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Child- and Pet-Safe Fragrance for Your Home


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring!

Spring has sprung....


Here in the NW, spring means rain, rain, and more rain.  This year has not disappointed in that respect.  As I write, I can peek out my window and watch the liquid sunshine melting from the sky.  It's not sad, though, it is entirely expected and cozy, and it gives me a chance to sit inside with a nice cup of decaf and sew or knit a little without offending my conscience.

I'm all done with my Intuit job for the season: they only allow seasonal works to work six months (otherwise, they're permanent workers, I guess, lol), so since I started back in September, it means I get to miss the crazy end-season rush.  That meant I got to trot on down to Disneyland with my little Alice girl for a week, and boy-oh, was that ever fun.  That girl was meant for Disneyland...she was good as gold the whole time....slept in her stroller without a fuss, loved the big characters without fear, and melted her way right into Grandpa Mister's heart by loving the Casey Junior ride almost as much as he did as a kid.  We also stayed at Disney (we usually stay with family in the area), which was a bucket list item for me, and it was so worthy.  Nice for us to go back to the room for a little rest here and there and then hit the parks again with renewed vigor.  While there, Miss Alice learned to clap, got a new tooth, and started signing "more" with a vengeance when she learned how yummy lava cake with ice cream on top is.   Here she is being adorable waiting in line:


While we were gone, little Buddy Soren learned to ham it up for the camera--he is quite the chatter now, and it amuses me that Alice is the doer (can that girl ever stop moving?) and it looks like Soren will be the talker.  His Mama got him an earflap hat for next winter, and here he is showing it off, in all of its largesse:
 
 
 

Scentsy Stuff

Between work and vaca, I've had very little time to try out my new Scentsy scents!  Just before I left for vacation, I received all the new scents plus two new warmers...the Travertine core and the Etched Core.  The Silhouette line is my absolute fave, and I got the Spokes wrap with Travertine core for my living room, the Dragonfly wrap for my old core for the entryway, and the Tulip wrap plus etched core for my kitchen/nook area.  So pretty!  Love that you can change out the wraps seasonally without a big dollar commitment. 

 

Sugared Blooms

Now that I'm home, I'm starting to melt new scents.  First up, I tried out the April Scent of the Month, Sugared Blooms.  Soft petals fresh with morning dew, sweet berries touched with a kiss of sugar evoke springtime to brighten your day.   This one is receiving quite a mixed reaction on the Scentsy forums, but I've decided I like this one pretty well.  It is definitely heavier on the floral than the fruit.  I think a lot of folks were hoping it was going to be similar to Scentsy's Sugar, which is not on my like list, so I was relieved to find it is not.  The visual that came to mind was a beautiful, pastel Easter bouquet, brimming with tulips, daffodils, and greenery.  It makes you want to fling the doors and windows open and yell, "welcome spring!" 
The most important thing, as with all Scentsy scents, is you must melt it before deciding.  Sugared Blooms is a moderately strong, spring floral that blooms when warmed, so if you're looking for a good basic floral to jumpstart your spring, this is it. Its potential downside is its lasting power--just average.  For the person who likes to change their scents frequently---ahem--not a problem.  Available April 1st.
Scent Rating:                 7
Scent Strength:              7
Scent Lasting Power:    5

 

Zen Garden

A dewy-sweet bloom of ripe honeydew, soft freesia, and water lotus.  Zen Garden is the type of scent Scentsy does best--a creamy blend of fruit and floral that is perfectly balanced, soft and flowy, calming and delicious.  It reminds me a bit of retired Cerise, sans the vanilla.  This is the go-to scent when you want your scent to set the scene, not steal it.  It is an extremely pleasant scent in which none of the scent notes overwhelm the others, and I can see going to this time and again; it is perfectly suited to every room in the house, from guest bath to living room.  Again, it has just average lasting power:  expect a cube to last a day or two at most. 

