february 2015 favorites

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Among other things, yesterday’s very snowy snow day gave me the opportunity to finish up the February favorites post I’ve had sitting in draft form for like two weeks. Progress!

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Excuse the shitty photo, I forgot to adjust my f-stop and then the battery died so I had to make it work.

First up is the smelly and smelly-adjacent stuff. Lots of Haus of Gloi this time around.

Haus of Gloi First Blush Pumpkin Butter: I wasn’t 100% into First Blush when I reviewed it, but man, I’ve since fallen head over heels – especially for the pumpkin butter. I originally just ordered this mini, but went back for a full size during one of the restocks (and a hair oil in a subsequent restock, can’t stop won’t stop), and I have no regrets. I have literal mountains of lotion in my hall closet, including pumpkin butters from 2012, if not earlier, because I go through lotion at a glacial pace. But not this guy. I’m almost finished with the mini in question, so now I’m extra glad I have that full size waiting in the wings.

The formula is fantastic, of course, but mostly it’s the scent I’m loving – soft and fruity and girly, it’s been bringing a bit of springtime joy to the icy winter hellscape from which I’m increasingly convinced we will never emerge.

Haus of Gloi Come Hither Perfume and Hair Oil: I looooove Come Hither. Love. It smells like sexy honey vanilla roses and I look forward to its return every Valentine’s day. I have a bottle of the perfume already, and a pumpkin butter too, so this year I just picked up a hair oil to round out the set. I really like HoG’s hair oils, though I use them more on my hands than my hair. (Review.)

Haus of Gloi Lip Balms: Hazelnut Mocha Latte just happened to be the nearest HoG balm when I was taking pictures – I have three of these open right now. This one lives on my dresser, Caramel Apple lives in my purse, and Rose lives on my desk at work. I also have four more waiting on deck… you know, for when I finish these three in 2016. I’ve noticed that the texture of these balms varies a bit from batch to batch – Caramel Apple feels thicker and more emollient than the other two I have going at the moment, so it’s my favorite of the bunch.

Darling Clandestine Reddit Hug of Death: Smells like grown up gummi bears. Get on me. Plus the bottle is so fancy. I generally prefer tinted glass bottles for extra light protection, but this thing is just pretty. It looks like something Princess Jasmine would dab on before climbing out the castle window and going for a magic carpet ride with that dreamy hobo Aladdin. (Review.)

Solstice Scents White Fox: Musky vanilla goodness with serious throw. I wore this out to dinner with some friends and I was almost a little self-conscious about how strong it was, which is rare with perfume oils, although SS scents do tend to have more sillage than most. This is just a cozy, comforting scent, like the perfume equivalent of an oversized cable knit sweater. (Review.)

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Next up, makeup and also a scrub because it didn’t fit anywhere else.

Pumpkin and Poppy Oak Bark Contour Powder: Perpetual favorite status. I use this every single day and it’s the perfect contour for fair skin. I’m not tempted by anything else. Oak Bark is all I want or need. If it’s ever discontinued, I will buy 115 backups and also cry.

Pumpkin and Poppy Aphrodite Inner Glow Powder: Second verse, same as the first. I use this every single day and love it to death. One day I’ll get around to doing a review, maybe? Maybe. I am like the wind, lazy and irresponsible, so I make no promises. I did recently make another P&P order that included the Celestial shade of this same powder, so if/when I do finally get that review together, I can do a comparison of the two.

Blackbird Cosmetics Thirteen, Dog Days, and Beau Eyeshadows: I’m a broken record on the indie makeup front! I love these. These three plus the next item on the list make up my perfect everyday matte neutral eye look. I really need to pick up a full size of Beau. (Review.)

Notoriously Morbid So Goes My Nation Eyeshadow: The missing piece in my perfect matte quad, So Goes My Nation is my matte highlight of choice. It’s similar to Blackbird’s Half Full, but I think a bit softer and creamier in tone, which is why I generally use it in place of Half Full. The fact that it’s Buffy-themed is just a bonus! (Review.)

