For the Viking in you…

…may I present Valhalla Soap Company.

They have decadent whipped soapsheavenly bar soaps that don’t just clean, they make washing up a joyrich, thick, luscious moisturisers for face and bodyscented bath treats fit for royalty, as well as lovely aromatic oils...and that’s just the things we’ve tried.  There’s so much more!

I was on the hunt for a face and body cream for the Tiny Human while his favourite company went through a reorganisation.  He’s picky,  so finding a good indie face cream has been very challenging.

He has to be.  He has some of the same issues I have with moisturisers for my face, so we tend to avoid most commercial creams and lotions for our face(as much as we love our BBW, it’s no good for the sensitive areas like our faces, and though we adore Lush, as it’s friendly for the face, it’s not so friendly for the budget).

Sun and windburn is also a constant, so it has to soothe without stinging overly dry very tender skin.  Then some very gentle scents…this is lowest on the list for a reason…it goes on the face.  If he was using it all over, and not just on his face, I would definitely get it heavily scented(they offer this option if you’re not using it on your face, or want a heavy scent load).

The proprietors were so sweet, walking me through the process of choosing the things I should test based on my needs, and pointing out the smaller sizes so it wasn’t a huge loss for me if it didn’t end up working.  This is the reason I have slowly worked my way through their catalogue of products.  Lucky for me, this works very well.

After a decent turnaround time(there’s just the two of them making all these decadent products), I received the bubblewrap envelope packed parcels of “plunder”, which were cradled in a rustic brown paper grass, wrapped in vibrant red tissue paper, and closed with a seal.  The black boxes are an elegant promise of treasure inside.  Even the soaps samples are artfully wrapped, then bagged, and closed with a seal.  The perfume vials bagged and sealed nicely.  It’s very neatly presented, and packed well to prevent shifting contents.  The added bubble wrap envelope cradled it on a cloud.  If I can only remember where I stowed the pictures, I’ll add them in later to show you how lovingly they are presented.

 

Now for the products.  Valhalla has an amazing whipped face cream formula.  Not too light, not too heavy, not too greasy, but very rich.  Sinks right in.  It’s whipped so light and fluffy, it feels wonderful on thirsty skin.  Unscented(or Unskunked as they call it), it has a pleasantly light herbal tone to it.

I look forward to trying some of their lightly scented ones.  This is amazing stuff.  They also have a Lavender heavy herbal moisturiser called Dermabliss, which is just heavenly for ultra dry skin(it was designed for bitter cold, dry Winters, which we’re no strangers to.).  It’s also beautiful to use before applying our favourite Lavender perfumes, as it doesn’t clash.

 

Now for the soaps.  We absolutely love a heavy, silky, rich, lathering soap, with a moderately good amount of scent.  It’s not super heavily scented, but the lather was superb, and very moisturising.

Lavender Wishing Star(this was an “oops” batch that was lacking the Anise, but it’s gorgeously Lavender, with pretty Lavender flowers and a Star Anise Pod).

We’ve also been given sample slices with every order, so it’s fun to try new things.  I plan on getting full bars of these later, as they’ve been such a hit with my son.

VO – Valhalla Original

CRONE MAGICK – VO

A deep, dark yet gorgeous blend of frankincense, myrrh, amber and sandalwood.

I need this in perfume.  That soap is gorgeous, like flawless resins layered onto a spike of Sandalwood, awaiting its turn to be lit for meditation.  I managed to wash my hands with it before it was discovered by kiddo.

 

NORSEMAN – VO

A rugged, all natural and adventurous blend of Balsam Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Clove and Blood Orange. Our #1 Best Seller five years running.

Kiddo says it’s a cousin to 540 Doors, so of course it must be for him.   It’s on the list of scents for us to try.

 

VIKTORY Soap – VO

You can almost taste it…the smell is so thick. You close your eyes and smell the aroma of sap from the surrounding Cedar and Fir forests. Dragon’s Blood worn for protection warms from your body heat and releases it’s rich, exotic scent. The smoke of pillaging fires still hangs in the air. You breathe deeply and inhale the sweet smell of Viktory!! And tonight you shall feast from the plunder!!

Dragon’s blood, evergreen, and smoke.  Guess who claimed it?  Once again it was not I.  He did say to add the perfume to the list.

