What I found interesting this week

~I loved reading Gaia’s impressions of JAR’s Bolt of Lightning over at The Non Blonde. While this fragrance is almost certainly not all natural (its ingredient list is a well-kept secret) I adore it nevertheless. On me, it is a rich and vibrantly green tuberose that I find altogether addictive and captivating.

~I really appreciate and admire the following bloggers for voicing their opinions regarding Dawn Spencer Hurwitz’s recent decision to resign from the Natural Perfumers Guild. Thank you to Eyeliner on a Cat, This Blog Really Stinks, and Scent Less Sensibilities for being brave enough to speak the truth. If you would like more information about Dawn’s decision, you can read about it on her Facebook page.

~I was also very impressed with Fig and Sage‘s post regarding Zuii Organics. Those ladies did exhaustive research into whether or not Zuii Organics deserves their organic certification from the USDA. I can’t imagine how many hours they put into this project, and I thank them for it.

So what do these posts have in common? For me, they are a terrific reminder that while certifications and memberships might serve a purpose, it’s ultimately up to us as customers and members of a community to treat each other with respect, read labels for ourselves and not have our decisions hinge solely upon stamps of approval from guilds or certifying organizations.

When distilled to their essence, these posts encourage me to be true to myself and my beliefs and I thank the above bloggers for their hard work and eloquence.

Image by Patrick de Warren at artnet.com

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What I found interesting this week.

 

I’m not sure if this will become a regular post on Scent Hive, but here’s what I found interesting this week out in the blogging world.

 

Fig + Sage reviewed John Masters Organics Sunscreen, one of my favorites.

Scent Less Sensibilities wrote a beautiful review of Mandy Aftel’s new Haute Claire.

The Flaxen Owl featured CARGO’s PlantLove Green Glamour Kit  with pics. The look is pretty as is she!

Dain over at ARS Aromatica offered a very thorough review of one of my favorite skincare lines, Kahina Giving Beauty

Nathan Branch is hosting an ongoing “Letters to a Fellow Perfumer,” featuring Mandy Aftel and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz.

Have a gorgeous weekend everyone!

Image by Hadley Hutton (who also designed the above banner for Scent Hive)

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To Bee. Roxana Illuminated Perfume’s Homage to the Honeybee

I am continually marveled by Roxana Villa. She is a prolific and highly gifted natural perfumer whose work I greatly admire and her dedication to nurturing the native flora and fauna of her home in Southern California is unflagging and commendable. She has created perfumes inspired by local plants such as the native rose of California, lavender from Ojai Valley, and the California Coastal Live Oak. Additionally, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of several of Roxana’s perfumes are donated to organizations like the California Chaparral Institute and the Ojai Lavender Festival.

As if Roxana didn’t have enough on her activist-perfumer’s plate, over the past year she has become an organic beekeeper. Her efforts are part of a movement to help reverse colony collapse disorder and ultimately save the honeybee (and ourselves) from destruction. Her hard work also gives her the opportunity to savor her bees’ honey. Roxana sent along a tiny pot of this glistening elixir which tasted heavenly as it mingled with melted butter atop my morning toast. Along with this culinary treat, her bees have given rise to Roxana’s newest olfactory creation, To Bee, a 100% natural perfume that radiates the essence of honey.

 

To Bee is available in solid and liquid form, and both are composed of several complex accords, botanical notes, as well as tinctures from beeswax sourced from Roxana’s hive, local hives, and feral rescue hives. The result is a mosaic of scents that swirl together harmoniously which then ultimately distill to a crystalline honey drydown.

Amber and musk accords anchor To Bee with a resinous sweetness and a vegetal musk as tonka, woods, vanilla, ambrette, and hay offer their enticing aromas. It sets a tone of warmth that gives To Bee a glow in which the honey can bask. But it’s Roxana’s intricate leather accord that makes To Bee quite unique and animalic as it’s made up of choya (smoked sea shells), africa stone and oud- along with nearly fifty other essences! This leathery bounty of notes boosts the muskiness of Too Bee and gives its sweet amber accord a sultry sexiness. Clearly, Too Bee is not a one dimensional honey scent. It is sophisticated, alluring, and a pleasure to wear.


In its final hours on the skin, Too Bee dries down to a pure honeyed experience, like the scent of melting beeswax which I find utterly intoxicating. A slightly floral component is more noticeable in this stage as jasmine and mimosa seem to quietly declare themselves. A little musk lingers as well, more so in the solid form, but it’s the honey from hardworking bees that makes the drydown, as well as To Bee in its entirety, so very alluring.