Paintbox Soapworks Buttercup Facial Scrub: Described as a moisturizing scrub for dry, delicate skin, I picked this up in an attempt to help soothe my gross, flaky winter skin. I never used to have dry skin, but as I’ve gotten older it’s gotten increasingly drier, and this winter is the worst yet. This scrub hasn’t worked any miracles, but it does exfoliate while providing a little moisture boost. It doesn’t break me out (though I’m not particularly breakout prone, so ymmv) and as a bonus it kind of smells like chocolate oranges. I’ve been using it 2-3 times a week for over a month and have barely made a dent in the tub, so it’s definitely worth the price and will last quite a long time.

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Finally, all the miscellaneous shit I’ve been loving lately. Some indie things, some not.

Upping my Torso Game: I’ve purchased a bunch of new tops from various Etsy sellers in the last couple of weeks, and am super happy with all of them.

The Pizza pullover from Xenotees was my first purchase, because I love pizza with an affection only rivaled by the love I have for my fiance, my cats, and my parents. Plus Xenotees is based here in Philly, and supporting local small businesses is always nice. The shirt itself is a bit short for my taste thanks to American Apparel and its obsession with weird, unflattering proportions, but the print is great and it’s really loose and comfy layered over a tank top.

Next was the Full Moon sweatshirt from Blackbird Tees, which is possibly the coziest sweatshirt I have ever owned. It’s got a wide scoop neck instead of a boob-strangling crew neck nightmare, and the inside is soft like bunny fluff. A++, will purchase from again. In fact, I’m already eyeing another top from this shop for next payday.

Finally (for now), the super rad “Ask Me About My Cat” sweatshirt from Kinship Goods. I have two cats. They rule. Ernie is a fluffy-as-fuck Maine Coon, and Lily is a rotund short hair who has zero shits to give about anything that isn’t lounging in her special chair in our sun room. So you know, this sweatshirt called to me. It’s another super cozy top, and yes, it’s a crew neck, but it’s not a boob-strangler. It’s also really long, pretty much tunic-length, so it’s excellent with leggings for the ultimate comfy cat lady outfit.

Contigo Purity Glass Water Bottle: I’ve been wanting a glass water bottle for a while. I have an obnoxiously bright yellow plastic Nalgene that I use in the gym (go bright or go home, bitches) and around the house, but I wanted something a little nicer to use at work. I got this one from Contigo about 3 weeks ago and really enjoy it. It’s simple but attractive – multiple people have told me that it’s pretty completely unprompted – and I love the turquoise sleeve (there are other colors, too, but if given the choice I’ll always go with something in this family).

Also water just kind of tastes better out of a glass bottle? Or maybe I’m making that up. But I think it does. I originally found this on Amazon, but it’s cheaper direct from the manufacturer, even with shipping. Two thumbs up, will definitely buy again if I find myself needing another bottle.

Mr. Kiss and Tell by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham: I’m a huge Veronica Mars fan, and while it’s a totally different format than the show or the movie, I’ve really enjoyed the two VM novels that have come out so far. This is the latest one, and while it’s hardly an American classic, the mystery is suitably creepy and engaging. The VM voiceover translates well to the page, and it’s just nice to keep getting new stories set in this universe.

My Brother, My Brother, and Me: “An advice show for the modern era,” as the tagline goes, from brothers Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. Straight up: MBMBAM is fucking hilarious. If you’ve never listened, do it now. Right now. And then do what I’ve been doing, and go listen to the entire back catalogue obsessively and laugh to yourself like a weirdo. I’m also a fan of some of the brothers’ other podcasts: Sawbones (a podcast about medical history from one doctor and one guy who has no idea what’s going on) and The Adventure Zone (in which they play D&D with their dad).

Dusted: An episode-by-episode discussion about Buffy from the folks at StoryWonk, Dusted is hands down the best Buffy podcast I’ve ever listened to. These two are huge fans of the show, but are still able to discuss the good and the not-so-good critically. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up, and very much worth a listen if you’re a big nerd like me who enjoys listening to people talk about shows you love for hours on end. The same duo also has another podcast I’ve been enjoying, The Light Bulb, where they discuss all manner of pop culture-y topics.

