I’ve rounded up some discounts from my favorite all natural lines, and a few that I am really excited to try out for the first time.
After a long hiatus, I’ve started swimming again. I’m trying to remember why I stopped, and I think it had something to do with the arse-freezing water at the gym and not wanting to feel like I am gasping for air as I launch into my first lap. Our recent trip to Arizona rekindled my love of swimming as the hotel had a fantastic outdoor lap pool that made working-out blissful. I can’t say the pool at the gym is nearly as sublime, but the bone-chilling water has been remedied and I have been thoroughly enjoying my time in the pool.
The only downside is my terrifyingly dry skin. We’re talking seriously scaly which is not pretty to look at or touch. The product that came to mind above all others to cure my chlorine-induced dryness was the Body Balm by In Fiore. My last post was a review for In Fiore’s Lustra, and I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve written back to back reviews of products from the same company, but I can’t hold back because this has saved my skin.
In Fiore’s Body Balms are in a base of grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, beeswax and vitamin E. Sounds soothing but kind of simple right? Don’t let yourself be misled, as Julie Elliott, creator of In Fiore, has perfected their ratios which results in a luxuriously soft balm at room temperature that transforms into a sensual oil once it’s warmed onto your skin. Because the balm is thick, it takes about 5 minutes for the skin to completely absorb the oils, but less time is needed if you apply right after shower or bath. When I smooth this on liberally at night, morning arrives with no more dryness, just soft smooth skin and sheets that waft like a sachet.
There are six Body Balms in In Fiore’s permanent line, but my favorite is Bois de Rose and is exclusive to the In Fiore boutique in San Francisco. Bois de Rose falls into one of my prized fragrance categories, the woody floral. The rosewood in this balm is divine and melds into the Bulgarian rose absolute seamlessly. Both essences are exceptionally warm and a touch spicy, entangling themselves in a honeyed backdrop that is both soothing and sensual.
What makes Bois de Rose even more compelling is a substantial dose of vetiver which gives an earthy and tangy kick, creating the impression of oud as it commingles with rosewood. A minty green suggestion from geranium bolsters the richness of vetiver’s roots while simultaneously enhancing the smoothly harmonious floral rose absolute.
In Fiore’s products contain only the finest organic, wildcrafted or biodynamic ingredients, which heightens the luxuriousness of the balm and the lushness of its fragrance. I am so smitten with Bois de Rose (as well as Dayala) that I want to experience more of these balms. I’m thinking that a not-so-subtle Mother’s Day hint for the Body Balm Trio of Jolie, Shevanti and Tangiers is in order.
Bois de Rose is $95 for an 8oz jar. Please call the In Fiore boutique to order. 415-928-5661
Image by: Ignacio P. Camarlench, Una rosa,1894 at Wikimedia Commons
Posted by ~Trish
Disclosure: Bois de Rose is a part of my personal collection. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.
In Fiore has held a special place in my naturals-lovin’ heart since before I started Scent Hive. Dayala Body Balm and Jasmin Supérieur Bath and Body Oil had me the instant I smelled their jasmine potencies and wowed me with their superb hydrating abilities. Dayala especially because In Fiore’s Body Balms are super thick, but warm into your skin leaving it supple and in Dayala’s case, smelling like rich lemongrass infused jasmine.
As much as I love In Fiore’s body products, I might love Lustra Cleansing Balm Concentré just a tad more. Julie Elliot, creator of In Fiore, was not messing around when she concocted Lustra and she’s serious about the “Balm” in its name. Lustra looks like a thick oil based mud, and at first you might wonder why you decided to bring it home. But don’t hesitate to slather it on your face because the thick brown balm smells heavenly and leaves it softer than any mask or skin treatment I have used thus far.
Because Lustra contains ground oats and almond meal, it is quite granular. Therefore, I massage it very gently into my skin and prefer to leave it on for at least 10 minutes, ideally while bathing. If I’m heading directly for bed, I rinse off Lustra just enough to remove the granules but not too much so the luxurious balm can revitalize and hydrate overnight.