Scent Rating:              8
Scent Strength:           7
Scent Lasting Power: 5


 

Easter Promotion

Scentsy is offering a GREAT deal this spring:  Get the Easter Egg warmer and three scent bars (Jumpin Jellybean, French Lavender, and Coconut Lemongrass) for just $30 while supplies last!  Get it here or include it in your April pre-order (FB message me: facebook.com/scentreview) or email me: scentreview[at]live.com to order.  Usual pre-order discount available on this one! 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tax Season is Here

From the Front Lines


Ah! Tax Season!  It's the time when I feel like my life isn't really my own.  A lot of my "fun stuff" goes by the wayside this time of year while I work.  This year is better than last, because I only committed to part time, so even when I add extra hours, it hasn't gotten unmanageable.  But, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, and I'm afraid I'm That.Girl.  The hobby girl.  The putter-in-the-house girl.  The play-with-the-grandbabies-girl.  I'm most definitely not a work 60-80 hours a week doing taxes and answering tax questions kind of girl.  I'm grateful to work for a wonderful company, but even more grateful they let me work part time.

But, regardless, there hasn't been as much time for scintillating scent reviews.  With the new catalog launching March 1st, that's going to be a problem, lol.  Today, I'm squeezing two reviews into one:  Sparkling Citrus Pear and the latest Scentsy scent "Thank You."

Sparkling Citrus Pear

Sparkling Citrus Pear is "Sweet nashi pear, enlivened by citrus zest and bright lemon verbena."   SCP, the February scent of the month, is a very fresh, springy fruit scent---not too sweet.  I mostly smell the citrus and lemon verbena, which I like, although one day I did pop in a cube of Simply Nashi Pear along with the SCP and that sweetened it up a bit and drew out the pear vibe substantially, so consider mixing if you like sweeter fruity scents.  Sparkling Citrus Pear is like walking out on my parent's Arizona patio on a cool desert morning and getting a big whiff of the citrus bushes in their yard.  I can see this as a go-to when I want to cool down a warm day, or get rid of some nasty cooking smells.  I do have to add, though, that it is fresh without smacking of lemon-scented cleaner.

Some folks have found Sparkling Citrus Pear to be a bit on the light side for them.  It hasn't been too light for me, although it is not a knock-your-socks off scent, in case you're the type who likes their scents strong.  I found it to have decent throw and lasting power.  All-in-all, it is a solid thumb's up for me, although I'll no doubt be using it more in the spring and summer than on a cold, rainy winter's day.

Scent Rating:                      7
Scent Throw:                      6
Scent Lasting Power:         6

 

Thank You

Thank You is March's scent of the month.  It is a celebration scent, since Scentsy is celebrating its 10th year this year.  Scentsy describes Thank You as being a mix of Chamomile, Lavender, Jasmine, and Vanilla.  That worried me a bit---talk about a powerful combo, but I was relieved to discover that Thank You is predominantly chamomile and lavender.    One of my favorite aspects of scent is their ability to affect mood--and for that reason I love calming, zen scents like this (especially during tax season).  This is a love for me. I know I'll will turn to it again and again.  Can you say aromatherapy?  Yay, Scentsy for anticipating tax madness and scending (sic) me a scent that is perfect for this time of year.

If you don't like lavender or chamomile, you won't care for this one :)

Scent Rating:        9
Scent Throw:        8
Scent Lasting Power:   8

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Forever Yours, Love Soren

Baby Soren is Here!!


Our newest grandchild, Soren Eric finally arrived this past Monday, the 13th.  He was not quite a week overdue.  Weighing in at a whopping 8 lb 4 oz (well, that's whopping for us...his Mom is a wee wisp of a thing, barely gained twenty pounds during the pregnancy, and eats like a horse, lol) and 21" long.  He's an angel.

Being at his birth was such a thrill.  I had been scheduled to be at Elf's birth back in May, but Miss Alice had the cord wrapped twice around her neck, not allowing her to descend, and a c-section was necessary.  Soren's labor was going along just fine.  We got to the hospital at 1 am and Mom was already 5 cm dilated.  It progressed pretty steadily until 9 cm and from 9 to 10 was a very long waiting game.  Still, baby was doing great and it was just stay the course.  Once Mom got to 10 and started pushing, things started to change.  An hour in, Soren suddenly started having some pretty serious heart decelerations...down to the 50's and 60's with a slow recovery.  Not Good.  Suddenly, his baby nurse insisted he needed out "NOW!" and boy did that  room explode!  Luckily for us, one of the docs on staff that day is a rarely-found expert in forceps births (and the other miracle for us is that he is only at the hospital seven days a month!)  So, rather than whisking my daughter off for an emergency c-section, they grabbed him to attempt a forceps birth.  Dad was an absolutely amazing labor coach, but that was the only time I saw him falter the entire labor.  It was intense.  We had no time to think, though, because by the time the decision was made, to the time little Soren was crowning was less than ten minutes!  He was born at 2:38 pm, a perfect little angel.  Turns out the cord was also wrapped around his little neck twice, which was the obvious cause for his distress.  But, his APGAR was 9, his head was perfectly shaped and fine, and he was a beautiful pink color within a minute or two.  So, all's well that ends well, and praise to God for that miracle of a doctor.