 

FEARLESS soap

He is rugged and strong with an air of mystery like the earthy, mystical cedar forests. He is ancient and timeless like sultry amber resin and spices he carries as an offering to the gods. He smells of wild rose and bergamot, malty caramel and nutty hops, green grass and rich earth. Viking blood courses through his veins. He is tenacious, resilient…He is FEARLESS!

Yay!  I got this one.  Probably because it’s very Rose heavy(see perfume reviews below).  I’m so getting the whipped soaps for my hair.

 

LAVENDER SAGE soap

A unique balance of french lavender, bergamot and herbal clary sage with a slight hint of eucalyptus. Clean and refreshing. Heavy on the sage, lighter on the other notes.

I suppose I owe him this one after he dropped a bath melt of this into my bath while I went to brush my hair before soaking(It’s amazing, and you need a million of these, and a million of Kattegat Bay, which just became GC!  Whee!)

The bath melt is very good for relaxing and destressing.  The scent is heavyweight, and wafts nicely, lasting long after the bath.

 

**All plunder required from Valhalla Soap Company.  Reviews are our own to show our love.**

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Dedicated to my dear friend, part III

…finishing the reviews here.

Night Gaunt

No one ever found what the night-gaunts took, though those beasts themselves were so uncertain as to be almost fabulous. Carter asked them if night-gaunts sucked blood and liked shiny things and left webbed footprints, but they all shook their heads negatively and seemed frightened at his making such an inquiry. When he saw how taciturn they had become he asked them no more, but went to sleep in his blanket.

Their scent of their slick, rubbery hides is bittersweet, ticklish, and skin-creeping: something akin to yuzu, white grapefruit, and kumquat mixed with the snow-dusted flowers of Mount Ngranek.

In the Imp: a pretty Citrusy floral

On Me: Citrus blended with high-pitched florals…no, it’s soap. *sigh*

R’lyeh 

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. The sunken city of the Great God Cthulhu. A hellishly dark aquatic scent, evocative of fathomless oceanic deeps, the mysteries of madness buried under crushing black waters, and the brooding eternal evil that lies beneath the waves.

In the Imp: Grapefruit on a coastal beach.

On Me: Grapefruit in the ocean…that turned to Grapefruit scented Irish Spring. Blergh.

Shoggoth

It was a terrible, indescribable thing vaster than any subway train – a shapeless congerie of protoplasmic bubbles, faintly self-luminous, and with myriads of temporary eyes forming and un-forming as pustules of greenish light all over the tunnel-filling front that bore down upon us, crushing the frantic penguins and slithering over the glistening floor that it and its kind had swept so evilly free of all litter.

An amorphous, radiant, incandescent scent. Ever changing, protoplasmic and primordial: white amber, green coconut meat, iris, palmarosa, Chinese peony, lime, water lily, snowdrop, muguet, lemongrass, osmanthus, wisteria, glassy musk, and hinoki.

In the Imp: Coconut and fresh greens, florals, and a whiff of Amber.

On Me: Coco Castile soap scented with fresh greens and flowers.

The Deep Ones

I think their predominant colour was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. I was somehow glad that they had no more than four limbs. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked.

Black algae, drooping seaweed, salty brine, and crushed coral.

In the Imp: Such a fresh, green aquatic.

On Me: Seaweed clay soap. $!?%&¢@

I’m beginning to sense a theme here…that Lovecraft is being a bag of jerks and just decided he wants to fuck with my sense of smell.

Probably should hunt down the few I’m missing so I can say I’ve tried them all.

Added note:  All bottles were gifts, as were the imps.  Probably going to dump the lot on my unsuspecting best friend/sissurprise my best friend sis with a box of soapy scented crap…regift them to my best friend/sis with love…tell her that her niece might get a charge out of the Lovecraft theme, and let her decide which ones go away after she tries them all.

I seriously would have sent some of these to my brother Chris’fer as a gag gift. He’d have laughed after calling me a colossal arse.

 

 

**Indulgent scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, reviews by me**

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Prototype Gods, Goddesses, Stars, Disco Clams, and Dinosaurs

Revisiting prototypes.  I hope some of these appear up for grabs someday.  I love them.

