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

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Treating Myself: A Bathing Garden Haul

TBG Main Order Photo 190

I’ve noted in the past that despite all indications to the contrary here on this nail and beauty blog¬†where I talk about such things all the ding dang time, I’m not much of a product person. I never use intensive hair treatments, I rarely slap on a mask and body moisturizer is an only-if-I-remember-I-actually-own-any kind of thing. ¬†Come to think of it, I’ve been using the same brand and make of face wash for the past 22 years (Clean & Clear Deep Action Cream Cleanser, in case you were wondering.)

But with an upcoming milestone birthday (the one accompanied by all those obnoxious black balloons) and the gentle nudging of some dear blogger friends (lovely people, but terrible enablers with their gorgeously photographed blog posts!) and a completely bare beauty cupboard, I thought it was high time to treat myself to some beautiful bath and body care, Bathing Garden-style.

The Bathing Garden, an indie bath, body care and home fragrance vendor popular with the waxie set, does steady, year-round business turning out rotating themed collections of beautifully crafted scented wax and other bath and beauty products.  I have ogled their hoard-worthy wares for years.  Alas, with shipping restricted to the United States, this Canuck has been crap out of luck.  No Bathing Garden for me, eh?

No Bathing Garden, that is, until one of those dear blogger enfriendablers (rolls right off the tongue, don’t it?) allowed me to piggyback on her order, a random enough act of kindness before she also picked up the outrageous shipping as a sweet little pre-birthday treat. ¬†I was so touched. ¬†There are some truly lovely people online. ¬†If your Internet activity centres around Twitter or Reddit or YouTube comment boards, that statement will absolutely not compute, but kindness on the Internet can occasionally happen!

Anyway, enough with feeling all hashtag-blessed. ūüėČ ¬†Onward haul, right?! ¬†Let’s do this thing.

TBG Body 60

Starting off with the body care, you might be asking yourself what a not-a-product person is going to do with so much, uh, product. ¬†Well, I’m going to use it! ¬†Because I’m also one of those “if you’ve got it, use it” kind of people – it irks me when beauty products sit unused in drawers for years. ¬†That’s not going to be a problem with these goodies, though – I’ve already used up nice handfuls of both the sugar scrub and the lotion, and I’ve only had these items in my possession for a few days! ¬†Thank goodness reinforcements are now on the way. ūüėČ

TBG Sugar Scrub Collage

The scrubs I chose were both from the soon-to-be-rotated-out Circus Collection, Poppet’s Coaster Ride (actually a scrub/soap hybrid), a blend of strawberry peach jam, raspberry cake bites and lemon curd (ugh, I want to eat that, it sounds so delicious; it also helps not one bit that the lemon curd side actually looks like lemon curd!) and Clowning Around, a carny-approved blend of toffee apples, cotton candy, popcorn and layer cake.

I’m so in love with these scrubs, they’re beyond gorgeous. ¬†And that’s just the labels! ¬†The scrubs themselves feature a beautifully plush texture – like slightly damp Magic Sand – buff on gently and rinse away cleanly, leaving behind no oily residue. ¬†Best of all, despite sporting such lush, vibrant hues, they don’t stain your hide 12 different shades of turquoise! ¬†Victory! ¬†Clowning Around, the sugar scrub, was $8.00 US for an 8 oz. jar and Poppet’s Coaster Ride, the split parfait, was $12.50 for an 8 oz. jar.

TBG Soap and Lotion Collage

Suds and saturation came in the form of two more picks from the Circus Collection and one from the recently-retired Valentine’s Day Collection, Candy Carousel lotion, a sugary sweet blend of candy floss, apples and cake, Fried Candy Donut whipped soap, a lip-smackingly delectable wildberry bakery blend, and Coconut Crystal Cake whipped soap, which, to paraphrase my friend Julie, smells like a coconut if it didn’t know whether to be dessert or suntan lotion.

I haven’t cracked into the whipped soaps just yet, so I can’t speak to their sudsing power or their scrubbing bubbles, but the texture, which you can see in the above photos, is just divine – thick and rich, like buttercream frosting whipped into stiff peaks (there we go with that “do I eat it or wash with it?” thing again!) Coconut Crystal Cake’s delicate fragrance is unfortunately somewhat obscured by the soap blend used here; Fried Candy Donut’s robust berry bakery holds up much better. ¬†I really wouldn’t kick either out of bed, though. ¬†Each soap was $8.00 per 4 oz. jar.