Here he is in all his adorableness:
 
He'll be a lovely little cousin for Miss Alice to boss around.
 

 

Forever Yours and Simply Nashi Pear

I do hope you and yours had a blessed Christmas season (or holiday season, if you celebrate other holidays besides Christmas).  Ours was so wonderful.  What fun to shop for our wee ones this year.  I found a great online toy store that has amazing, quality toys for kis and adults: www.fatbraintoys.com  Good prices and reasonable shipping, too. 
 
On the Scentsy front, December was quiet.  I finally got ahold of January's scent of the month, Forever YoursSweet, creamy lemon and enchanting jasmine: a rhapsody of devotion.  Forever Yours strikes me as much more floral than lemon.  I like jasmine well enough, but FY reminds me a lot of similar florals that Scentsy has put out over the years, and others have noticed the similarity, too---Linger, Lonicera, Cerise--all similar scents.  My youngest daughter feels that Forever Yours is too perfumey, although I wasn't overwhelmed by that sensation myself.  It is a pleasant lightish floral that just doesn't inspire me to purchasing heights, lol.  However, if you happen to be a floral lover, I would recommend it, because it is quite pleasant.  Scent Rating:  6, Scent Strength: 7  Scent Lasting Power:  9
 
My real excitement is for 2014's ScentTrend, Simply Nashi Pear  I made the huge mistake of only ordering one bar, since I usually don't like pear scents, which tend to be either too sweet or artificial.  Nashi Pears are Asian Pears, and this scent is incredibly realistic, which a slight tinge of Asian Pear citrus.  Very nice!  A solid Scent Rating of 9 for this one.  It will soon be joined by February's scent of the month, Sparkling Citrus Pear.  I am totally looking forward to receiving my scent of the month preview kit this week, because I feel this is a great out-of-the-box  scent for Scentsy.  Yayyy!  Review to come soon.  Hoping to get samples out this weekend....


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yummy Yummy Spiced Berries

Spiced Berries--December's SOTM


Well, curse my nose!  I have had the most outrageously bad allergies this fall that trotted themselves out in full force following a head cold that Miss Elf gave me.  Most of the time, I can't smell a darned thing except for a brief couple-hour window after I take my allergy pill.  It has gotten so bad, I've encased my pillows in allergen covers, have been vacuuming every two days in my bedroom (WHAT????), and have ordered an air purifier.  This from a gal who spent the majority of her life completely allergy-free; now it seems I'm allergic to everything, from cats to soy candles to dust mites.  My allergist tells me she sees women in three phases of life: puberty, pregnancy, and menopause.  Apparently hormonal change times are big allergy times!  Who knew?  And, while I'm not quite at menopause yet, my hormones are quite definitely in the big flip-flop stage, so it all makes sense.  But it sure is messing with my sniffer. 

In fact, when I first melted Spiced Berries, I was pretty sure it had zero throw.  So disappointing.  But, then I took an allergy pill and came downstairs an hour later and was greeted by the most delightful berry/woodsy/spicy scent.  YUM!  Delicious!   Some on the Scentsy forums have compared Spiced Berries to Autumn Stroll, but I must vehemently object!  I find Autumn Stroll to be a perfumey-disgusting mess of a scent--one I'm compelled to toss after an hour of putting it in a warmer.  Others have compared it to the much-criticized Comfort & Joy.  Now, I'm one of the few who loves Comfort & Joy--but it is a strong cedar scent with a touch of spice, and I can see why one might not care for that. And I don't really think the two smell alike.   Spiced Berries is a well-balanced woodsy-spice scent that really opens up with fruitiness when warmed.  The scent notes don't list cinnamon, but I could swear there is a dab of it in there.  This is the type of scent that evokes Christmas, and it is going to enjoy a place next to my other Christmas faves--Christmas Cottage, Winter Pine, Cozy Fireside, Clementine Clove, and now, Spiced Berries.