Miss Ariel’s descriptions: Blue Dwarf Star has real blue tansy oil, which is a deep blue and tints the scent in your vials faintly blue-green. I am ridiculously excited and dorktastic about this one, BECAUSE: stars go through life cycles, and I have red musk, blue tansy, white musk, and black musk in this mix to pay homage to that cycle. The other notes holding Blue Dwarf Star together are wormwood, dragon’s blood, red resin, and a few uplifting drops of iris, gardenia and hyacinth. It’s not exactly a floral, despite this; it’s very complex, a little sweet and a little bitter, with a hint of earthy mint from the tansy.

Disco Clam is my long-running and imperfect attempt to capture the lush orange flesh and electric blue majesty of this wonderful animal. I’m currently– ha– involving mango and peach bathed in neroli-tinted champagne with an extra hit of nose-fizz in 1.0, and to 2.0 I have added peppermint and honeyed niaouli. I’m very curious to see who prefers which!

Blue dwarf Star 1.0

In the bottle:  Very lovely Aqua coloured, minty, kind of like crushed carnation petals.  Just a hint of Dragon’s Blood, and yeah, I smell the musk, but since it’s a ZOMG Smells scent, I’ll reserve judgement after trying and letting it dry.

On me: It smells very refined elegance on me, with just the light hint of florals, and a boozy kick of green faerie, and a smoke drenched incense with the Dragon’s blood and musks.  It does sort of shift between florals, booze and incense like their Four Seasons,  as in it changes as it warms to your body chemistry.

Aged, the Dragon’s Blood swirls into the boozy florals, and deepens everything.

On my son: It’s masculine florals, like with the Tesla collection, and very grown up notes with the musk, Dragon’s blood and wormwood lending more of a proper gentleman’s airs.  It does shift slightly, but in a masculine way.  He smells grown up, which makes me tear up.

Still crying, because my 12+1 smells too grown up.  Gonna go slather him in cute and sweet once I find him.

Disco Clam 1.0

In the bottle: Tropical fruit bubbly.  I dislike peaches(as much as my son loves them), but this smells amazing.

On me: The peach tries to appear, but the champagne fizz makes it all sort of bubbly float away.  It dries to a pretty feminine fruity girly drink.  This one sadly, is fleeting, and fades away too quickly.  It will be a favourite in my scent lockets, as I adore it!  It lasts a wee bit longer aged.

On my son: Sweet sparkling fruit.  He smells delicious. Aged, he still smells just peachy wearing this, and I’m running now, to give me a head start.

I hope it appears someday, if only as another proto-squee, because the peachy-keen kiddo smells wonderful.

Raptor Daddy(Miss Ariel’s descriptions and explanation[one of the things I love is we sometimes get insight into how a perfume is inspired, and how they create it]): RAPTOR DADDY got the most requests, so it goes first in the talkin’-about-new scents posts! Obviously what happened here is that I saw Jurassic World and swooned over Chris Pratt’s raptor pack antics despite the really sketchy writing for human interactions in that film, AND SO I worked on a sexy raptor daddy scent to encapsulate my RAPTOR FAMILY feels.

Raptor Daddy is the first scent that gets to use the good tonka bean I finally found after years of searching, so it has that sweet not-quite-vanilla subtlety mingling with classic sandalwood to float above the dark green vetiver and sharp, freshly-broken branch scent of cedarwood EO. Rosewood sweetens and classes things up a little, and three different sticky resins– two ambers and benzoin– call back to my childhood belief that you really could get dinosaur DNA out of amber. WHY NOT? A touch of masculine skin musk, worn leather, a tiny nightcap, and old library books finish it off with character. It’s a sweet masculine, because as my excellent assistant Ciara says, “You can’t be forceful with raptors. You’ll get your eyes clawed out.”):

Raptor Daddy 1.1(the version on my bottle)

It’s a walk in the woods…but watch out for those sneaky dinos!

In the bottle: Very Evergreen earthy and sweet.

On me: Woodsy, earthy green scents wafting through the museum on a hot Summer’s day and the dusty scent of old leather bound volumes on aged wooden shelves, as well as the scent of fossils(if you’ve ever lingered in a museum, you’ll know what I mean), an unattended vanilla custard cooling on the desk with the forgotten cuppa sitting nearby, lending it’s gentle tea scent to the air.  After about ten minutes, it’s less green, more Vanilla and Amber, and some Sandalwood but not the cloying sweet kind, it’s that good, sultry kind.  Aged, that Vanilla is rich and custard like, and the woods and resins deeper.  I love it.

