Family, Fun, and my love of all things smelly....

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Only Sunshine and Fresh Cut Daisies

My Only Sunshine

Start your day with a smile as you experience golden tuberose and jasmine balanced by sandalwood, vanilla, and glowing amber.

I love tuberose.  It is not for everyone.  Tuberose is a huge tropical floral that has clear scent memory for me.  I love perfume, and many of my perfumes are tuberose blends, often with jasmine.  My Only Sunshine has all of the scent notes I love best, but I have to say, the bar I melted of My Only Sunshine was NOT a strong bar.  In fact, it was rather on the lighter end, and I found that disappointing.  It did last a good while, a quixotic thing considering it was such a quiet scent.  I really want to try some more of this, since I know, based upon past experience, that batches CAN vary.  The opening of My Only Sunshine is definitely all about the florals.  The later hours are all about the sandalwood and vanilla.  Yum!  It is delicious. However, if my future trials don't come up with a stronger bar, I'm afraid I won't be able to recommend it.  I don't want to have to stick my nose in my warmer, and I bet you don't either.  The scent is a 10, the last is a 7, and the throw is still yet to be decided.  

Fresh Cut Daisies

A  meadow awash in summer blooms: freshly cut grass and clover with daisies, buttercups, and ivy.

The problem with Fresh Cut Daisies is that it smells just like fresh cut daisies.  It is a very green scent with that earthy bitter accord that daisies have.  And while I don't hate it, it's just not a scent I love.  It reminds me somewhat of Yankee Candle's Loves Me, Loves me Not.  It is quite strong, a very definite throw along with excellent last.  If you love the smell of daisies warming in your summer garden, this is the scent for you--very realistic, quite strong, and very long lasting.  For me, it's about a 6 in scent, but a 10 in throw and last.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Poppy and Blush Suede

Poppy and Blush Suede

Lighthearted poppies, verbena, and honeysuckle yield to masculine blush suede, lush plums blossoms, and white musk.

Poppy and Blush Suede was one of those scents I really like quite a bit cold, and like quite a bit less when warming.  I think the problem is the plum blossom and white musk; it gives kind of a sweet perfume vibe that makes the whole thing a little off.  A little more of the poppies and suede would have been a good thing.  It's not horrible, and it's not a bit masculine, but, on the other hand, it is completely forgettable. 

Basically, I would describe it as a jammy perfumed floral.  If you like those, this could be your thing.  It has decent throw (a 7) and average lasting power, but on the scent scale, for me, this is a 6.  Not a do-over.

Next up: My Only Sunshine

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Bonfire Beach

Bonfire Beach

Imagine you are on a wonderful beach vacation.  It is warm, but not hot, and the beach grasses are swaying gently in the breeze, carrying a hint of the salty sea air just yards away from your beach chair.  Down the beach, at a distance, an adorable family has a large bonfire going, with some red hot embers on the edges, where they have just begun to roast marshmallows.  Along with their laughter, the sugary scent floats down to you.  MMMMmmmm!  You jump up from your book and chair to run in for a wrap, and when you arrive indoors, Pink Haze sends a wonderful warm slightly sweet greeting to your nose.

That is Bonfire Beach--a lot of pink haze mixed with a smattering of salty air and delightful bonfire.
Scentsy says 
Toasted marshmallow smoldering over white flint and sandalwood harmonize with salty sea air and ocean spray.

Spot on!!  And I love it.  I just never get tired of my lovely marshmallow scents.  The throw is equally excellent and the last is just above average.  Another 10 for Scentsy!

Next up, a less glowing review for Poppies and Blush Suede, and after that, My Only Sunshine.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Coconut Flower

Coconut Flower

Graceful tropical blossoms meet luscious pineapple and the subtle scent of coconut milk in a feminine floral fragrance.

Don't worry.  If you don't like coconut scents, there is still a chance you might like Coconut Flower.  When Scentsy describes the coconut milk as subtle, they really mean it.  I would describe Coconut Flower as neither strongly fruity nor strongly floral, if that can possibly make sense.  It also doesn't strike me as tropical, which you might think it would from the description.  It is one of those "background" scents that I love so much, sharing the same scent vibe (although not the same scent) as Zen Garden and Honeymoon Hideaway,  People will walk into your home and think it smells wonderful, but they won't think, "My Gawd!  Coconut!"  or "Yuck!  Pineapple."    Coconut Flower is absolutely lovely and well blended.  I also find it very soothing, which would make it a good choice for the bedroom.  Now that I've said everything it is not, here is how it does strike me--a light floral with a creamy hint of coconut milk and just a spritz of pineapple.

The downside to Coconut Flower is that it is not a big scent.  Although the lasting power is excellent, it is a subtle scent.  I can smell it, but it isn't a strong one, so if you like really big scents or need a scent to travel from one or two warmers to the rest of your house, this isn't it.   You will definitely need a cube per room if you want to scent your whole house.  Its lasting power is excellent, though, lasting through several days.  