Now, to be fair, I'm still not sure of Spiced Berries lasting power.  My nose lasting power is lacking.  So, I'll only be rating on scent this edition, and apologies about that! 

Spiced Berries Scent Rating:     9


And now, I'm re-posting last year's Thanksgiving Wish for you all:

May Blessings and Gratitude Fill Your Life Year 'Round!
Have a wonderful holiday with family and friends this Thanksgiving.
After much self-debate, I have elected not to participate in offering Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. I have personally boycotted Black Friday for many years now, not just because of the shopping aspect, but because how ugly it many times becomes...with tramplings and near-riots--and all over the acquisition of material goods! Now, many stores are opening earlier and earlier, meaning retail workers will unnecessarily need to leave home in the middle of the night to sell us stuff.
Now, I love my "stuff" as much as the next guy or gal.. I feel blessed to live in a country where we are fortunate enough to afford material comforts, needs, and yes, wants! I am grateful for our essential workers, like police, firemen, transportation personnel,and medical workers who MUST work on holidays.
But, it seems to me that when we, as a culture, start pushing people out of the way to get a bargain on a material good, we have fallen a bit. And I just can't participate. My shopping can wait another few days. I hope yours can, too.
I do try to offer sweet Scent Review deals throughout the year, so hopefully you don't have to rush around on Friday to get your Scentsy : )    
In the meantime, Happy, Happy Thankgiving!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Cinnamon Vanilla and A Little Birthday Wish

Happy 21 Maura!!


This sweet beauty is my youngest...turning 21 today.  This is the little peanut who came dashing into the world three weeks early in just an hour and a half of labor--a tiny perfect peanut at 5 lbs 13 oz.  She was such a sweet baby that we didn't anticipate the little spitfire toddler she would become, the result, I'm certain of a lot of big thoughts going on in that head.  Maura is our right-brained left-handed artiste who excels both academically and artistically (both music and fine art).  She has been a huge blessing and an occasional challenge for her two very left-brained parents.  But she is such a joy, with such insight, intelligence, and style, that she has so very often given me a new perspective on life.   Her dad and I are so thrilled to welcome her to official adult by wishing

A Very Happy Birthday, Maura!
 
 
and on to the review:

Cinnamon Vanilla

Cinnamon Vanilla has been around Scentsyworld a while, but I have to confess, I haven't tried it until this fall.  I love cinnamon scents.  I love vanilla scents.  Unfortunately, I am not wild about cinnamon and vanilla together.  That said, this is a perfectly acceptable cinnamon vanilla, and I sell a fair amount of it.  The vanilla is a sweetish, smooth cooking vanilla, with a bit of mild cinnamon sprinkled over.  It isn't particularly complex, being exactly what it purports to be.  It has good throw and really good lasting power.  It just isn't my thing, however, it doesn't repulse me either. 
 
If you are a cinnamon-vanilla fan, it is definitely one you will want to add to your stash.  I can see this as being extremely cozy on a cool fall or winter day.
 
Scent Rating (personal preference)               6
Scent Throw                                                  9
Scent Lasting Power                                     9
 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Clementine Clove

Scent Lots??

One thing I've found remarkable with Scentsy is the consistency of scent in their bars.  However, Clementine Clove just may challenge that consistency for me.  There appear to be two distinct "varieties" of CC, which I'll describe later, that has made me more aware of the issue.

It shouldn't surprise you that besides scented wax, I'm also a huge perfume fan.  In the perfume world, it is well known that perfumes can be different between production lots, due to the nature of the ingredients, some of which are natural and some of which are manufactured.  I can only imagine it would be the same with fragrance used to scent other things...like wax.  Scentsy does use both natural and manufactured scent, so it really surprises me that, up until now, I really haven't noticed a huge variation in scent among bars!

Clementine Clove is the exception.   It is supposed to be "a bright medley of aromatic citrus with clove and a hint of balsam." When I (finally) received mine this month a little later than usual, I popped in cubes from the first bar I came to in all my downstairs warmers.  Melted, it was an okay orange with a hint of spice that, unfortunately, was impossible to detect by dinnertime.  Not impressed.