On my son: He says it reminds him a lot of Rose in Amber(another one of their classics, which is like roses in a museum library surrounded by fossils on a Summer day), only instead of Roses, it’s Vanilla ice cream.  I sniffed his wrists, and he smells like Vanilla ice cream! It reminds me of when he sat in my late Grandpas workshop eating a vanilla cone, and the ever-present woodsy scent from lingering sawdust(as we had cut some boards earlier to make something for my son to work with, and swept the floor.  He didn’t want to leave the workshop, so my Dad got the ice cream and brought it outside).  It’s just a clean, scent.  Just a tiny hint of the green and woodsy, and enough Amber to refine it to a gentlemanly sweetness.  And another memory captured in scent.

It smells like Vanilla ice cream at the park, with a hint of evergreens.

Vanilla ice cream and dinosaurs! This image is not going away! I blame you, Miss Ariel(please don’t apologise)!

Still smells deliciously of ice cream and dinosaurs.  Must get the released version and compare them.

I even doodled a picture of that idea when we got these.

Blame Miss Ariel and my son

Vanillasaurs, rawr!

(Miss Ariel’s description):  Jotun Horn. I hear some folks wondering what’s in it, and I am here to help you out!

But first, the story:

Jotun Horn is a reference to the time Thor was hanging out in the mountains and had a run-in with some of the jotun, or jotnar– giants. Trickery ensued, but in this case it was Thor getting tricked by the giants. He was given a series of challenges, giant-bro style, to prove he could keep up with someone whose belt buckle he could barely see when standing on tippytoes. “Hell yeah,” said Thor, “I am totally as cool as you!” because he was not known for thoughtfully-considered decisions, and went after the jotun’s drinking horn like a frat boy doing a kegstand (only with a lot more old-school honor).

This, of course, is the story where the drinking horn was somehow actually THE ENTIRE OCEAN, and Thor managed to lower it by inches before he concedes defeat, swollen like a drunken aphid.

But what did it taste like?

It must have seemed like a good idea at the time, right? The illusion had to be complete.

Jotun Horn, thus, is my idea of delicious, magical giant beer: a rich, chewy dark stout with notes of oatmeal, tannin, myrrh, frankincense, and the fir-spiked mountains. Well-worn oiled leather, dark musk, and cedar round out the impression of the waiting giants and their great hall.

Please don’t drink it, though.

💜, Ariel

Jotun Horn

In the bottle: rich, chocolatey dark (I’m not a huge fan of beer, except for Berry Weiss, this lovely lemonade Summer Shandy, and this creamy, dark chocolatey one)…like a hearty beer.  Leather always reminds me of my Late Grandfather’s workshop, full of green wood curing, tools, carryalls, belts, and such.

If it’s not apparent, my Grandparents and Great-Grandparents were amazing people.  They taught me, by example, what rewards can be had with a little hard work and determination.  My late Grandmother often chided me for not spending time(and a few bits) on myself, which is how I ended up buying my first perfume from this amazing company.  

Many of their scents evoke powerful memories, because I often connected memories with certain smells…like sawdust and leather with my Grandfather’s workshop(he was a railroad man, and a carpenter).  My Grandmother told stories to us as children while showing little hands how to create cakes, pies, breads, pierogi,  of life during the Great Depression. Some of the foodie scents reminds me of my Grandmother’s kitchen, warm, and heavily scented with spices and the results of our hard work.

On me: Oddly enough, it reminds me of the scents and sounds of the ren faires.

Beer, Beer, Beer…(come on, you know the words!)

Beer in wooden mugs raised in toast by many manly men(it’s okay to dream and drool, ladies)…

Well-armoured men in leather and steel, smelling not at all sweaty, but of mysterious earthy musk. Tall pines surrounding the grounds swaying in the sunny breezes, lightly scenting the air(seriously, let your imagination run wild)…

Scent of Leathersmiths tanning hides and hawking their wares(and let’s not forget blacksmiths…just picture Robert Downey Jr. from that scene in Iron Man, and change his outfit a bit)…

The Apothecary with spices, resins, and oils to compound into poultices for easing pain, or evoking relaxation, and incense to meditate and clear your mind. I actually would wear this both to the faire, and when I wished I was at the faire.

On my son: Sweet porridge cooling in the workshop, amongst curing planks of greenwood oozing resinous sap, and the faintest hint of Sunday’s censers.