In summary, I love Coconut Flower and plan to stock up for spring and summer with my next order.  It is a solid 10 for scent, a 5 for throw, and a 10 for lasting power.

Next up in the spring Scentsy reviews:  Bonfire Beach

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I'm in a Pink Haze during Tax Season

Tax Season---Here Again

I'm so excited.  Today I received a bar each of all the new spring Scentsy scents---all 15!  On cold sniff, there isn't a single one that pushes my yuck button, which is an amazing feat because, well, you know how I am!  I'm also glad to have new scents to review.

The new scents are, in alphabetical order:

Bamboo Yuzu
Blondwood and Moonflower
Bonfire Beach
Coconut Cotton
Coconut Flower
Dark Harbor
Fields of Gold
Fresh Cut Daisies
My Only Sunshine
Mystic Magnolia
Poppy and Blush Suede
Sea, Sun, & Fun
Sedona Sunset
Sunburst Blooms

A few I'm a little concerned might go a little perfumey when warmed, like Sedona Sunset and Coconut Cotton.  Others are for sure thumbs up, like Bonfire Beach and Fields of Gold (wellll, I say that now.  We shall see)  Even the banana one smells good.  Am I becoming a sweet scent person?  hmmmmmmm

It is nice to have this little bit of fun smackdab in the middle of tax season.  This year is very busy.  No matter whether your opinion of Obamacare is yay or nay, the "affordable care act" has added a whole new layer of headache into the taxcode.  The calculations would make even a math major's head explode.  It is mindboggling.  Add in some paperwork snafus, IRS slowdowns, and eager taxpayers, and you have a quite a volatile combination!

Today I popped in Coconut Flower to try, so that will be my first review in coming days.
However, I do have a review of the February scent of the month, Pink Haze.  It will be available for at least another four and a half months, so happy days if you haven't purchased yours yet.

Pink Haze

A sweet confection of berries, nectarines and vanilla-laced whipped cream nestled in marshmallow fondant.

I'll say it straight out.  This is one of my favorite scents to come out in a very long time. I've heard a couple of folks say they think it smells like cotton candy, and although I don't completely agree, I can see where they're coming from.

Pink Haze is sweet, but not in the same way that praline or caramel scents are sweet.  This is marshmallow, people!  Yum!  It is a much subtler sweet than bakery scents can be, and everyone in the family loves it, although they tend to be like me---not sweet scent lovers.  I really can't pick out specific notes in Pink Haze.  It is just a lightly fruity, lightly marshmallow, deliciously marshmallow scent.  If you liked the now discontinued My Wish, you'll love Pink Haze.  With my latest order I got another six pack (on top of the 10 bars I originally had!)  You can bet your sweet bippy I'll be stocking up before this one goes away, too.  A perfect 10 in every category!

Family Update

Ah, my babies are getting so big!  Wee Elf is almost two now, and just a real little person.  Love that girl--she is just a ball of curiosity and entertainment.  Soren is 14 months!  Hard to believe.  He looks so much like boy version of his mama when she was little, but he is for sure all boy.  If there is a puddle or dirt hole, that dude is heading straight for it.  He has added a whole new dimension to my life since the experience of a little boy is new to us, having raised girls.  Such fun, and even if he does like to roll in the dirt, he is not above having a cuddle from time to time with Grandma.  Love that lovebug!  Elf Alice will be welcoming her new little sibling in June--Jack Jack the WonderBaby (okay, just Jack, but that is his working nickname).  We are very excited (and a little surprised) that we are starting to be surrounded by little boys now.  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Food is pretty much what we do here at Chez Winter.  I grew up in a "foody" family; my Mom studied with some of the best chefs in the world, including Julia Child and James Beard.  My Dad is a fabulous cook in his own right, too, so it is only natural that that all that food love filtered on down through the generations.

Mister was a willing protoge from day one, and gotta say, I'm a good cook myself, but he is a great one.  I taught him everything I know,  but being the competitive guy he is, he just had to one up me!  Nothing, of course, makes me happier, since the dirty little secret in our household is that he does most of the the everyday cooking, and we eat like kings.  Have I ever mentioned that John makes ALL our breads--from sandwich loaves to baguettes, bagels, round loaves, tortillas, muffins, biscuits, rolls, etc. We source various wheat flours from non-GMO mills; there is a fabulous one in Logan, Utah that we have visited a few times, not to mention Bob's Red Mill in a Portland suburb.  I suspect we're the only folks in the neighborhood with a hundred pounds of flour in food-safe buckets in the garage!