However, I went to the Scentsy forums to check up on the reviews there and found that many peeps were finding Clementine Clove to be really strong on balsam.  One gal commented that there seem to be two Clementine Cloves---one an okay, light citrus, and the other a really long-lasting orange balsam.  Light bulb moment!  I dashed upstairs to my Scentsy room (yes, confession time--I actually have a whole room dedicated to Scentsy) and sniffed every last bar.  Out of the 9 remaining bars, 7 were a really wonderful orange balsam and the other two---meh, sad citrus spice--nothing even close to the likes of Mandarin Moon.

Well!  That was a game changer.  I immediately grabbed a bar of the balsamy CC and popped in the downstairs plug in warmer.  It wasn't long before I was greeted with the scent of Christmas---the lush balsam in the tree, clove oranges adorning the mantle (gently warmed by a glowing fire in the fireplace).  Sigh...really nice.   Evergreen scents are among my favorites this time of year, and this one is lovely.  Both the throw and the lasting power are huge, which is satisfying.  If you like citrus and/or evergreen scents, this one is most definitely a must-buy.  Mister and Maura were unimpressed with my first melting, but really liked the second, and the older girls were wild about the bars (heavy on balsam) that I gifted them.

I do hope Scentsy gets a handle on the consistency issue with this one--hopefully the first production run was just a little weak and the later lots are like most of my bars.  For now, I'll just pop in a little Winter Pine with my weaker remaining two bars, and then remain optimistic that future orders will be as pleasing  as the majority of bars I received.

So, the scent ratings for Clementine Clove:

Scent Rating:        8
Scent Throw:      10
Scent Last:         10



Don't forget that my discounted first-of-the-month order will go in on the fourth of November due to the late sample mailing.  You still have plenty of time to get a pre-order to me.  The warmer of the month is a whimsical Christmas Tree.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Herbal Girl

My Renaissance Girl


Youngest daughter, Maura, is something of a renaissance girl.  When she was five, she insisted all she wanted for her birthday were birdhouses and accessories for our yard.  Later, as a preteen, she roped her dad into building a semi-circle kitchen herb garden in front of our dining room window.  For years, she planted, tended, dug up, and replanted that garden, based upon her current culinary and medicinal interests, all legal mind you. 


Maura--Number 504
Now Maura, on the cusp of turning 21, is a senior in college studying voice (there on academic scholarship, too, thanks to being reasonably advanced in the noggin department).  When she isn't laid up with ankle tendon transfers and things of that nature, she rides horses, skis, does mud runs with her boyfriend, and loves to backpack with her dad.   She's also a darn good cook (make her cook salmon or something thai for you) and a little bit of a scary auntie (child corruption services...)  Her current passion---ooops, I mean interest, is beekeeping.  Maura has somehow finagled her sister and brother-in-law, who have two and a half acres in the country, to be the future site of her honey farm.  She has researched the topic (of course!  She takes after her mother in that respect), and has found that the WSU extension in our community has a beekeeping course in January.

Cool beans, huh? 

This past summer--I can say that now that it is fall--Maura planted pots of chamomile, catnip, and some sort of columned basil that did very well in our hostile-to-basil climate.  The cats loved the catnip and have kept it duly pruned.  We loved the basil.  Nothing like stepping out on the patio to return to the kitchen with a handful of fresh herbs ready to flavor something yummy.  We loves our fresh herbs!

Which is why I was wary of Scentsy's Simply Basil.  Cold, it is very herbally, but not especially basil-y.  And with my general discontent with this fall's newest offerings (which is truly good for my pocketbook, 'cause it's not like I don't have a gazillion other scents just lying around), my concern seemed well-founded.  But gotta say, melted, Simply Basil is GOOD. 

The basil really opens up and smells less like generic herb, and more like just good old basil.  It's out-of-the-box, fresh-smelling, and quite yummy.  Not sure I would want my house to smell like that every single day, but I can see having some around to pop in from time to time.  I do scratch my head a little that it is introduced in the fall, because I can see this in my home on a nice summer day, windows and doors wide open to let the outside in.  It's like letting a meadow full of sweet basil into your house.

So, that is another Scentsy thumb's up.  But, I can see it might not experience a diverse following.  Not everyone wants their house to smell like herbs.  But, ya never know.  If you like fresh, outdoorsy scents, this is definitely one to try.

Scent Rating:                           8
Scent Throw:                          10
Scent Lasting Power:              8