Lustra’s healing balm is made only of organic, biodynamic or wildcrafted ingredients including grapeseed oil, jojoba seed oil and beeswax. Rosebuds and the essential oil of geranium sur fleur rose (rose geranium distilled simultaneously with fresh petals of Damascus rose) impart a vibrantly rosy-rose geranium aroma upon Lustra which adds an unparalleled olfactory dimension to this facial treatment.
Additionally, heed this warning. You don’t want your precious Lustra to spoil!
**This is a LIVE product that is activated by exposure to water. Keep product out of shower or bath to avoid exposure to water and steam. Store in a dry place away from moisture.
Ingredients: Organic, Biodynamic or Wildcrafted Ingredients: Grapeseed Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil, Beeswax, Geranium Sur Fleur Rose Oil, Cold-Pressed Bergamot Peel Oil, Cypress Leaf Oil, Organic & Wildcrafted Ground Oats, Rosebuds, Lavender Flowers, Calendula Blossoms, Red Clover, Chamomile Flowers, Marshmallow Root, Rosehips, Almond Meal Vitamin E and Rosemary Extract.
Posted by ~Trish
Disclosure: I was lucky enough to have received my jar of Lustra in an MUA swap. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.
I started blogging about natural and botanical perfumery in 2009, and this will always be the year I began discovering the depths of its beauty. Scent Hive grew out of my love for perfume, but this passion has become more profound since I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the gifted people behind the creations. 2009 gave me the opportunity to meet Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel Parfums, Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes and Julie Elliott of In Fiore, all extraordinary women devoted to the world of naturals. Each of them are fascinating individuals of course, but have a common trait of serenity in the midst of their bustling, independently-owned businesses which provide some of the most sumptuous fragrances I have ever come across.
Other perfumers that I have not met face-to-face, but with whom I have corresponded via email and phone quite a bit are Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes, Laurie Stern of Velvet & Sweet Pea and Dawn Spencer Hurwitz ofDSH Perfumes. All of these women are some of the kindest people you will ever know, and their attention to detail in packaging their orders is exquisite. Opening a box from an artisan who has put much time and love into her creations takes on a deeper meaning in this tight economy and mass-produced society.
It’s challenging to make a “favorites list” as there are so many fabulous perfumes I discovered this year. Nevertheless, I would like share some fragrances, beauty products, and experiences that have made an impact on me in 2009.
1). Reading Mandy Aftel’s Essence and Alchemy was a very poignant experience. Her book allowed me to delve further into the realm of fragrance, and appreciate the power of natural essences as a medium to transform and transcend one’s material world. It also provides a thorough history of natural perfumery and is very informative regarding the essences as well. I know Mandy has inspired many persons to become perfumers after reading Essence and Alchemy, and for me, it allowed my understanding and appreciation of this art to deepen and evolve.
2). Discovering DSH Perfumes’ 100% Botanical Perfume Collection was an olfactory highlight this year. Was I a kid in a candy store? Oh yeah. I wanted one of everything. Epices d’Hiver satisfied my need for a spicy, comfort fragrance this winter, and Yuzu will give me something to look forward to this spring when my citrus cravings ignite. Bancha is not available yet on the DSH website, but is here. I won’t reveal too much as my review is coming, but I will let you know that it’s Ayurvedic in inspiration, and entirely calming and beautiful.
3). Julie Elliott relaunched her body oils! In February 2009 I wrote about In Fiore’s Maia Body Oil, even though it had just been discontinued. Thankfully, Julie listened to the collective sigh of disappointment and has given us Jasmin Supérieur, the Body Oil formerly known as Maia. Julie reassured me that the formula has not changed, only the bottle which is more user friendly as it now has a pump. When I visited In Fiore this fall, I tested all of her Bath & Body Oils (there are seven, pictured above) and left with a bottle of Patchouli Royale which is made with the most gorgeous vintage patchouli from Grasse, France. I still have my bottle of Maia, or else I would have walked out the door with Jasmin Supérieur as well because it layers beautifully with Patchouli Royale.