We have to credit our oldest daughter, Leah, though, with bringing the idea of eating local home from college to us.  She went to University of Portland, and eating local is huge there.  It really is the yummiest way to eat, since if you buy local, your food is always fresh, and often, organic.  We support local farms through CSA shares, and of course Leah and Scott have a garden on their little farm that supplies us with so many delicious foods...from beets to eggplant to fennel, squashes and pumpkins of all varieties, plus the usual foods like carrots, tomatoes, chilis, peppers, and radishes.  Be still my heart.

Currently, I contribute things like cultured butter (I use buttermilk bacteria to culture the cream, and then churn it up after it has set for 24 hours), regular and greek yogurt, and occasionally, fresh cream cheese, goat cheese, and other soft cheeses to our food table.

You can imagine what our Thanksgiving table looks like!  This year, I'm in charge of the homemade cranberry sauce, some carrots with vinegar and oregano (an Italian recipe from Marcella Hazan--delicious cold, warm, or hot), and I'll help with the stuffing and turkey/gravy.  John is in charge of the turkey (he made three loaves of bread for stuffing and has it cubed and toasted in bread bags, ready to go), along with the homemade dinner rolls. He also made a crust for the pecan pie Sarah is bringing, along with a green salad.  Leah and Scott are bringing pumpkin pie along with mashed root veggies--potatoes/parsnips/garlic (all home grown).

Obviously, we'll be jogging around the block both before and after the feast.

All this food talk can only lead to one thing...the December scent of the month--Blessings.
Welcome the warmth of home, family gatherings, and holiday traditions with Blessings, a classic blend of aromatic spices: ground nutmeg and clove, cinnamon bark, sandalwood, and amber.

Have you ever grated a fresh nutmeg seed? (if not, you owe it to yourself to track one down and try it....Penzey's is one source)  It is the most heavenly scent ever!  Scentsy has captured the scent of freshly grated nutmeg along with some subtle clove, all mellowed out with just the barest touch of sandalwood (not sure I'm getting the amber, but, it is probably part of that mellow feel I get from this).  It reminds me a little of the old fashioned spice drops--you know, the real spice ones, not the icky sweet ones you get most of the time nowadays.  Yeah, the ones we walked 10 miles uphill both ways in the snow to get back in ye goode old days...

Blessings has gotten some weird reviews on the Scentsy consultant forum, with some consultants describing it as "Vicks" or "turpentine", or "campophenic".  All of those descriptions made me wonder if we're smelling the same scent.  To me, Blessings, IS the scent of the holidays--both Thanksgiving and Christmas--when the house is filled with the delicious scent of all those holiday yummies we love to cook and eat.  All I can figure is...maybe those folks don't cook with fresh ingredients?  I dunno.

Blessings is my most-loved scent to come along in a very long time (although Very Snowy Spruce made me do a happy dance, too).

I give it a very solid 10 in all departments.

And speaking of Blessings,

Where ever you are this Thanksgiving, may it be filled with the Blessing of family, friends, and joyful celebration.  As always, just a reminder that I don't "do" Black Friday, because I think the holidays are about spending time with loved ones, and being grateful for what we have, not focusing on getting more more more of the stuff we really don't need!  There will be plenty of time to shop between Thanksgiving and Christmas (or Hanukkah) , so take a little time to relax and enjoy the long weekend.

Whatever YOUR traditions are, be safe, be joyful, be grateful, be BLESSED.

PS:  Our latest Blessing is the news that Grandchild #3 will be debuting in June 2015.  Yay for sweet angel grandbabies!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Two Speed Reviews

Another twofer day.

Are you entirely sick of me posting, "well, it's okay..." or "I like it don't love it" or "it makes me gag" ?  Because I'm sick of me posting that.

Scentsy has finally listened!  (haha)  I've found two fall scents that I love.  Ironically, both are scents of the month: September's Ambrosia and November's Very Snowy Spruce.


The sweetest fruit salad ever: tropical pineapple, mandarin orange slices, juicy pears, and ripe concord grapes with hints of jam and fruit nectar. 

Hyperrealistic fall fruit packed into a cornucopia.  It's big.  It's strong.  It's Scentsy doing what Scentsy does best: fruit!  Daughter number 3 came into the house, gave a big sniff and announced, "I'm strangely drawn to that."  Exactly how I felt.

While here, Ambrosia is loud.  But then, poof!  the fairy dust must fade off because suddenly, it is gone.  But while it was here, I loved it.  Way to go, Scentsy!  A big 10 on the scent, 10 on the throw, but a mere 5 on the last, 'cause I barely got a full day out of it.

Very Snowy Spruce

Imagine Scentsy made a dupe of Yankee Candle's Balsam and Cedar.

The End.

Scent rating is a 10 because Balsam and Cedar is an absolute fave of mine, and about time you duped it, Scentsy!  Throw is a 10.  Last is a 10.  If you like evergreen scents, THIS is the one you want from Scentsy.  They've been lagging in this department for a long time.  I'm glad they finally stepped  up to the plate.