He says it’s smells spicy(his term for spices and incense) and sweet…tasty even. He walked out of my room sniffing his wrist and smiling.

My son smells delicious.

“So, let me explain Freyja’s Sweet Ride. It’s new and not up on the site yet, you missed nothing. You are, in fact, in the front lines of getting a new thing other people CAN’T get yet because it cannot yet be bought, only given. The idea is, Mad Max style, what if the next thing Freyja traded for from the artisan dwarves was an amber MOTORCYCLE? Also, sex joke/implication, because Freyja is a sex goddess too.

The notes: amber (of course), sandalwood, blood orange, star anise, rose, dianthus, benzoin, clove bud, dragon’s blood, and a breath of patchouli and vanilla.”

(Puns, jokes, science and nerd references everywhere!  Love it!)

So this starts off as a very sweet, sweet scent, all sultry, spicy, woodsy, boozy, and if I’m at all honest with myself, delicious.  Then it turns around real subtle like and winks.

In the bottle: Cloven fruit.  Now, Miss Ariel knows my enduring fondness for all things rennie especially the Highland Games, and a thing called Saracen Punch. In this punch are oranges stuck with cloves, and in the bottom of the barrel, various other whole spices, like cinnamon, anise, etcetera.  After the oranges are tossed in, you pile a whole mess of donated booze from patrons.  It smells much like this.

On me: The scent of Saracen Punch, heavier still, the scent of cloven fruit, intermingled with scents exotic woods and resins burning in the massive bonfires to make a heady incense laden cloud drifting  lazily in the air.  The Amber creeps in slowly, twining around the other scents to the rhythm of the wild sights and sounds to make a sultry, indulgent, enticing aroma to evoke the most exquisite imagery.

Aged, the Dragon’s Blood and Amber steal the show, and I love this so much!

On my son, who only wanted to try it because of the oranges(because it had hints of Tapputi, another orange based scent from here): Oranges and cream soda fizz.  It seriously smelled sweet and innocent.  A few minutes later, Amber and Dragon’s Blood rounded out an orange cream soda incense scent that was so very different than the grown up version I’m wearing…

Aged, it made him smell older than 12+1, yet still sweet and innocent, and I’m trying to not tear up.

 

**Prototypes by ZOMG Smells, reviews by me(and my 12+1)**

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Dedicated to my dear friend, part II…

…I’m continuing the Lovecraftian theme here:

A Picnic in Arkham
The Lovecraft Collection.
Scents inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the Cthulhu Mythos.

What, in substance, both the Esquimaux wizards and the Louisiana swamp-priests had chanted to their kindred idols was something very like this: the word-divisions being guessed at from traditional breaks in the phrase as chanted aloud:

“Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

In his house at R’lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.

Iä! Iä!

Cthulhu

If I say that my somewhat extravagant imagination yielded simultaneous pictures of an octopus, a dragon, and a human caricature, I shall not be unfaithful to the spirit of the thing. A pulpy, tentacled head surmounted a grotesque and scaly body with rudimentary wings… It represented a monster of vaguely anthropoid outline, but with an octopus-like head whose face was a mass of feelers, a scaly, rubbery-looking body, prodigious claws on hind and fore feet, and long, narrow wings behind. This thing, which seemed instinct with a fearsome and unnatural malignancy, was of a somewhat bloated corpulence…

A creeping, wet, slithering scent, dripping with seaweed, oceanic plants and dark, unfathomable waters.

In the Bottle: Smells like Irish Spring soap.

On Me: Ditto. Ew, getitoff!

Al-Azif

An Arabic term that refers to both the chirping of nocturnal insects and the ambient sound made by the chattering of demons. This is the original title of the feared Necronomicon, the Book of Dead Names, penned by the Mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred.

Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of earth’s masters, or that the common bulk of life and substances walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man’s truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones where Their seal is engraven, but who hath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.

A sinister, sinuous incense of summoning, a herald and paean to the Primordial Gods of Darkness, Chaos, Madness and Decay.

In the Imp: Aquatic Incense

On Me: Sulphrous Sorghum and Dirty Hippie incense with soap. WTBF?

Azathoth

The Daemon Sultan, Seething Nuclear Chaos

…that last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the centre of all infinity — the boundless daemon-sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes; to which detestable pounding and piping dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic ultimate gods, the blind, voiceless, tenebrous, mindless Other Gods whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep.