4). Kahina Giving Beauty, is a line of skincare based on organic argan oil. Founder, Katherine L’Heureux, gives 25% of her company’s profits to educational and women’s rights programs for the women of the Moroccan argan cooperatives, an incredibly generous action. I have reviewed the line here, but wanted to let you all know that I have used this line almost everyday since I reviewed it, and will continue to use this lovely and efficacious skincare regimen.
5). I remain steadfast with Red Flower Guaiac as my favorite citrus fragrance. Its rich, zesty, citrus quality is unparalleled, and the more I wear it, the more I become attuned to its woody aspect. I have had the good fortune of visiting San Francisco three times in the last eight months, and Guaiac has been my fragrance choice for each trip. This uplifting perfume now speaks to me of California, warm citrus, and getting away.
6). Ajne’s Fleur Blanche is hands down, the most gorgeous gardenia fragrance…ever. And I’ll stand by that proclamation too. I’ve introduced enough perfume-lovin’ fiends friends who go gaga over it to know that I’m not the only one who drools over this beauty. It’s creamy and buttery, yet slightly smoky and woodsy, with a luscious hint of indoles. A common (and frequently undeserved) complaint with naturals is that they don’t last long enough. I have never found this to be the case with Fleur Blanche. It lasts from morning to night, and hints of its soft petals can be discovered on your scarf and blouse the following day.
7). I’ve already reviewed Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Body Frostings twice on Scent Hive, so you know I love them. I use them almost every night to soothe my dry hands and to fall asleep with their creamy floral redolence. It’s difficult to pick one that I like the best, since it seems to be whichever one I have on at the time.Kashmir Rose and Tuberose Gardenia usually compete for 1st place, but Orange Blossom edges in closely as I do adore neroli and have been enjoying using this as a neck cream at night.
8). Finally, becoming a part of the perfume blogging community has been most touching to me this year. As an avid reader of blogs such as NowSmellThis, Bois de Jasmin, PerfumeShrine, TheNonBlonde and IndiePerfumes, I feel very grateful to have been supported by them and anyone who has taken the time to read Scent Hive. The perfume-loving community is filled with the most generous, kind-hearted and intelligent group of people a gal could ever hope to engage with. Thanks to Lucy of IndiePerfumes and Jessica of NowSmellThis for meeting me this summer in NYC, you two are fantastic! And Angela, another NowSmellThis writer extraordinaire, thank you for swapping scents and stories over the past several months. And thanks also to Elena at PerfumeShrine for your advice and encouragement when I was getting this ball rolling. You all are awesome.
Please visit the following blogs for their 2009 highlights!
Happy New Year to the Scent Hive community and all of your friends and family.
Gather ye Rosebuds while ye may by John William Waterhouse at artmagick.com
Primavera detail by Sandro Botticelli at visualstatistics.net
I would like to direct you to my review of In Fiore’s Fleurs Blanches and Rose Noir in the most recent issue of Sniffapalooza Magazine. Of course you should read all of the wonderful articles in the June 24th issue, but you’ll need to scroll down a few to get to mine. This is my second article to be published there, and to celebrate, I will send two lucky readers generous samples of In Fiore’s Maia Body Oil and Fleurs Blanches Parfum Solide (and maybe even an extra surprise). If you read my review of Maia Body Oil here on Scent Hive, you know Maia has been discontinued. But I have wonderful news! Julie Elliott, the owner of In Fiore, will soon re-release Maia under a new name. I don’t know the exact date, but I will keep you all posted.
To enter the In Fiore sample giveaway, read my review at Sniffa Magazine, and then leave a comment here as to why In Fiore’s scents sound intriguing. Or….just say hello! It’s vacation time for Scent Hive, so you have until July 12th at 10pm PST to enter. Good Luck! Winners have been announced.
~to leave a comment, simply hit the word comments under the “share/save” button below. Since I’ll be on vacation, I won’t be responding to each comment as I typically do, but rest assured, if you comment you will be entered in the drawing!
Posted by ~Trish
I’m continuing with my mind expansion, opening my world to new roses and the ones I didn’t know I loved so much. So read on for some lovely roses, as well as a great giveaway!
