Trying Something New. MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser

3182143705_4cbfea7a3d1I have been a Dr. Hauschka skincare devotee for quite sometime now. I use their Cleansing Cream and Cleansing Milk religiously, and even go so far as to integrate the Lavender Bath oil into the process. Sometimes I just cleanse with the Milk; sometimes just the Cleansing Cream. Sometimes both. When I have enough time I fill the sink with warm water, add a few drops of Lavender Bath oil and rinse my face with the aromatic brew and feel like I have just treated myself to a relaxing ritual. For those of you unfamiliar with Dr. Hauschka’s products, they are beyond lovely. They employ sustainable farming, fair trade practices, and of course no synthetic ingredients.  And because they take into account the cycles of the moon when they plant their flowers that are harvested for their organic formulas, I feel like little celestial fairies have somehow helped create my tubes and bottles of goodness.

The only downside, is that they are a German company. If you are in Germany, that’s great! If you are in a different part of the world, that means your skincare has to be flown over the ocean to get to you. Not ideal if you are trying to decrease your carbon footprint. Not to mention the high cost of their products. It’s an expensive routine. But breaking my Dr. Hauschka skincare habit is a tough one. I’ll illustrate it with a true story.

A few weeks ago I was at a restaurant with my husband and older son. I got a cell phone call that I had to take, and excused myself from the table. While I was away, my son asked who I was talking to. My husband said, “Mommy’s talking to a doctor.” My son then asked, “Oh! Dr. Hauschka?” Yeah, even my son knows about Dr. Hauschka; even how to pronounce the name correctly. I’m a little attached. But, in the spirit of looking for more locally made skincare, at least on this continent, I went shopping.

38859hnydewcleansrunsc44oz1MyChelle Dermaceuticals has been my first attempt. MyChelle is based in Colorado and does not use phthalates, parabens, or petroleum ingredients in their products. Some, but not all of the ingredients are organic, such as organic honey, blue algae and glycerin in the Honeydew Cleanser. I have heard  about their high quality reputation over the years, so I figured this was a good enough place to start. And well, Colorado is a lot closer to the Northwestern US than Germany. I saw a travel sized bottle of their Unscented Honeydew Cleanser at my local health food store about two weeks ago and decided to take the plunge. I am happy to report excellent results thus far.

I like to warm a nickel-sized amount in my palms and massage it on my face. It has a silky slip when applied and rinses nicely with warm water.  The consistency is creamy but does not leave a residue. Nor does it leave my skin feeling taut; just clean and soft. (As an FYI, my skin in general is fairly normal, but prone to dryness in the winter and breakouts every now and then). After two weeks’ worth of use, my skin looks as good if not better than it does when I use my beloved Dr. Hauschka routine on a twice daily basis. Even though the Honeydew Cleanser is labeled as “unscented” there is a mild, slightly floral scent that is very pleasant but does not linger.

For those of you who enjoy a cream cleanser, I encourage you to give this one a try. I don’t think I will ever stop using Dr. Hauschka’s Cream Cleanser, which is not creamy but rather granular and more of an exfoliator. And I won’t abandon the aforementioned cleansing ritual entirely. But I think I am ready to let go of the Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Milk and allow MyChelle’s Honeydew Cleanser to be its lovely, and far more reasonably priced, replacement.

~MyChelle is sold at Whole Foods and many health food stores. See this link to find a store near you in the US.

photograph by muffet on fllickr

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Ajne’s Fleur Blanche

Some might consider this hyperbole, but I’m going to say it. Finding a gardenia fragrance to call your own can be a transformative experience. Gardenias can symbolize long stretches of lush beaches, tropical winds, and days of relaxation. A gardenia tucked in your hair, or a dab of this heady scent wafting behind your ear has the ability to elevate you to a tranquil state of mind.

My perfume journey, or more accurately obsession, truly took flight after a trip to Hawaii in the summer of 2003. It was as most vacations to Hawaii are; relaxing, beautiful and filled with the glorious scent of tropical flowers. Plumeria are my absolute favorite, but gardenia and pikake run a close second. The scent of any of them immediately transfix and intoxicate me. Upon my return, I began my quest for a tropical floral perfume to love and cherish. Since then, I have tried a multitude of gardenia fragrances most of which either turn metallic, possess migraine-inducing headiness, or honestly smell nothing like gardenia. Kai has sufficed for a while. Its top note of gardenia is true and clear, but ultimately has too many aspects of China Rain which are difficult to overlook. Don’t get me wrong, many people adore China Rain. But fortunately for me, in floated Ajne’s Fleur Blanche, a gardenia that blooms brighter than the rest.

Ajne is a perfumery in Carmel, Ca. devoted to using organic, plant derived ingredients. What initially set Ajne apart for me was their questionnaire, (Kristi did this very graciously over the phone), to evaluate their customers’ chakras. For example, my crown chakra, or spiritual connection, needs a little work. Apparently gardenia is one of the flowers that will help me achieve my bliss. You might not believe in all this chakra business, but I can tell you, Fleur Blanche is downright blissful. Upon first spritz it’s a glorious gardenia blooming before your eyes with a slightly woody backdrop and just a hint of smoke. The smokiness fades and the woods become a bit more prominent. Fleur Blanche does not evolve greatly, yet this is not a negative when you are dealing with such a gorgeous scent from the outset.

Ajne lists the notes very generally as florals, woods and fruits. But Kristi mentioned ambrette seed in our follow-up conversation, so I wonder if that gives Fleur Blanche a bit of its smokiness. Ambrette seeds are from the hibiscus plant in India, and are a botanical source of musk rather than from an animal source such as deer. This very subtle smoky, musky, woodsy air gives Fleur Blanche a well rounded quality. There is no metallic edge, no plastic residue smell. And I was never wondering….is this really gardenia? (Even though the Ajne website tells us this is a replication of gardenia as the flower cannot be distilled). The buttery petals linger on the skin for the entire day and its sillage, its “trail of scent”, is moderately strong. Quite impressive given this is a natural fragrance. Ajne also transforms this perfume, and all of its perfumes, into a body oil and lotion. I have not tried the body lotion, but the oil is lovely and holds the scent well. A less expensive way to try Fleur Blanche and find your bliss!

Exclusively for Scent Hive readers! Enter SCENTHIVE in the online certificate space at www.ajne.com and receive 25% off your order of $75 or more. Promotion valid until February 23, 2009.

Ajne is synthetic free, paraben free, phthalate free, petro-free, harsh-sulfate free, entirely vegan and never tested on animals.

Ajne is available at www.ajne.com and Bergdorf Goodman (212) 753-7300

Decants of Fleur Blanche are available at The Perfumed Court.

posted by ~Trish

Photo by poly_mnia on flickr

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