Azathoth is the blind, idiot god who sits on a black throne at the center of Chaos. His scent is high-pitched and screeching, both impenetrably dark and searingly bright with the clarity of madness: tangerine, saffron, vetiver, black amber and cedarwood.

In the Imp: Citrus, Amber and Woods, oh my!

On me: Citrus and ancient woods soap. Boo.

Arkham

Behind everything crouched the brooding, festering horror of the ancient town, and of the mouldy, unhallowed garret gable where he wrote and studied and wrestled with figures and formulae when he was not tossing on the meager iron bed. His ears were growing sensitive to a preternatural and intolerable degree, and he had long ago stopped the cheap mantel clock whose ticking had come to seem like a thunder of artillery. At night the subtle stirring of the black city outside, the sinister scurrying of rats in the wormy partitions, and the creaking of hidden timbers in the centuried house, were enough to give him a sense of strident pandemonium. The darkness always teemed with unexplained sound – and yet he sometimes shook with fear lest the noises he heard should subside and allow him to hear certain other fainter noises which he suspected were lurking behind them.

He was in the changeless, legend-haunted city of Arkham, with its clustering gambrel roofs that sway and sag over attics where witches hid from the King’s men in the dark, olden years of the Province.

A shadowy, unapproachable forest of maple, birch, dogwood, cypress and pine softened by a garland of New England wildflowers: bergamot, columbine, rue anemone, blue violet, creeping phlox, bloodroot, toadflax, and pixie moss.

In the Bottle: A New England Forest in Spring.

On Me: Forest and flowers…nope, it’s mushy, congealed, Yardley’s soap and Pine Sol.

Brown Jenkin

The yellowed country records containing her testimony and that of her accusers were so damnably suggestive of things beyond human experience – and the descriptions of the darting little furry object which served as her familiar were so painfully realistic despite their incredible details.

That object – no larger than a good-sized rat and quaintly called by the townspeople “Brown Jenkin – seemed to have been the fruit of a remarkable case of sympathetic herd-delusion, for in 1692 no less than eleven persons had testified to glimpsing it. There were recent rumours, too, with a baffling and disconcerting amount of agreement. Witnesses said it had long hair and the shape of a rat, but that its sharp-toothed, bearded face was evilly human while its paws were like tiny human hands. It took messages betwixt old Keziah and the devil, and was nursed on the witch’s blood, which it sucked like a vampire. Its voice was a kind of loathsome titter, and it could speak all languages. Of all the bizarre monstrosities in Gilman’s dreams, nothing filled him with greater panic and nausea than this blasphemous and diminutive hybrid, whose image flitted across his vision in a form a thousandfold more hateful than anything his waking mind had deduced from the ancient records and the modern whispers.

A small, furry, sharp-toothed scent that will nuzzle you curiously in the black hours before dawn: dusty white sandalwood and orris root, dry coconut husk, creeping musk, and the residue of ceremonial incense.

In the Imp: Church Incense with Coconut.

On Me: Sandalwood and Coconut soap…damnit.

 

 

 

**Indulgent scents by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, reviews by me**

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We all march to the beat of a different drum…

…but each note adds to the rhythm of life.

My brother lives on in the hearts of family, friends, and everyone who knew and loved him.  It’s not the kind of immortality we typically envision for well, anyone, but it is nice to see a good man’s deeds live on eternally.

As his birthday approaches in…nineteen days(his birthday was three years and two days after Garfield the Cat), I’m trying to not grieve, but to find a way to celebrate his life…

…it’s harder than you think.

My sister-in-law Michele is setting up a team in Indiana to walk in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk this September.  If you would like to join her, or donate to the cause:

For Christopher’s Sake!&@%

Chris'fer and Avery

I’m horrible at this kind of stuff…

On July 23rd, 2016 we unexpectedly lost Chris to heart failure. He had barely turned 35 years old. Chris was a pretty awesome partner, and an even better father to his kids. I can not even begin to explain the the vast hole that was left behind.
He was too young. His kids shouldn’t have to grow up without him. Maybe this can make sure that someday other people don’t have to deal with the same.
Thank you for your love and support,
Michele

 

As I continue to journal random things here, as well as do our reviews of all things stinky, I’m going to drop the link at the bottom and maybe even post some random stories of him.