Demeter Vintage Naturals: Rosebush
Demeter has joined the natural perfume ranks with a fragrance line made from 100% natural essential oils. In fact, everything in the Vintage Naturalsline is all natural save for 0.2% Bittex, a bitter taste agent used to denature the alcohol. The fragrances are limited edition, as the scents will vary from year to year depending on the character of the essential oil.
The character of Rosebush 2009 is definitely vintage. It has an antique feeling of strolling through an old library with its book lined shelves teeming with stories to tell. This is most likely due to its rose being experienced through a veneer of aging woods and wafts of chamomile’s haylike quality. Detour to the historic library considered, Rosebush stays true to its rose essence, especially in its drydown, and is definitely for the true classic rose lover. If that’s you, consider giving this natural rose a sniff. I’ll make it easier for one of you and send you a 15ml bottle of Rosebush if you leave a comment to enter the drawing! The winner will be announced on Monday, June 1st. The winner has been announced! Woops….I realized after the fact I wrote the wrong date. I have created a new giveaway to make up for my mistake!
Weleda: Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash
Next to Oracle Organic’s Body Wash, Weleda’s creamy body washes are my favorite. In fact, they would be in a dead heat for first place were it not for Oracle’s local edge. Weleda’s Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash is made in Germany and I have been making a concerted effort to buy more locally. But I do like to have a tube on hand when I crave its rambling rose bush scent. Like Daybreak Lavender Farms By U, 4 U Facial Oil that I reviewed in Part I, Weleda uses rosa mosqueta in this body wash that endows it with a “fresh from the garden” scent. The tube is bursting with the scent of the whole plant; petals, roots, stems, and thorns! The earthy creamy mixture creates a luxurious lather that foams very easily, which I appreciate. I just can’t deny that I want my soap to foam… a lot. I also use and love Weleda’s Calendula Shampoo and Body Wash for my boys, and myself.
Pacifica: Egyptian Bergamot Rose
Update on Pacifica here.
I reviewed Egyptian Bergamot Rose in April, and even though I knew I was reviewing a rose fragrance, it didn’t fully register that I was enjoying a rose fragrance. My assumption that I was not a “rose person” was still clinging on, even though I was taking delight in what is undeniably a spicy, vanillic rose perfume. It’s amazing how steadfast beliefs about ourselves can be, even in the face of new information. It wasn’t until I actually took a step away from my experience that I realized, yes! I do love many rose fragrances. I have finally shed my rose judgement that they are too pedestrian and I will not turn my nose at something in the future just because it’s got rose in the mix. In fact, I just might embrace it.
In Fiore: Rose Noir
Now here’s a fragrance that will never be accused of being too pedestrian! Rose Noir’s blend of rose and oud is stunning and provocative and utterly gorgeous. Michelle Krell Kydd of Glass Petal Smoke wrote a beautiful piece on oud that is informative and thought provoking. I highly recommend reading it if you are interested in learning more about this fascinating essence that is created in the heartwood of the Aguilera tree when it is attacked by fungus. Isn’t that rife with metaphor? Like the lotus blossoming out of the muck!
I have written several times about Julie Elliott on Scent Hive. She is the owner and creator of In Fiore, and has done a fabulous job melding the oud with the rose in Rose Noir. I don’t want to say too much because I have written a review for Rose Noir in Sniffapalooza Magazine that is coming out in its next issue. So this was just a little teaser…you’ll have to stay tuned.
Demeter Vintage Naturals Rosebush is available at Sephora.com
Weleda Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash is available at Weleda.com
Pacifica Egyptian Bergamot Rose is available at Pacifica.com
In Fiore Rose Noir is available at infiore.net
posted by ~Trish
The Latest Bloomer by pepperminte on esty.com
Vetiver can be somewhat of a chameleon in fragrances. The essential oil from the roots of this grass unfurls as soft and powdery or deep and earthy, sometimes even nutty or bitter. Because it is one of my favorite fragrance notes, I love to seek it out in all of its permutations, and Chaman’s Party and Vetiver Sambac allow vetiver to shine in two very different ways.