Fantasies by Metric: This album isn’t new (it came out in 2009), nor is it new to me, but it’s been getting a ton of play lately so it seemed worth mentioning. “Gimme Sympathy” is probably my favorite track, but I like the whole album, and several – “Sick Muse,” “Gold Guns Girls,” and “Stadium Love” – have made it onto my workout playlist. Honorable Metic mention goes to “Monster Hospital” from 2005’s “Live It Out.”


So that’s it for last month! Is there anything you were loving particularly hard in February? Let me know in the comments!

 

haus of gloi spring 2014

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hog_spring14Spring goodies from Haus of Gloi!

I’ve reviewed most of the recurring Spring scents before, so I won’t bother breaking these up into individual reviews. Short (…ish) thoughts on the new scents are below.

Splendiferous: “White cake, lemon zest glaze and sugared violets.”

Very tart lemon and powdery violet. The cake isn’t really discernable on cold sniff, which is disappointing. It’s like a candy dish with Lemon Heads and those soapy-tasting French violet candies mixed up together. On my skin it’s pretty much the same. It’s got a very acidic quality. I expected this to be much softer. I think if the cake were more present I might like it better.

Honeybelle: “A blooming orange orchard, orange blossom honey, soft white tea and creamy white amber.”

Amber and honeysuckle. Just a hint of orange. I know honeysuckle isn’t actually a note here, so I’m pretty sure it’s the orange blossom I’m smelling, but my brain reads it as honeysuckle. On my skin I get a hint of orange and white florals (not particularly honeysuckle anymore), but mostly the amber takes over. It’s very strong and perfumey, to the point of being headache-inducing. Amber is always iffy, but white amber in particular is quickly becoming a death note for me. Pass.

Tonic #4: “Yuzu, basil, cilantro, lemongrass and raw sugar cane accord.”

Fresh cilantro. Some citrus too, bright and clean, but mostly cilantro. It stays the same on skin – fresh, crisp cilantro and citrus. It smells very salad-y. I love love love cilantro, so this one was an automatic winner for me. When I made my boyfriend smell it, he thought it smelled like fresh carrots with the greens still attached. I think it would probably be awesome layered with Ploughman.

Passionfruit Custard Lip Balm: “Passionfruit blended into a rich baked custard.”

Sweet, creamy tropical fruit. Yum.

Rosemilk & Caramel Lip Balm: “Our lovely rose flavor met with caramel.”

Rose and caramel. Simple, light, and very nice. I’d buy either of these lip balm flavors in a hearbeat if they were offered as perfume oils.

And the recurring scents…

Ploughman (and mislabeled Imp): This was my favorite scent from last year, hands down, so I ordered a full-sized pumpkin butter and a hair oil. (I already have a bottle of the perfume oil and a bubbling scrub. All the Ploughman, I must have it.)

The hair oil is my first from HoG, and it really threw me for a loop because then I opened it it smelled extremely fruity – nothing at all like Ploughman. So I emailed HoG and it turns out that my bottle was mislabeled – what I have is actually Imp! Which is a happy accident, since that scent was on my short list when I was deciding which hair oil to order. And my for real Ploughman oil has already shipped out, because Haus of Gloi’s customer service is just fantastic.

In any case, the texture is lovely and silky and it’s a really good-sized bottle for the price. I love the dropper for convenience. I have very fine, fairly thin hair, so I only use oil on the very ends of my hair, lest I look like I dipped my head in a vat of Crisco. Which means that this bottle will probably last me a year, easy. Which SHOULD stop me from getting more scents, particularly since I will soon have two bottles, but I’m already anticipating getting one in The Briar Path when summer scents reappear. Because I have Problems.

Selkie: I got a sample of this last year and loved it, so I ordered a bottle and a mini pumpkin butter straight away this year. It’s a great, spicy aquatic with a touch of sage. I’m not a huge fan of aquatics as a scent category, so this is one of the very few I have in my collection.

Ruth: This was my free sample. I reviewed Ruth last year and my feelings haven’t changed.  It’s the worst.

