Olive and Oud‘s dense bars are exquisitely fragrant suds factories that get you clean, leave your skin soft, and fill the air with beautiful aromas. Right now I’ve got Flora in use, and it is one gorgeous smelling soap. It’s woody with cabrueva and peru balsam, and floral with ylang ylang, palma rosa, and mimosa. It’s also lightly piquant from grapefruit and a hint of allspice. Patchouli makes it earthy and binds all of these wonderful scents together which centers the fragrant quality of the soap itself and also has a centering effect on the bather as well.
We decorated our Christmas tree this past weekend, and had *Aftelier Perfumes’ Blood Orange, Ginger & Blood Cedarwood candle filling the air with a fragrance that will now forever remind me of this special family tradition. As you might guess from its name, this candle is a piquant blend of orange, ginger and cedarwood that is effortlessly intertwined yet allows for moments when the individual essences shine on their own.
Aftelier’s perfumed candles are made with beeswax and the finest of natural essences. I wasn’t too sure what to expect in terms of throw, but its festive redolence suffused my rather large living room which admittedly was unexpected and very much appreciated. I’ve got it burning right beside me at this moment, and am contemplating an online Aftlelier shopping trip as there are four other candles to try. Since they are limited edition, you might want to check them our sooner than later. I’m ready to hit the button on Resurrection. With notes of frankincense, vetiver, clary sage, geranium, bitter orange, fir needle, and lime, it sounds like an ideal scent for unwinding during the bustling holiday season.
I’ve written a couple times about Olive & Oud, my absolute favorite place to buy soaps. Laura Natusch, the creator of these divine bars, always has inspired blends with essences like cardamom, bitter orange, ginger, clove, vanilla-like Peru Balsam, amyris, nutmeg, and black pepper. Actually, those are the notes for the above soap, Spiced Chai, my current favorite from Laura. Like the Aftelier candle, Spiced Chai is teeming with ginger and orange, but also has a liberal dose of cardamom and clove which make for warm and spicy suds. I like to say that Olive & Oud is a perfumista’s place for soap, and I really do mean that. Laura is currently sold out of Spiced Chai, but she is always making new batches, so please contact her via etsy or Facebook if you are interested. As of today, Bed of Spice, which is similar to Spiced Chai, and another one of my favorites, Cocoa Butter Mint are both available.
If it wasn’t already apparent, I love citrus scents this time of year. And what better way to relish the citrus than in another winter favorite, body oil! One of my very first posts was on Jo Wood’s Amka. That was nearly three years ago, but it continues to be a treat for my skin and nose that I reach for again and again. Amka possesses a great deal of sparkling citrus. Orange oil, bergamot, petitgrain, and mandarin oil abound in Amka, but are grounded by an incredibly smooth cedarwood. This counterbalance between vibrancy and tranquility is perfectly achieved in this fragrance and I still enjoy its soothing hydration and restorative scent after a warm bath before bedtime.
Spiced Chai is available at Olive & Oud on etsy for ~$5.50
Jo Wood Amka Bath Oil is available at BeautyHabit for $100 for 100ml. Please note: this is different from the body oil I reviewed. It looks like the Body Oil might have been discontinued. Please see Beauyhabit for the Amka Bath Oil and the EDT which I also adore.
Photo of Aftelier candle and the Christmas Tree are mine. Products reviewed in this post are from my own collection.
Is it laziness that I don’t take the time to put a body wash on my shower scrunchie anymore? These days it feels like an unnecessary step, especially when I have a deliciously smelling, beautifully lathering bar of soap at the ready. Not to mention there’s no waste of plastic tubes or bottles with bar soap whose packaging is easily recycled.
Handmade soaps from etsy are a great place to start if you’re interested in boosting your bar soap inventory, but after some etsy soap searching you’re sure to feel overwhelmed. So let me introduce you to my favorite soap of the moment, Tranquility by Urban Eden. All of Urban Eden’s soaps smell wonderful and have an exceptional lather and I bet you’d be hard pressed to find one you don’t like. But there’s something about Tranquility with its soothing sandalwood, vanilla, and cardamom blend that creates one sublime showering experience. Lemon, ginger and vetiver give this soap a touch of sparkle, but Tranquility stays true to its overall sandalwood impression.
You might have noticed that Tranquility’s ingredients read like notes from a perfumer’s website which is the case for all Urban Eden soaps. For example, here’s Urban Eden’s description of Vetiver Lime:
“…the refreshing tang of Mexican lime contrasts with the sweet earthiness of vetiver and patchouli. Allspice and black pepper add intrigue; French tangerine slightly sweetens the lime; lavender acts as a bridge between the vetiver and citrus. Lime is the predominant note, but instead of a summery lime, it’s like lime wearing a fall coat.”
Such a lovely and utterly accurate olfactory sketch of this yummy soap! Shahrazad is another soap whose following list of notes would be worthy of a luxury perfume: tangerine, blood orange, bergamot, tuberose, ylang ylang, amber, frankincense, myrrh, cardamom, clove, black pepper, coriander and nutmeg. There’s a lot going on in Shahrazad, but the end result is a rich, spicy citrus scent that is subtly floral.
In addition to the gorgeous essences, there’s olive oil, shea butter, coconut oil and organic palm oil in these 100% natural bars which make them hydrating and long lasting. At $5 per bar ($6.50 for the costly tuberose in Shahrazad) they make for inexpensive gifts or a guilt-free treat for yourself.
Posted by ~Trish