Chaman’s Party, created by Olivia Giacobetti, is one of the offerings from Honoré des Prés. Honoré des Prés is a new French line of 100% all-natural and organic perfumes that debuted in Europe last year, but is now available in the States. Chaman’s Party is for the gal or guy who wants their vetiver a little disheveled. It’s full of rich dark soil with some bitterness thrown in with its grassy roots. Burnt woods emerge beautifully in the drydown as well as Chaman’s Party’s spices. Cloves and basil are listed in the fragrance notes, and I admit that I would never have pinpointed them without that prompt. But regardless of what they are, the woody spicy drydown, blended with the earthy vetiver is gorgeous.
posted by ~Trish
The International Fragrance Association (IFRA) represents the fragrance industry and puts out guidelines for safe usage of fragrant chemicals and essential oils in perfumes and skincare. Recently, they released their 43rd amendment, which has caused an uproar in the perfume blogging community. This amendment puts restrictions on the use of several natural ingredients like oakmoss, ylang ylang and jasmine because of their potential to be allergens. For many, this means deep concern that beloved classics like Chanel’s No 5 and Patou’s Joy will either be reformulated or die. Both are unacceptable results for the die-hard perfumista. This is terribly disheartening for me to consider, but makes me nowhere near as concerned as I am for the small independently owned perfumeries’ and apothecaries’ well being. My concern is not purely altruistic of course. The notion of not being able to access what has become my favorite purveyor of jasmine based scents, In Fiore, and many other fabulously talented natural perfumers’ creations, is a fate I simply do not want to consider.
As to be expected, there is much discussion about whether or not the IFRA really has the consumer’s best interest at heart, or if there are possibly legal issues, turf issues, or (ahem) monetary issues behind these restrictions. My skeptical nature says of course that’s the case! In terms of the legal aspect, it seems that a warning label that states: May cause skin irritation, discontinue use if this occurs. In rare event of severe allergic reaction please seek medical care would be enough to cover the perfume companies’ behinds. Has anyone read the label of a hairspray canister lately? I have one that reads: INHALING CONTENTS MAY BE HARMFUL OR FATAL. How’s that for a warning? My skeptical nature also wonders who funded the studies that deemed these natural essences such a public hazard (jasmine in particular) and how rigorously they were undertaken. But knowing that I am not going to overturn the IFRA’s amendment, or somehow get Chanel up in arms to protect their jasmine legacy, I took to corresponding with some natural perfumers that I admire greatly.
Let’s begin with Julie Elliott of In Fiore who quelled my fears about her signature essence, jasmine, having to disappear. She reviewed the 43rd amendment, and believes that for her products, the restriction percentages are workable and within a healthy range for skincare and should be fine for her perfumery as well. Ms. Elliott is a classically trained aromatherapist and intentionally avoids potentially toxic and reactive essential oils, or oils with too many contraindications, so efficacy and safety are paramount at In Fiore. Ms. Elliott also does not foresee any problems with her jasmine suppliers and said, “jasmine is the soul of In Fiore so we will do our best to keep them in business.”
Ayala Sender of Ayala Moriel Parfums addressed this issue on her blog, Smellyblog. She also does not seem overly concerned about these restrictions, and plans to keep using oakmoss as she always has. And like Ms. Elliott, she is dedicated to keeping her suppliers in business. As she states on her blog, “This is the least I can do to support the oakmoss distillers and to ensure that they can keep producing oakmoss absolutes and that entire families of fragrances will not be erased from the face of the earth.”
Roxana Villa of Illuminated Perfumes provided me with a concise and eloquent statement about the restrictions. Being an artist in several mediums, she feels that if someone were to limit her palette, she would simply adjust to those limitations or rebel. For example, Ms. Villa has created an oakmoss accord constructed from botanical and natural essences, without the use of actual oakmoss or synthetic oakmoss. Because of her dedication to ingredients that are pure, and have a vital life force, Ms. Villa would not compromise her art due to these IFRA restrictions. In the case of the oakmoss, she was able to adjust. But if rebellion is called for, so be it! Creativity and rebellion, now isn’t that the spirit of great art?
posted by ~Trish
Jasmine (original painting) by alisonhinks on etsy.com
I am recently back from my trip to San Francisco, and unfortunately did not get a chance to visit the In Fiore retail shop. They aren’t open on the weekends anymore, and don’t hold many retail hours in general. So I don’t have anything to report in terms of smelling their perfume solids like I had hoped. But, a few weeks ago I did get their Dayala Body Balm from Beautyhabit.com so I’ll go ahead and review that for you all.