The other scents from last year that came back are Milkmaid and Lassi.

The Spring collection is still up on Haus of Gloi for purchase as of this posting, though some items are sold out. (Including Maedwe, which appeared for a brief and glorious instant and then was gone for good. I think there were like four bottles for sale, honestly. It really bummed me out because I ordered within about 10 minutes of the collection going live, and I had a bottle in my cart, but when I went to check out it was already sold out. Super disappointing. I hope they bring it back for real next year.)

first sniff impressions: haus of gloi spring

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Somehow I’ve managed to almost completely miss Haus of Gloi’s spring releases for the past few years – I’ve literally never smelled a single one of these scents. So since I couldn’t just pick up products in a few scents that I knew I liked, I decided to get samples of the whole line, as well as a few minis (2 pumpkin butters and a bubbling scrub), a whipped soap, and two butterbombs.After sniffing the whole line, the only ones I plan to buy full bottles of are Komodo and Selkie. I also really like Ploughman, but I’m on the fence about getting a bottle – it’s kind of like the spring twin of Samhain, which I love, but don’t actually wear that often. We shall see.

An odd little note is that this is the first order I’ve ever made from Haus of Gloi that didn’t include an extra perfume sample. I was a little bummed! I mean, obviously free samples are just a bonus, but it made me wonder if I just somehow got skipped over this time or if they’re going to stop including them altogether. While I hope it’s not the latter, it won’t really affect my purchasing habits either way.

Anyway! Onto the mini-reviews.

Komodo: Sweet, tangy, and tropical. (Reviewed!)

Ruth: Strawberry and green awfulness. It kind of smells like horseradish. (Reviewed!)

Milkmaid: Creamy, powdery pink floral. (Reviewed!)

Ploughman: Damp spring soil. This is very fresh for a dirt scent. (Reviewed!)

Lassi: Gummy bears. The pumpkin butter is less tart than the perfume oil. (Reviewed!)

Selkie: Smells like the ocean, in the best way. (Reviewed!)

Orange Blossom Bee Hive: Orange cream candy.

Strawberries & Cream: Just as described, except less creamy than I expected. Orange Blossom Bee Hive actually smells creamier to me than this one does.

As always, all of this is available from Haus of Gloi.

haus of gloi valentine’s butterbombs

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Butterbombs! Even the name is adorable. The product itself – little scoops that look like ice cream or cookie dough – are even more adorable. So much so that even though I am not, historically, a bath person (a traumatic bath time roach incident in my gross college apartment left me with no desire to ever soak in a tub of water ever again THANK YOU IT CAME OUT OF THE DRAIN), I picked up a few of these anyway, because… cute! And I want to be a bath person, really. They seem so relaxing. Plus, again, cute.

I have four from the initial release around Valentine’s Day and two from the recent Spring release. I’ve gone back and forth about whether I should review them all at once or by scent, and I eventually decided to just do a sort of collection overview each time new ones are released. This review will cover the butterbombs I purchased from the Valentine’s Day collection: Toasted, Sea Salt Brownies, White Bluberry, and A Simple Rose.

 
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In the order they appear above, left to right:

A Simple Rose: “Bulgarian rose absolute supported by Egyptian geranium in a base of amyris wood.” Gorgeous, fresh rose. Love this one, it’s my favorite.

Toasted: “Reminiscent of warm milk, aromatic rice and burnt sugar.” Smelled creamy and toasty through the wrapper but once I sniffed the actual butterbomb I smelled basmati rice, burnt sugar, and milk. It’s warm and a little bitter.

Sea Salt Brownies: “Dark chocolate brownie accord with supporting notes of cocoa c02, a gentle touch of coffee co2 and speckled with sea salt.” Semi-sweet chocolatey scent. Not overpowering or fake.

White Blueberry: Blueberries awash with white vanilla sugar, cream and a sprig of white thyme.” This also smelled creamier through the wrapper, but the bomb itself smells fresh, herbal, and a bit tangy. This is my second favorite.