The light lotion, here in Candy Carousel, looks deceptively thin and maybe even a bit watery. ¬†Looks aren’t everything, though, as beneath the surface lies a powerhouse moisturizer that soaks in quickly and dries down to a soft, touchable finish. ¬†This lotion was $8.50 for a 4 oz. container.

TBG Clamshells Collage

Ah, but did you really think I was going to stop with body care and 799 words? ūüėČ Not when there’s wax to be had, and certainly not when it’s this beautiful! ¬†Because this, this is what lured me in to The Bathing Garden in the first place – the gorgeous little details on these clamshells, to say nothing of the deliciously complex scent blends. ¬†These feel like such sweet little luxuries, I love them.

From left to right we once again have Poppet’s Coaster Ride, the wax version of the lemonberry curd scent featured in the parfait, Fried Candy Donut, also once again, which smells even more scrumptious in a scented wax, and Raspberry Hearts, a soft raspberry-vanilla that smells exactly like this skate shop I used to frequent as a teenager because that’s where all the cute and floppy boys hung out. ¬†Each clamshell was $3.75. ¬†And worth every penny when they’re as gorgeous as this:

TBG Poppet's Clamshell 132

In addition to their fantastic clamshells, The Bathing Garden also offers a number of their scents in adorable little shapes. ¬†Many of these shapes are pressed into service as super generous samples (more on that shortly) but a number are available for purchase. And in my world, if there’s something donut-shaped on offer, you just don’t say no!

TBG Shaped Tarts 140

From left to right we have two frosted donuts in Fried Candy Donut ($1.25 per .8 oz. tart), a glitter-embedded bundt in one of Julie’s favourite scents, Victorian Midway, a sweet, pumpkin-apple cake blend ($2.00 per 1.5 – 2 oz. tart) and a wee little dipped caramel apple in Nights at the Circus, a dupe of one of my mother’s favourite scents, Bath & Body Works’ Winter Candy Apple ($2.50 per 1.8 oz. tart.) ¬†I will never be able to melt any of these because they are just too darn cute.

TBG Samples Collage

Finally, let’s close this beast of a bathing beauty bonanza out with what we all came here to see – the free stuff! Of which, I don’t believe it can be denied, The Bathing Garden goes way, way above and beyond in providing. They are crazy generous, often providing dozens of samples, in addition to full size products. ¬†And this bounty – save one or two extras my friend snuck into the package – represents just my choice of items! ¬†We split the freebies (and the three full size samples) roughly 50/50. ¬†Perhaps I should upgrade that to wicked generous. ¬†So what freebies did I score?

In the top left-hand corner we have a beautiful little bunny tart studded with glittery hearts in Tea with the Queen of Hearts and a wee chocolate gateau in Eat Me.

In the top right-hand corner we have a pair of bedazzled and undoubtedly surgically enhanced lips in Kiss Me Silly and two swirly, twirly hard candies in Big Top Lemonade (top) and Tunnel of Love (bottom.)

TBG Samples 3 218

In the bottom left-hand corner we have, from left to right, a microbead-embedded Peep in Looking Glass, a speckled robin’s egg in Blackberry Fudge (actually a little gift from Julie), a pale-and-pastel Peep in Keep Your Temper, a grape-hued Easter egg in Lavender Vanilla Custard, an absolutely delectable little mica-dusted egg in Caterpillar Mischief (it came in that cute little chick cup!) and a ruby red Easter egg in Strawberry Nonsense.

Finally, in the bottom right-hand corner we have the body care items I chose, a full size body lotion in Cranberry Fig (I’m hoping the scent on this one blooms a bit, because right now all I smell is lotion) and a sample size scrub in Lemon Cheesecake (another one of those scents and consistencies that is seriously testing my “is this food?” boundaries.)

Phew! ¬†So there we have it, my first Bathing Garden order. ¬†Also, as of this afternoon, not my last – I went back for seconds on a few new favourites, and stocked up on a sweet stack of those wonderfully scrubby scrubs. ¬†I’ll be sure to share that gorgeous bounty with you when it arrives, though hopefully this time in fewer than 1450 words! ¬†And I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my conspicuous consumerism! ūüėČ

Over and Over: A Mini Lush Review

Over and Over Collage 3

So I dropped this Over and Over bath bomb into my tub the other day, and immediately began composing mildly snarky puns in my head about how over and over, Lush has been disappointing me with the longevity – or lack thereof – of their bath bombs. ¬†Of the four or five I’ve tried so far this year, all have been ultra fast fizzers, petering away to nothing in well under a minute. ¬†This bath bomb initially seemed to suffer from the completely opposite problem – after dropping it into my tub, it just kind of floated there, occasionally emitting a weak stream of pale yellow honeycomb bubbles. ¬†For the next two minutes. ¬†I seriously thought the thing was broken. ¬†Or maybe that was just my back as I crouched over the tub with my camera (like a beauty blogging moron, guys!)