Dayala is a jasmine based fragrance like Maia, which I have previously reviewed here, yet it is more innocent and playful in comparison. The jasmine grandiflorum in Dayala is reminiscent of Maia, deep and gorgeous. But the lemongrass lightens the mood and adds brightness to the heady flower. So while Maia is sultry and smoky, Dayala is green and sunny. However, both possess the underlying jasmine that is stunning and unparalleled in its depth and richness.
The Body Balm itself is luscious. Its base is made from grapeseed, organic jojoba oil, and vitamin E. The consistency is thick like a cream, but when it warms on the skin, it melts like an oil. Once applied, it absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave a greasy residue. I prefer to smooth it on my skin when I am just out out of the shower, before my skin is dry. I have noticed that the beautiful scent of fresh jasmine still lingers for days on my bathrobe if I wear it just after putting on Dayala. I know some of you were looking forward to In Fiore’s Maia being released in the Body Balm, which it hasn’t yet. But for those of you who just can’t wait to get your hands on a lovely, grassy green, slightly indolic jasmine, Dayala will certainly tide you over.
~Please keep your eye on the In Fiore website which will be updated in the next few weeks. When it is, you will find these gorgeous amulets offered. I also want to clarify that In Fiore never uses petrochemicals or synthetic ingredients, and this information was confirmed by the owner, Julie Elliott.
Posted by ~Trish
photograph by Taifighta on flickr
This may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, especially for you jasmine lovers, but Maia Body Oil is heavenly…and it is *discontinued. But keep reading because there is good news at the end. Maia is made by In Fiore, a San Francisco based company founded by Julie Elliott that specializes in skin care and fragrance, using only natural and organic ingredients. Their line includes, among other things, face oils, solid perfumes, skin balms, and the now discontinued body oils. In Maia, Julie Elliott has captured all of jasmine’s desirable facets and balanced them harmoniously. Its tropical lushness is intact, but never crosses the line into a blowsy white floral. Maia plays with the indolic boundary of jasmine just enough to give it full-bodied depth while pushing it away from any hint of metallic tinniness. Yet, I would never call it “animalic” or musky. The bottle’s label states that red mandarin and lavender are also in the mix, but they are woven in quite subtly. The touch of citrus from the red mandarin guides the inherent citrus note from the jasmine, allowing it to gently unfurl. And the lavender might possibly help ground the jasmine, but its herbaceousness is not strongly noted.
Interestingly, a lovely touch of tobacco is also present which quite frankly is intoxicating. So much so that Maia has led me to become a little obsessed with finding the perfect tobacco fragrance. (Well that, and watching too much Mad Men). The oil itself is very hydrating and sinks into the skin quickly. The scent lasts for several hours, and I love putting it on just before bed. OK, now for the good news. I emailed Ms. Elliott in desperation once I figured out Maia Body Oil was no where to be found on the internet after I’d purchased it from beautyhabit.com. She said that indeed the oils have been discontinued but that she would most likely be making up a batch of Maia Body Balms in March. If any of you are jasmine lovers, I highly recommend getting your hands on a jar. Either that or track eBay like a fiend for the Body Oil, but then you might have to fight me for it.
I will be visiting the store in March to grab myself a jar, and attend a conference for work (oh yeah, that!) and will report back on what I am certain are all of the other gorgeous fragrance offerings at In Fiore. I happened upon this interview, and after reading it, I cannot wait to get a sniff of Rose Noir. Here is the description: saffron absolute, damascena rose petals over a deep rich tenacious base of oud from Assam, galbanum resin, and a hint of rosewood. Just reading about it makes me swoon.
*Update: Maia is now Jasmin Supérieur. Same formula, different name.
Posted by ~Trish
Photo by Simian Cephalopod on flickr