And here’s what Haus of Gloi has to say about these little guys:

Toss these little scoops in hot bath water for a fizzy, slightly foamy and decadently moisturizing bath. Crumble under running bath water for best results! Please be cautious when moving around or standing in the tub, these little bombs can make things slippery!

I’ve only used one butterbomb so far, in my inaugural bid to take a bath without having a panic attack. I picked Toasted, since it’s my least favorite of the scents I picked up from this collection, and I always like to save my favorite things for last.

 
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(I finished An Abundance of Katherines during my bath, fyi.)

This is what my bathtub looked like after I crumbed the Toasted butterbomb under the faucet. It creates a thin layer of milky, foamy bubbles that lasted until about halfway through my bath. After that I was left with slightly milky water that smelled really nice, which isn’t nothing. The smell is quite strong and it does linger, since the butterbombs leave a kind of moisturizing film on the skin throughout and after the bath.

I found the overall Butterbomb Experience very pleasant, but there are a few downsides. The moisturizing goo that the bomb deposits in the bath water and on skin clogged my razor like crazy when I tried to shave. That’s easily remedied by, well, not shaving in the bath, I guess. I don’t (in theory, in the future, if I ever take a bath again, which I probably will) take baths to get clean, but to relax, so that’s not a huge deal to me, although it is a little annoying. The only other thing is that I wish it created more bubbles, but since it’s not advertised to do so, it’s certainly not a knock against the product itself, just against my expectations. The bombs do exactly what they say on the tin, so as long as you go in knowing that I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Would I buy it again? Absolutely. While they’re not going to produce a mass amount of bubbles, they add a nice amount of moisture and scent to the bath water and really make the whole process more luxurious. Which, in my mind, is the whole point of a bath.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi sanctum

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sanctum

 

A welcome respite: Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime,  polished ho wood and sticky benzoin.

Sanctum is one of Haus of Gloi’s recurring summer scents. I picked this mini sugar scrub up during the last release in 2012. In theory I loooove this scent so I very nearly ordered a full-size perfume, smell unsniffed, when the summer stuff went up last year. Turns out I’m super glad I didn’t!

In the tub Sanctum smells like watermelon candy, but not sickly sweet watermelon candy – not jolly rancher territory or anything. More like a fresh, crisp watermelon gummy or something. It’s really nice.

Unfortunately it all goes south once I actually use it. HoG emulsifying scrubs leave quite a bit of scent on the skin, which is great if you like the smell… not so much if you don’t. Something about this scent, once it’s on my skin, is, in a word, repulsive. I don’t know what part of it I’m smelling – the coconut water? –  but the only way I can describe it is milky vomit. I’ve never experienced this with any HoG scent before so I’m assuming it’s some reaction with my particular skin chemistry, but man is it terrible. I’ll use up my sample because I hate to waste things, but only on my legs. Because they are the farthest from my nose.

Would I buy it again? Nooooo no no. Ye gods no. Back, foul creature! RETREAT.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

haus of gloi hearth

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hearth

The warm glowing center of home. Autumns last apple pickings, warm bread, orange rind, various fire roasted nuts, cracked black pepper all nailed down by an oozing sticking benzoin.

Hearth is part of Haus of Gloi’s recurring Winter collection. I picked this mini up from the most recent release in 2012.

In the jar Hearth smells like spiced apples and oranges. On skin I smell more of the nuts and bread and pepper. It’s much less sweet than I expected from the cold sniff, and the fruitiness is subtle. Once it settles I get mostly very peppery orange and I don’t love it. Given the notes, I should like this, but it just doesn’t work with my skin chemistry.

Would I buy it again? No. In fact, this little guy is being sent off in a swap to someone who will hopefully love it more than I do. Godspeed, Hearth.

Available from: Haus of Gloi

first sniff impressions: haus of gloi

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Haus of Gloi Valentine’s goodies!

My (first) order from Haus of Gloi’s Valentine’s release arrived on Friday, less than a week after I placed it! One of the things I love about HoG is that they have a crazy fast TAT, even with newly released and very popular collections. Their new Butterbombs were out of stock when I ordered (they sold out SUPER fast), but I snagged a few of them when they came back into stock a couple days later, and I’ll review those when I receive them.

