Recently I had the opportunity to try several products from Maryam’s Soap Nook. She has a ton of great products — handmade soaps, scrubs, body butters, body oil, body mists, and there is always a special with extras when you spend over a certain dollar amount. She has things with scent and without scent for those of you that like your body products low octane in the fragance area.
The whipped body butter is just excellent. (No, it’s not Frederical Malle’s Beurre Exquise, but it’s also not over $100 for a tub of it!) It went on really smooth and emollient and kept me moisturized for hours, which is tough to do in Denver. $15 for an 8 ounce jar and $25 for a 16-ounce jar. The Shea Butter and Dead Sea Salt Glow Scrub scented with lemongrass, lime and Ginger was the bomb — loved the fragrance and got a great sloughing with a lot of moisture in the oil keeping my skin all moisturized. Followed with the body butter, I almost forgot I live in high desert… and it’s winter. $15 for an 8 ounce jar. The soaps are handmade and scented beautifully.
Some random perfume samplings:
Heeley Cardinale – Hadn’t tried any Heeley before, but this one was an incense scent, and saying incense to me is like waving zee red flag in front of zee bull. Notes of incense, cistus, grey amber, patchouli, and vetiver. This incense really isn’t heavy at all, it’s the uplifting variety, if incense scents can be airy. Laying outside on a fall day with the sun shining down on you brightly with incense wafting out the windows of the monastery nearby — the smell of earth and sun and irreverent reverence. Beautifully done and well worth a sniff by all incense lovers. $80 for 100 ml, available from Luckyscent.
Isabey Gardenia — Once upon a time I got married, and I foolishly decided to have the moms wear corsages made of gardenias because, well, who doesn’t love gardenias? If any of you have spent a few hours in close proximity to gardenias in close quarters, you know why you don’t swath the moms in gardenias — they were ever-so-gently trying to discard them into the trash after two hours. They become oppressive and — the gardenias, not the moms — almost unbearable, like eating a whole box of See’s chocolates, not that I’ve ever done that (crosses self, promises to go to confession this week for that whopper). When I heard people caterwauling about this Isabey Gardenia, which is a reissue of a fragrance from 1929, I was thinking they are obviously Southern hothouse flowers used to oppressive gardenia smells. Sorry, don’t mean it, I love the South. Notes of tangerine bark, ylang-ylang, orange flowers, gardenia extract, Bulgarian rose, jasmine, iris, musk, ambergris, sandalwood. Give the perfumer a few gold stars here, he/she got the gardenia and blended it beautifully so I don’t want to discard my arm. It’s not oppressive at all, it’s got the best of the gardenia all wrapped up so it comes through beautifully without that heady overripeness that the real flower has. Also available from Luckyscent for the jaw-dropping $165 for 50 mls, which just put the brakes on my lusting after it.
And then there was a horrible shopping accident. What has happened to me? Long ago, I never really cared about the pure parfum versions of perfume or about bottles. I just want the juice, it doesn’t matter if it comes in a Mason jar with a screw-top lid on it. In one weekend, the pure parfum versions of Fath de Fath (Katie, isn’t it you that raves about this one all the time?); Nina Ricci Capricci and Farouche; and Guerlain Vol de Nuit and Nahema parfums fell into my eBay shopping cart. This is just insane. I’m blaming certain people out there who talk to me about vintage and bottles, and you should know who you are. But just look at that Capricci bottle! (photo from Passionforperfume) Okay, My credit cards are officially melted, and I am totally ignoring any other vintage butterflies that go flitting by.
I have to know, for those of you that do vintage perfumes, what has been your best find ever?