Then the orange shell covering the top half of the bath bomb melted away, and the Over and Over ballistic erupted into a cheery, frothy mess of hot pink and sunshine yellow bubbles. ¬†For the next two minutes. Seriously, this bath bomb just kept going and going and going…it was the Energizer Bunny of bath products! Definitely enough to get me to eat my words on the subject of lasting power. ¬†Don’t discount your bath bomb before it’s fizzed, and all that jazz. ¬†It also made for some very, very pretty bath art.

Over and Over Collage 2

Ah, but the smell…it was terrible! ¬†Lush says lime and fennel, I say that closet at your grandparents’ house that smells like expired medicine, old Sears catalogs and unidentifiable cleaning products. ¬†It was pretty nasty. ¬†I actually climbed out of the tub and stepped straight beneath the shower in an attempt to wash off the ick. And given that the Over and Over bath bomb also stained the ever living crap out of the sides of my tub, necessitating a post-soak scrub-down of all ceramic surfaces¬†– and all for the low, low price of $8.95 Canadian – I can’t imagine that this is a bath product I’ll be reaching for again, pretty though it was.

Over and Over Collage 1

Plum Rain: A Mini Lush Review

Plum Rain Collage

With a matchy matchy mani. ¬†But first the suds! ¬†Which would be Lush’s delicious new shower gel, Plum Rain.

I’ve griped on this blog multiple times about the discord I think there is between Lush’s scent descriptions and the actual fragrances themselves. ¬†Nine times out of 10 everything comes out smelling like powdery orange “drink.” ¬†Or a musty floral I uncharitably describe as “granny’s unmentionables drawer.”

Plum Rain blessedly succumbs to neither issue, smelling precisely like its blend of vibrantly-scented ingredients – tart, juicy plums and a zesty, lime-leaning mandarin. Fans of Lush’s Layer Cake soap – I very much was one – will love Plum Rain; they smell quite similar, like cold, clear, freshly-squeezed glasses of juice.

Being a clear shower gel as opposed to one of Lush’s more colour-saturated shower creams, Plum Rain also doesn’t fall prey to the very real problem of staining the crap out of your tub and/or shower and/or skin, despite its deep and dark indigo hue. ¬†It also made my hide feel a little more scrubbed-down than when I use a shower cream, a sensation I actually prefer – all evidence to the contrary, I’m not much of a product person, and I dislike the feeling of slippery, overly-moisturized skin.

Plum Rain Bottle

Ah, but that colour! ¬†Great enough to mimic in this manicure featuring one of Enchanted Polish’s mystery lacquers from January 2015, which is the exact shade of Plum Rain (glittery bits excepted – none of those in here, you glitterphobes.)

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Plum Rain is available online and in Lush shops right now. ¬†This 100 ml bottle, which will last me the better part of the year (told you I’m not much of a product person!) retails for $10.95 Canadian.

New Scents From MooScents

MooScents 2

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.

Wax On, Wax Off

Best RG Collage

And now for something a little different! ¬†Last year, as I was cruising around the “pretty, glittery, rainbow-coloured things” accounts on Instagram, I ran across an entire sub-culture of men and women (a lot of men, actually) who live and breathe for scented wax. Feel free to go on making that “Whhhuuuhhh?” face; that was pretty much my first reaction, too. So, like, candles? ‘Cause some people be crazy about their candles. ¬†Well, sort of. ¬†Candles without the wick or jar – chunks or shaped tarts of scented wax that you burn in an electric or tealight warmer heated from beneath. ¬†When the wax melts, it releases its scent. ¬†When it no longer smells, you change it out for something new (more on that in a bit.) ¬†It’s a great way to try out all sorts of fun scents without committing to what nowadays are some VERY expensive glass jar candles with dodgy performance records. ¬†And with your little puddle of scented wax, you don’t have to worry about gungy soot, drowning wicks, exploding jars and the inherent danger that comes along with anything involving fire (this obviously doesn’t apply if you melt your wax in a burner lit by a tealight, but my basic point stands.)