Anyway, let’s get to it! Full reviews of everything I haven’t already talked about are forthcoming.

Come Hither: My preciousss. This new, reformulated version smell slightly more rosy in the bottle than the original, I think, and maybe a bit more buttery sweet, but it’s still amazing and I love it. I hope the pumpkin butter gets restocked because I reeeally want a backup. Because I am a crazy person. But this is literally one of the only scents I’ve ever thought, “hmm. if I were a signature scent person, this could be it” about. I don’t want to run out ever. I would fill a hidden wall safe with it if I had a hidden wall safe. For the record the pumpkin butter smells more like the original Come Hither. (Full review)

Who Needs Love: This has also been reformulated, but since I never smelled the original that means nothing to me. Nothing! It smells like raspberry truffles. (Full review)

Spring Tonic 1: Lemon-limey and very very fresh. Might snag this in a whipped soap. (Full review)

Something Hopeful: This was my free sample. As before I smell the mandarin and plum in the vial and it’s nice, but I know it’ll go all jasmine and horror on my skin. (Full review)

Vice: Like eating a gooey s’more inside of a Starbucks. Yum. I had a mini scrub in this scent from forever ago and I always meant to order the perfume, but just got around to it.

hau of gloi sweet potato treat

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sweetpotatotreatFor me, this is the epitome of holiday comfort food: Sweet potatoes with mild spices, butter and brown sugar baked off with marshmallows.

Sweet Potato Treat was part of Haus of Gloi’s Yule release in 2012. I’m not sure if it was part of previous Yule releases or not.

In the jar the pumpkin butter smells creamy and mildly spiced. I get a bit of sweet potato and butter and it’s all very comforting. On the skin SPT becomes spicier on me, but spicy scents usually do. That mellows out after a while and goes back to being the buttery, creamy, sweet scent it is in the jar. It’s a wonderful cold weather scent. I never get much of the marshmallow, which is a bit disappointing, but overall I really love this. The word I’d use to describe it is delicious. It’s got good staying power, too – I can still smell hints of it on my skin at the end of a long day.

Misc. Notes: I shoved this under Mike’s nose and he said, “I want to eat it.” I asked if he had any other thoughts and he said, “I want to eat all of it.”

Would I buy it again? Yes. I wish I’d gotten the whipped soap in this as well, actually. The perfume is still available on the HoG website, but I don’t think it’s one I need in that format. I don’t think.

haus of gloi pumpkin queen

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pumpkinqueenGentle hay pillows, pumpkin, ripe peaches dusted with clove and nutmeg, dried summer herbs, and lastly, a lovely crown of amber.

Pumpkin Queen has been part of Haus of Gloi’s autumn release for the last few years. I picked these up this past autumn (2012), but I remember getting a sample of it in 2011 as well.

In the jar the pumpkin butter smells of peaches, sweet pumpkin and clove. I think I get a bit of amber but it’s not overpowering. On skin it’s much less sweet, and I smell the hay, nutmeg, and herbs a lot more. Honestly, it’s a bit savory. The amber is there but it’s not going crazy on me like amber tends to, so that’s nice. I like this one more in the jar. It’s still nice on the skin, just very different. I recall another autumn release (Saft Ernte) being very peachy as well, so next autumn I’ll grab a jar and/or bottle of that instead.

The formula is wonderful as always. HoG’s pumpkin butters are my favorite.

In the bottle the perfume smells like sweet pumpkin, clove, and a touch of amber. The peach is much less pronounced, but there’s a creaminess. Wet on skin it’s again much less sweet, with the hay, spices (especially the nutmeg), herbs, and amber coming out more. The amber is stronger here, I think. It does have that same savory note that I get from the pumpkin butter, but there’s also something else… as it dries the pumpkin gets a bit more present, bringing it back from dangerously close to Eu de Christmas Ham to a dry, spicy autumn scent. Once it’s been on the skin for a while I smell something slightly smokey, like a distant bonfire, and as time goes on it seems to regain a bit of that peachy sweetness I liked about the oil in the bottle. Actually, it’s lovely. My opinion on this one has been a bit of a roller coaster while wearing it. I loved it in the bottle, didn’t like it so much at the start, but by the end I love it again.

