Frankincense

Mood Scent 4 🎄 Christmas Gifts Galore 🎄

It’s Mood Scent 4 Time again! Our monthly blogging project where Portia, (on A Bottled Rose) , Samantha  (I Scent You A Day), Megan (Megan In St Maxime) and I write about a different subject linking perfume to mood or occasion. This time we picked scented gifts for the upcoming holidays.

As many of us are spending a lot more time inside and washing our hands I picked soaps and scented candles as gifts. This year has been an exceptional year for many of us. Some will have more money to spend than others. Local shops and small business can use all the help they get from us. Because of this I chose scented products from local or small fragrance businesses starting with the UK based company Olfiction and their new Boujee Bougies Scented candles.

Boujee Bougies Scented Candles

Scented candles Boujee Bougies were recently launched by Pia Long, Nick Gilbert and Thomas Dunckley from Olfiction. The candles intend to be novel and fun by telling a different story from what we are used to. There are two sizes of candles available:  large 220 grams and mini’s 60 grams and come in 5 different scents, green Succulent, fruity rosy Queen Jam, leather Cuir Culture, futuristic floral Hellflower and golden frankincense Gilt.

The small size candle is an excellent gift and great way to try this collection. There is a very informative podcast (FumeChat) about the candles and the stories behind them well worth to listening to. I haven’t tried the candles yet but ordered a set last week and can’t wait to smell and gift them.


April Aromatics Vanillicious Eau de Parfum

April Aromatics perfumer Tanja Bochnig just launched a new gourmand fragrance called Vanillicious Eau de Parfum. Vanillicious was introduced earlier as a lighter version in the gourmand collection. It is an ode to the natural vanilla pod which has a more leathery even slightly dirty scent compared to what we normally know as vanilla from sweet vanilla ice cream.

Vanillicious is slightly powdery, leathery but woody as well. It smells as if a vanilla pod was soaked in an old wooden barrel of rum, the vanilla pod was taken out after absorbing the boozy rum and old oak wood. The fragrance is soothing, placing you with both feet on the ground. As an avid lover of vanilla perfumes it was love at first sniff as it doesn’t become cloying or overly sweet. I would recommend Vanillicious for lovers of vanilla fragrances. Smaller 15 ml bottles are available online which will make an excellent gift for the holidays if you have a bit more to spend. Longevity of this Eau de Parfum is excellent as it can be scented on skin for almost 24 hours!

Werfzeep / Werf Soap

The Dutch Soap brand Werfzeep (literary yard soap) has been making organic and artisanal soaps since 2009. All soaps are handmade in the centre of the city of Utrecht. Depending on the season a different soap is introduced. At the moment they have a autumnal soap with star anise, sweet orange, cinnamon and fennel. One of my favourites soaps is Tayyibah, a spicy soft scrub soap full of clove and coffee which makes your bathroom smell of Christmas.

These soaps are excellent for people with sensitive skins as they only use plant based materials and very affordable costing around 7 euro for a bar of soap. For my Dutch readers: Werfzeep can be found at the organic store Ecoplaza as well so you don’t have to pay for shipping. I have given a lot of these soaps to friends as they are all natural (some of the herbs, roots and flowers are hand picked in a nearby forest or in their garden) and a (soft) delight to use. Did I mention the quality of the soap is excellent?

I found a lot of artisanal local brands selling hand made soaps on Instagram in the UK and US. It is well worth the effort to look around for local hand made presents there if you can’ t order Werf Zeep. Perfumers Bruno Fazzolari  (US based) for example and Ayala Moriel (Israel based) sell artisanal soaps as well.

Oriza L. LeGrand Soaps

Other winners are Oriza l. LeGrand soaps which offers a fine soaps selection as well. They can be ordered online on their website. An exquisite set of 3 soaps is available for 30 euro which you can split. Each soap is wrapped in a beautifully decorated paper and these soaps are of high quality as well. I loved their violet scented soap, a scent you will not find in your local drugstore. The soaps on the photograph were bought by me some years ago so you will find other packaging in the stores and online.