Please leave a comment if you would like to be entered in a drawing for a sample pot of Roxana’s To Bee. US entries only please. Drawing closed, will announce winner soon!

A sampler of To Bee is available at Roxana’s etsy site. Beautiful engraved lockets filled with To Bee are also available as are 5gm solid pots and a 7gm liquid flacon. A spray version is coming, and that’s what I’ll be holing out for!

Images courtesy of ©RoxanaVilla

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Roxana Illuminated Perfume. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.

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Summer of Love, Patchouli Style.

 

Monica Miller of the Perfume Pharmer and Skye Botanicals put 13 perfumers to the test. The challenge was to create a natural perfume using a minimum of 25% patchouli in the essential oil base. Now if that idea doesn’t shoot me right back to Saturday Market in Eugene, OR. I don’t know what does.

All thirteen perfumers rose to the challenge and created interesting and compelling patchouli based perfumes. We participating bloggers were asked to choose our top three which was no small task, but I happily obliged of course! Each perfume was labeled only with a number so as to avoid bias towards a name or perfumer. I chose #5, #10, and #11. The full list of perfumes and a giveaway is at the end. It should also be noted that there were no strict guidelines as to the definition of “natural” for this project, so please contact the individual perfumers if you have any concerns regarding their palette.

#5- Bohemian Spice by April Aromatics. This is a patchouli fragrance for even the most ardent patchouli-phobes. It’s soft and soothing and does not exude any of the overbearing qualities one might anticipate from a 25% concentration patchouli perfume. It begins with a gentle vitality provided by welcoming citrus notes of the orange variety. Sandalwood and patchouli are immediately recognizable, with patchouli being the quieter of the two. Sandalwood (along with some cedar I imagine) is at the forefront of Bohemian Spice and it’s the kind I really like. Bohemian Spice is not a dry sandalwood like 10 Corso Como or Diptyque’s Tam Dao, it’s creamy and full-bodied and becomes even more voluminous thanks to patchouli’s herbal and balsamic qualities. The best part though, is the cuddly vanilla-benzoin drydown. What begins as a lush sandalwood/patchouli pairing, ends with sweet smooth woods.

#10- Têtu by JoAnne Bassett. I had to wear Têtu several times before I chose it as one of my top three. Right away I found it fascinating and wanted to understand its complexity. After being drawn to it again and again, I knew it held a special place among the contestants. It’s boldly rich, saturated with heady textures of resins, leather, rose and smoky amber. For me, Têtu has patchouli infused oud written all over it. An oud that exudes a fleshy tang, smoke and mystery. Yet, the intrigue doesn’t end there. While Têtu feels almost larger than life at the outset, it morphs into something quite pillowy and yes, wearable. The patchouli and oud recede peacefully into the background allowing the amber to take on a powdery glow.

#11- Bodhi Sativa by DSH Perfumes. I love the play on words for Dawn’s patchouli brew. Bodhisattva, a being who is able to attain nirvana but puts it off to help the rest of us achieve enlightenment. Sativa, an entirely direct reference to cannabis. Quite apropos since this fragrance event has been dubbed “PLAP,” Peace Love and Patchouli. And man, if you love the kind vintage patchouli, Bodhi Sativa is speaking your language. For me it doesn’t conjure up smoke filled VW buses, but its leathery and slightly animalic aspect combined with a rich and minty aged patchouli certainly alludes to the herbal smoke. I love that Bodhi Sativa is an unabashedly patchouli fragrance. It begins and ends with the tenacious essence, but because it is harmonized with some fruity-floral nuances- I’m guessing osmanthus and rose otto- it’s never one-dimensional and wears nicely as a summer scent. And all you patchouli-lovin’ peaceniks are in luck! Dawn is giving away a generous 10ml bottle of Bodhi Sativa to a Scent Hive reader. Please leave a comment to be entered.

Update: Tanja Bochnig of April Aromatics has offered to giveaway a bottle of Bohemian Spice, so we’ll have two winners! Leave a comment to have a chance at winning either Bodhi Sativa or Bohemian Spice. Drawing closed, winners announced.