Would I buy it again? Hmm. This is a tough one. It’s not what I was expecting – if I’d gotten a sample first (actually I think I DID buy a sample of this, sniffed it, loved it, and ordered the full-sizes without ever trying it on because I AM STUPID) I likely would’ve gotten Saft Ernte instead. But after my initial disappointment, I really do like it. So, yes, I would buy it again.

solstice scents cenobite

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cenobiteA deep Vanilla Bean which has a slight boozy liqueur note on application mixed with a pile of fresh vanilla beans and a sultry, smooth, rich and creamy French Vanilla.  Lovely for layering. This is not a sweet frosting/sugary/buttery vanilla, it is a sophisticated, pure and deeper vanilla bean scent.

For years I’ve subscribed to a “Word A Day” email, which is exactly what it sounds like – every day they send you a new and interesting word. Well, today’s word was “cenobite,” meaning “A member of a religious order living in a monastic community.” It seemed only fitting, then, that today’s scent should be Cenobite from Solstice Scents.

Cenobite was one of my very first Solstice Scents purchases, and remains one of my favorite perfumes. I love me some vanilla, and it is the ultimate vanilla. However I just recently acquired the ganache and glace, and this review will actually be my first time using them. Let’s see how these three all play together, shall we?

The ganache (and this is my first and only ganache from SS so far) has a texture like thick yogurt – it’s thinner than Haus of Gloi’s pumpkin butters but thicker than your average lotion. The scent in the pot is true to the description, perhaps a bit more on the creamy french vanilla side of things than the perfume and glace. There is a slight cocoa butter-y scent, which is not a bad thing at all, just worth mentioning. Angela notes on the SS website that that cocoa butter scent will die down after a few minutes, and it does, leaving behind pure vanilla. The scent is quite strong and I can easily smell it on myself.

The ganache pot is small (4 oz) but you don’t need much – lightly swiping my finger across the product gave me enough for my entire arm, two swipes for each leg. I don’t have terrible dry skin so I don’t ever use copious amounts of lotion, though. The formula is nice, absorbs quickly, and isn’t greasy or heavy at all. It’s not quite as moisturizing as HoG’s pumpkin butters, which are still my #1 favorite, but it leaves my skin nice and soft just the same. I can see myself using this more often in warmer weather because it is a bit lighter than the pumpkin butters.

Moving onto the next layer, the glace smells quite a bit different in the bottle than the perfume or the ganache. It’s sharper and fruitier.  Once it’s on the skin it’s closer to the perfume/ganache scent, but not exactly the same. However it does still compliment the ganache and perfume very well, and the scent is very potent. I mean VERY. The glace formula is lovely as usual. I spritzed this on my arms, legs, and chest on top of the ganache and the result is a strong scent. You wouldn’t need to put the perfume on if you didn’t have it or didn’t want to. I’m inclined to say the glace is strong enough to act as a perfume on its own, honestly. It’s the most strongly scented glace I’ve used from SS to date.

But because I love Cenobite and I want to see just how strong a cloud of delicious vanilla I can engulf myself in, I did put the perfume on as well. In the bottle Cenobite is vanilla liquor, not overly sweet at all. Wet on skin it’s boozy and a touch fruity but still all vanilla. As it dries more of the creamy french vanilla comes out, but it’s still much more like vanilla beans than vanilla frosting. It’s never super sweet.

What I’ve learned here today is that topping the ganache with the glace with the perfume is insane. The scent is ridiculously strong. I love it. Usually perfume oils aren’t strong enough to knock over strangers, which is part of what I like about them, and on its own Cenobite isn’t. It’s potent, yes, and it has great lasting power, but it’s not going to make someone three rows back on the bus wonder what that smell is. All three of these together would. Layering them all results in soft skin and a heady haze of vanilla goodness that will last all day.

So, would I buy it again? Absolutely. All three products are wonderful and the scent is one of my favorites. If you’re a vanilla fan, you really must give Cenobite a try.