These are my Holiday Gift picks. Have a look on Samantha’s blog I Scent You A Day Megan’s blog  Megan in St. Maxime  and Portia on A Bottled Rose, to read their choices too!

I Love To Hear From You
There have been some troubles with leaving comments before.  I hope you are able to share your gift ideas as well and let me know what you think of my choices.

Disclosure: All photographs were made by me and are meant as creative expression.

 

The Fragrance That Helped Me During The Cremation Of An Old Friend – Maria Candida Gentile Exultat

Not too long ago I attended the ceremony before the cremation of an old friend and colleague. We had shared very good and really bad times together. My friend and I were the same age of fifty which made his death extra confronting and painful.

When you turn fifty and look at your life not all of us are where we had dreamed we would be. It can be disappointing. I know from personal experience although life has given me very unexpected gifts. In his life my friend had chosen to follow a bumpy uneven and at times difficult path to walk.

While dressing for the cremation it felt a bit frivolous to think about what scent to wear. I did not feel like wearing a fragrance. My lost friend was not interested in scent and I did not want to impose my fragrance on other people. But as perfume is not only an adornment to me, I decided to wear a calming, quiet and serene scent, Maria Candida Gentile Exultat. There was not a church mass but it felt like the right scent to wear due to its connection with the Church of San Lorenzo in Rome.  A visit to the Church of San Lorenzo during the hour of vespers inspired Maria Candida Gentile to create Exultat according to the official website.

Incense plays an important part in Exultat. As incense is used in mass to purify and sanctify, it felt like the right thing to wear. The combination of violet, woods and frankincense makes it both a spiritual and calming scent. It helps you stay in the moment and close to yourself. Scent can help us a little in coping with difficult times and Exultat helped me a bit on that particular day because of it’s calming qualities.

Losing a loved one can be devastating I know from experience as I have lost my mother not very long ago. I can only imagine what it must feel like for his family and other loved ones he has left behind. He and his laugh stay with us in our memory.

(Notes: Top Note: Frankincense, Orange, Bitter Orange, Lime
Heart Note: Violet, Violet Leaves Base Note: Woods, Vetiver, Texas Cedar wood)

A beautiful In Memoriam was written in Dutch by Peter Mabelus.

Perfume Review: 4160 Tuesdays Shazam!

4160 Tuesdays Shazam!

I am really enjoying the 4160 Tuesdays scented advent calender. A generous 2,5 ml spray is beautifully wrapped in a differently coloured envelope every day. It looks like the colour of the envelope matches the fragrance. I like the perfumer’s eye for details. Sarah McCartney is the English perfumer of 4160 Tuesdays and Shazam! was created in 2013.

Today we are on Day 3 with an orange envelope and matching fragrance Shazam! Shazam! has a bright citrus tangerine note giving the impression of oranges.

I bought Shazam! this late summer as a 7-9 ml spray. It did not appeal to me then. But it was much warmer outside at the time. While retesting it now with colder weather, I really enjoy it. Especially the dry down.

The fragrance of Shazam! was inspired by the famous spice market in Marrakech. Shazam! starts off as a spicy oriental fragrance with a bright citrus note. The official note says tangerine. But it reminds me of sun-ripened oranges. Although I do not like spicy fragrances I find the spices in Shazam! to be very well balanced and not overwhelming. It would make an excellent body oil.

Shazam! gives me a more lineair impression than other oriental fragrances. Those tend to change more during time on the skin. Most of the ingredients of Shazam! are present from the beginning. There are not a lot of surprises, expect for the dry down, which is warm and comforting with uplifting elements, probably from the tangerine and pink pepper.

Bottom line: I like Shazam! and I am glad I restested with colder weather.

Try Shazam! If you like fragrances like Teo Cabanel Alahine or Dior Mitzah and fragrances with oranges.

Notes: (official 4160 Tuesdays website)

top notes: basil/tangerine/juniper berry

heart notes: atlas cedarwood/pink peppercorn/cardamom/frankincense

base notes: amber/patchouli/cocoa absolute

Photograph: made this weekend by Claudia Ros in Marrakech