils, I like Blackburn’s Parlor the best. ¬†It’s another sundae-scented fragrance in that it literally smells like a banana split – sugary, buttery waffle cones, creamy chocolate and vanilla soft serve and the barest hint of fresh banana. ¬†This is another one that somehow doesn’t come across as tooth-achingly sweet; rather, it’s a light gourmand scent softened with custardy cream.

I regrettably don’t care much for either Halloween Night or Blackburn Farmstead, the latter being a musky blackberry scent that simply doesn’t tickle my fancy. ¬†Dark berry blends never have, though, something I should have remembered when placing this wildcard pick in my basket. ¬†But I’ve no doubt I’ll be able to find Blackburn Farmstead a good home with someone who can appreciate its lush amber berries. ¬†Halloween Night is…intriguing. Smells a bit like assorted candies rattling around the bottom of a plastic trick-or-treat pumpkin. ¬†I can actually picture myself wearing this Halloween night.

Next, I ordered an assortment of fragrances in smaller sizes I wasn’t too sure about based on their descriptions.

I purchased two 2.5 ml eau de parfum spray samples in Owl Creek Aleworks, a rich, toffee and stout-infused butter bomb, and Foxcroft Fairgrounds, a light confection of a fragrance scented like sweetly spun sugar. Lovely, both.  Each spray bottle was $8.00 US.

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Finally, I purchased five fragrances (plus one freebie) in a beautifully presented sampler pack for $15.00 US. ¬†I haven’t yet explored these scents in any meaningful way, but here I went kind of buck wild with my choices, swinging from sugary gourmand fragrances like Kitchen and Sycamore Sugarworks, to lively fruity fragrances like Heat of the Night, whose succulent mango notes I can already tell you I like very much.

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Overall, I’m tremendously pleased with my first – but certainly not last – Solstice Scents order. ¬†Everything about this was a positive experience, from the no-fuss ordering system and super speedy delivery, to the beautiful presentation and gorgeously-crafted fragrances. ¬†A definite winner. ¬†Can’t wait to see what other fantastic scents are awaiting my discovery.

ETA: It has been brought to my attention by the very kind and complimentary folks at Solstice that there are actually a couple of vendors that deal in their beautiful perfumes internationally, Pretty Indulgent¬†(they also carry a number of other niche lines) and The Rhinestone Housewife¬†(same), who offers Solstice’s eau de parfums in 60 ml bottles that should hopefully slay my scent lust for all things Snowmint Mallow!