1 Dupetit, Indienne
2 Liz Zorn, River Walk
3 Shelley Waddington, Go Ask Alice
4 Jane Cate, Haight and Ashbury
5 April Aromatics,  Bohemian Spice
6 Happiness, Perfume by Nature/Ambrosia Jones
7 Providence Perfume Company, Rose Boheme
8  Lyn Ayre, Patchouli Paisley
9  no one, to save confusion with 6
10 JoAnne Bassett, Tetu
11 DSH, Bodhi Sativa
12 Amanda Feeley, Queen of Punk
13 Opus Oils, Wild Child
14 Therapeutate, Rodney Hughes, Royal Water

Thank you so much to Monica Miller for asking me to be a part of this event! Please visit her blog, the Perfume Pharmer for more PLAP info and links to participating bloggers as well as posts by the perfumers themselves!

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My favorites at the moment


My family and I are back from vacation in Arizona, which aside from one day of drizzle, was fabulously warm and sunny. We’re back home in the Northwest, and as I sit here writing, I am overjoyed by the hope-inducing sun break shining into my kitchen as I eagerly await warmer days to come.

I still have many weeks of summer anticipation, so in order to curb my solar cravings, I feel compelled to make a list of what I am really loving right now.

Sunscreen: Chocolate Sun’s Sunscreen for Body andMarigold Sunscreen for Face

I confess that I am not wearing any right now, but I did religiously while I was in Arizona with excellent results. I hiked, played tennis and lounged by the pool with just a couple reapplications throughout the day and no burning ensued.

Body Moisturizer: Alba Botanica’s Very Emollient Body Lotion (unscented)

This lotion is thick and creamy, absorbs rapidly and I can get it in bulk at my local health food store.

Face Moisturizer: Dr. Hauschka Quince Day Cream

I had a facial recently and the aesthetician said my skin felt great. This was my moisturizer that day, and I have been reluctant to use anything else after such a compliment. Quince Day Cream is the perfect balance between a lotion and cream and I adore its vibrantly herbal scent.

Cleanser: Laventine’s Water Soluble Cleansing Oil for Dry/Normal Skin

I am on my third bottle of this oil cleanser and need to order another. I use it alone in the morning and before evanhealy’s Rose Cleansing Milk at night. It’s effective and gentle, and if you haven’t given an oil cleanser a try yet, this one is the best.

Lip Balm: Dr. Hauschka’s Lip Care Stick

I have four tubes of this going at all times. Purse, car, bathroom, and bedside. I love it and will never be without it.

Foundation: Jane Iredale’s Pure Pressed Base

I alternate between mineral foundation (Jane Iredale and Alima) and liquid foundation (NVEY Eco and Vapour Organic Beauty) quite arbitrarily. I grabbed my Pure Pressed Base for my trip and fell in love with it all over again.

Blush: Alima’s Tulip

I would never have guessed that a cool-toned, light pink blush would become a favorite, but it has. This pot of pink sweetness has a very happy home in my blush collection.

Lippie: Hourglass Femme Rouge in Fresco

Not 100% natural, but 100% gorgeous! I can’t get enough of this warm pink lipstick that for me, is the ideal YLBB color.  Click on the above link for my review and more information on the ingredients.

Eyeshadow: *Korres Metallic Grey (#55)

I use this shadow as a liner as well as a wash. The shimmering pop of grey makes my brown eyes standout, but I think against blue or hazel eyes, it would look incredibly alluring. What’s even better is that it’s $6 at Sephora right now!

Mascara: *Korres Deep Colour Mascara

This has taken the place that Clinique’s Natural Glossy Mascara used to occupy. It defines, darkens and lengthens lashes and is very day appropriate. With several coats, you can achieve more drama with no clumps.

Fragrance: Herbal Alchemy’s Garden Walk #1 and Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille

My review of Garden Walk #1 is coming soon, so you lovers of honey and petitgrain stay tuned!

There have been many, many blog reviews for Guerlain’s SDV (I Smell Therefore I Am has a terrific one) so I don’t feel the need to delve into it that much. Suffice to say its blend of vanilla, benzoin and frankincense are making these cold days of spring more palatable which is good because that sunbreak I mentioned above…it’s gone.

 

*Korres is not 100% natural despite Sephora’s claims.

 

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Winners of Tallulah Jane’s Aiyana

 

Since I’ve been away for a bit, I decided to draw three names for this giveaway and I am pleased to announce that Margaret, Lavanya and Jeanne are the winners. Thanks for the comments everyone, I’m sorry I couldn’t respond while I was away as the warm Arizona sun had me under its spell. Now that I’m back in the rainy Northwest, I am ready to write!

Posted by ~Trish

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