Strawberry Jam

You can find all sorts of delicious-smelling wax at mass market stores like Walmart, Target, Canadian Tire and even Home Depot, but I really find this to be one of those retail zones where the more rarefied and “small batch” the product, the better the quality. That’s where the above-mentioned “waxies” come in, a devoted group of small business boosters whose quest for gorgeous (and gorgeously-scented) home fragrance powers an entire indie industry of wax…artisans? ¬†I certainly think there’s a great deal of artistry involved here, from beautiful fragrance blending to top notch branding and presentation.

Bodacious Bowser

The wax I’m showcasing in this post is from a vendor by the name of Rosegirls. ¬†Rosegirls operates a website, which you can find here, but be somewhat forewarned – with the exception of one consistent product line that you can purchase any old time you’d like, items are only made available during time sensitive sale events announced on Rosegirls’ Facebook group page. ¬†The RG group is a closed one, but so long as you ask nicely and aren’t a tool about it, they’ll accept you. ¬†I understand that in the last year or so the whole timed event/flash opening rigamarole seemingly endemic to the industry has died down a bit, and I think that’s for the best. And while a part of me likes the whole “Surprise!” element to your standard retail transaction (indeed, my second order with Rosegirls was a giant mystery box filled with I-had-no-idea), another part just wishes these vendors would operate an always-open online storefront with products in stock and ready to ship, no Facebook stalking, no stress.

Rosegirls’ main product line are these adorable little multi-coloured wax chunks. ¬†Certain popular blends come up time and time again, but for the most part, the little chunks (available in all sorts of formats and sizes, from six-piece brown bakery bags to little two-piece samplers and even whole pies) come in an ever-changing variety of scent combinations, leaning heavily toward the fruity/bakery end of the scent spectrum. Some of my favourites from the photo below include Pomegranate Watermelon Birthday Cake, Blue Cotton Candy and Satsuma, and Peppermint Marshmallow Coconut.

RG Sampler Stand

If you’re thinking to yourself, “Sandra, that sounds absolutely godawful,” rest assured that I once did, too. I’ve always taken a rather simple approach to both home and personal fragrance, favouring singular scents to fancy, complicated blends, and I was initially somewhat intimidated by the vast assortment of scent notes Rosegirls seems to pack into each wax chunk. But someone at Rosegirls HQ has some serious olfactory skills, because for the most part, the multi-layered blends work beautifully. I never would have thought that peppermint, marshmallow and coconut could be compatible scent notes – rather delighted that I’ve been proven wrong on that one, and so many others.

Rosegirls also operates a small storefront in its home city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. It’s through this shop that they offer their wax in a number of unique formats, from chunk muffins and tarts, to piped, heart-shaped cookies and tiny ice cream scoops (my favourite!) But the holy grail of Rosegirls wax seems to be these adorable little strawberries, here scented like rich, tart and sugary strawberry jam. I came by my extra special Rosegirls goodies by purchasing a mystery box online that I knew would be filled with shop items (I die for those little ice cream scoops; the presentation is just too great.)

RG Bakery

Rosegirls also has an offshoot business that deals only in scoopable wax, semi-solid scented wax that you scoop out of jars and burn in a warmer like you would any other type of wax. I received two scoopables in my mystery order, including this pretty green guy, Watergate Cake, which smells like 1950s-style ambrosia salad.

RG scoopable collage

To enjoy this bounty of scented goodness, simply lop off a chunk of a larger chunk and place it in an electric or tealight warmer. I typically use about a half ounce of wax at a time, although I’ve never measured precisely. Then turn on the power or light the candle and enjoy the sweet scent of, say, cherry almond coconut cake with strawberry glaze, just without the calories, guilt or mess.

Star of Wonder

The wax will eventually lose its scent. This time varies wildly from vendor to vendor, scent to scent (light scents like marshmallow or whipped cream flame out much faster than tart berries and rich bakeries, for instance), although anything in the four-to-who knows range tends to be my performance average. Other factors like the airflow in your house will affect scent coverage, as will the wattage of your burner – it’s basically a fantastically scented crapshoot. Also, unlike candles, wax melts won’t ever deplete. The only way to tell when they’ve had enough is when they cease smelling. But when you want to swap out your wax for something new, simply turn off your burner and allow the wax to cool and harden up. Then pop the warming plate or the entire burner into the freezer. After five or so minutes the wax will pop right out and you can move on with more freshly scented things (if fresh scents are indeed your thing; me, I’m Team Bakery Blend.)

And so there we have it, bits and bobs of my recent wax haul, a fun purchase that’s already provided hours of sniffing good fun and enjoyment – and here’s to many more!

RG Big K Collage