Pep(permint) Talk

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Mmm, peppermint, what an olfactory delight you have turned out to be!  It pains me to admit this, but there was a time not that long ago that I cared for you not one whit – too icy, too bracing, too toothpastey.  But in my advancing years, I’ve developed a newfound appreciation for some of the flavours and scents I used to shun, and dear peppermint, you are number one on that list, with a bullet (alongside black coffee, black pepper, bourbon, freesia and anything involving anise.)

And thank goodness for that reversal in scent preference, because otherwise I wouldn’t have come into the possession of this lovely little mountain of pepperminty goodness.  So shall we check out some of the peppy mints that have been sweetly scenting my holidays?  Yes, let’s!

First up, the overkill.  So did I need an entire pie’s worth of Rosegirls’ sublime Peppermint Coconut Mallow? No, probably not…although “need” is such a tricky word, isn’t it? 😉 Anyhow, when Rosegirls opened up for a pre-sale in November that included a number of beloved holiday scents, I purchased an entire pie of Peppermint Coconut Mallow, a perpetually popular pick that softens peppermint’s icy chill with mounds of creamy, dreamy marshmallow.  It’s a sublimely gorgeous fragrance – sweet, cool and creamy.  One of those scent blends you stockpile if you get the chance, which is precisely what I did!

peppermint-pie-frosted

Another favourite mint around these parts is Bath & Body Works‘ Twisted Peppermint. Sweet and icy where Peppermint Coconut Mallow is cool and creamy, Twisted Peppermint is a blast of candied arctic air.  To me, it is the smell of Christmas.  It also reminds me of the candy coating on a Freshmint Tic Tac.  This three-wick candle is going into reserve for next year, although I had it out and about over the holidays because I love the design on the label.  Actually, come to think of it, Bath & Body Works had very attractive packaging on all of their products this year.  Well done, BBW!

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Then, succumbing to the beautifully photographed enabling of my blogger friend Julie of The Redolent Mermaid, I placed an order with Solstice Scents, a small, independent parfumerie that deals in the sort of gourmand fragrances that make my eyes roll with delight.  That’s how I came to possess this tiny – already deeply coveted – roll-on bottle of Snowmint Mallow perfume oil.  And oh my, this perfume – a blend of “Peppermint, Vanilla Cake, Sugar Cookies, Flaked Coconut (and) Marshmallow Creme” – is FABULOUS!

I will freely admit that gourmand fragrances are not everyone’s cup of highly sugared tea. I also recognize that the above-listed scent notes seem like they would be best served on a dessert plate as opposed to spritzed on your wrists.  But Snowmint Mallow manages to dodge the plastic problem that so many foodie fragrances ultimately fall prey to.  This is no hodgepodge of vaguely fake, desserty-type scents; Solstice has created a proper fragrance here that’s beautifully balanced and layered.  That it reminds me of a favourite mocha vanilla perfume I wore in high school is simply marshmallow creme icing on the peppermint-dusted vanilla cake.  At a holiday party an old friend pulled me close and shouted in my ear that I smelled “JUST LIKE HIGH SCHOOL! Oh crap, is this the Wu?  CLEAR THE DANCE FLOOR!”  I’ve also received a number of compliments from my husband and my mom, who sniffed my wrist and shouted with delight, “It smells just like you!” Can you ask for anything more in a perfume?  I think I’m in love.  I shall be needing reinforcements, or at the very least a larger bottle.

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Finally, here’s an impulse purchase from Bath & Body Works that became my must-have beauty product of the holiday season, Shea & Sparkle Scrub in – sing it with me one more time! – Twisted Peppermint.  This is a lovely little scrub, soft and smooth as opposed to hard and scratchy, loaded with fine glitter and scented with that distinctive Tic Tac fragrance (softened a bit here for use in beauty products, a wise idea when using mints on your skin.)  The nicest thing about this scrub is it washes away cleanly, leaving behind no glittery, slippery residue, making it safe for both bathtub surfaces AND glitter-phobes! Dee-lish.

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Frosted Peppermint

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I have done so many peppermint-themed designs this holiday season.  And here’s another one!  This time using the dry brush technique, with an added bit of frosty glitter for the sweetest of holidays.

Pink Peppermint Swirl!

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With, um, a wintergreen accent nail?  So remember a while back, the last time I did a water marble manicure, I mentioned that despite dropping the polishes into the water in the exact same order each time, every nail came out looking completely different than the one beside it? Well, here’s a great example of that particular problem – pink peppermint on one side, lime green jello on the other!  Nail art goal for next year: Water marble designs that are identical on each nail.  So basically, watch this space in 2017 for updates on my journey to the centre of nail art insanity.

The glitter polish I used here is KB Shimmer’s Merry Pinkmas.  It’s very Strawberry Shortcake-in-a-bottle and never fails to remind me of holiday ribbon candy.  Yum!

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Scratch So Good: A Mini Lush Review

Salt Scrub 1

Looks like a fungus, behaves like a peppermint-scented dream about warm, scratchy things. 🙂

This evening I’m bringing you another tiny review of a Lush product, this time Salt and Peppermint Bark, a solid, bar-form salt scrub scented with sweet peppermint.  A new release from their holiday line, Salt and Peppermint Bark is deliciously, delightfully scratchy – I have a small, perpetually itchy patch of skin on my knee that seems impervious to anti-itch products, and I could have gladly worried away the entire bar on that one spot alone.  Oh, it scratched so good!  But my arms and legs also demanded attention, and this salt scrub really proved its worth there, too, buffing, softening and lightly scenting my skin with sea salt, cocoa butter and crisp peppermint.

The one drawback I can see to this product is that if you go too hard on the scrub-a-dub-dub motion, the salt part of this particular peppermint bark will be right there to remind you to use a lighter touch next time. Buff carefully.

Available in stores and via Lush’s website (I’m providing you with the Canadian link) Salt and Peppermint Bark retails for $9.95 a bar and is, like so many of Lush’s products, vegan-friendly.

Pink Peppermint

Pink Peppermint Hand

This manicure is sweet as candy, and scented like it, too – the red and white glitter topper I layered over a sugary pink gradient, KB Shimmer’s Candy Cane Crush, smells like peppermint!  Sweeeeeeeeet.

Pink Peppermint Fingers

Preppymint

PreppymintI can’t help it; anything striped and in a pink, green and white colour combination automatically gets sorted into the “Preppy” folder in my brain. I think it’s because every grosgrain ribbon belt or perfectly knotted hair bow I’ve ever seen has been in some variation of these pepperminty-type colours, to say nothing of Lacoste’s pop-collared tees (do they come in any shades other than pink and alligator green?) or Ralph Lauren’s iconic horsey button-downs (my childhood best friend had striped ones in both pink and white AND green and white!) or those super cute and hopelessly unflattering cotton capri pants festooned with tiny embroidered strawberries. Actually, I don’t know what I’m complaining about here, if I’m actually complaining at all – I like Lacoste tees (although one at a time and sans popped collar, frat boys) and I wore the elbows out of my Ralph Lauren button-down and if I lived on Nantucket and had a slightly smaller butt, I’d be all over those berry capris. But until then (yes, I’d like my Nantucket beach house now, thankyouverymuch), I’m satisfied with this cute, free-handed holiday mani inspired by some of my favourite minty munchies.