Now shoo!  Go hug your loved ones.

 

 

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Girl Genius smells like science

So I’m a fan of steampunk and comics.  Phil and Kaja Foglio have crafted an epic saga of fantasy, romance, high piracy, airships, and mad science called, Girl Genius.

ZOMG Smells has crafted the officially official scents inspired by this amazing tale(the Foglios also have created novels(kindle digital editions linked here) of the first few volumes for those who gasp! don’t like comic books).

Jager #3

A little dark, a little dirty, but with undeniable sweetness under the rough edges– this is a Jäger to watch out for. No Jäger is subtle, but this one approaches suaveness wearing elephant boots. Dangerously sexy. Olibanum, ginger, toasted cardamom, vetiver, and molasses.

In the Bottle:  Gingersnaps.

On Me:  Gingersnaps and a gorgeous frankincense drydown.  Really nice gingery sulphrously sweet bite.

On My Son:  Even more delicious.  *sigh*  Yes, I’m forbidden to be close at the moment.

Pirate Queen (on duty)

Can’t burn the town? Mustn’t burn the town? Even just a little tiny bit? No? Well, phooey. A layer of sweetness and light just barely obscuring the urge to LOOT AND BURN AT WILL.

Maybe later? 

Sticky, sugary kheer, golden raisins, and sandalwood incense over golden amber and khus.

In the Bottle: Pudding(I swear, it smells like a delicious pudding!) and Smoky; that “Really, I didn’t burn anything down…Honest!” smell.

On Me:  OMG yummy sweet Pudding smell!, then it kinda blends into this smoky Sandalwood and Amber smell, kind of like a smoldering fire made with very old aromatic woods, with the Pudding lingering underneath. Very sexy and dangerous.

On My Son: The first time he tried it, he ran off with my bottle.  Years later, I have to buy an extra so I have a half a chance at some.  It’s still one of his favourites to this day.  He calls it, “Pirate Lord at Work” when anyone outside of family asks about it.  It’s still amazing on him.

The Nuremburg Pudding Incident

While the Nuremburg Pudding Incident has been largely hushed up and reduced to tantalizing snippets of rumor and hearsay after the fact, the two things most sources agree on are that the Professoressa Foglio was probably mostly responsible (whether this was intentional or not), and that it smelled DELICIOUS.

Warm vanilla pudding made from scratch, the fortuitous conjunction of two ambers, the vast sticky sweetness of a giant lab experiment gone deliciously wrong, and a lingering touch of sweet lemon rind from the All-Volunteer Fruit-Based Town Cleaning Brigade.

In the bottle: It smells like a warm, fresh made pudding with lemon zest sprinkled on top.

On me:  Like above, then after about 20 minutes, deepens into this vanilla with quite a nice hint of amber, and this earthy not quite flower bit, and a subtle bit citrusy, but definitely divine smell.

On My Son:  Yes, he smells amazing.  It’s a warmer, masculine styled gourmand.  Wow.

I’m not gonna cry, honest…*sniffle*

 

 

**Indulgent treats by ZOMG Smells, reviews by me**

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Dedicated to my dear friend…

…who lives in the heart of Lovecraft Country.

(I still want to get them a Innsmouth Guppies MVJBA shirt and maybe a Phoenix Steamworks Explosive Demolition window decal.)

The weather here is cool and damp, so here’s some fun Miskatonic Valley scents:

 

The Black Temple Burlesque Troupe Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab  Yule : Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire

Straight from the pits of black, lightless N’kai: the voluptuous bat-winged vixens of the Black Temple Burlesque Troupe!

Cacao, black musk, and tobacco absolute.

In the Bottle: Expensive, sweet, Pipe Tobacco.

On Me: Oh God this is amazing!  Chocolatey, sweet, rich Pipe Tobacco. The Black Musk is subtle and sexy.  I love this, and if this ever returns, I’m buying a truckload.

 

Sweet Lavinia’s Dread Puddings Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab  Yule : Miskatonic Valley Yuletide Faire

Lavinia Whateley is famous throughout the Miskatonic Valley for her inimitably delightful and suspiciously spicy dread bread puddings!

In the Bottle: Sweet lightly spiced Bread pudding. Nothing fancy.

On me:  HOLY WOW
Boozy, spicy, custard-like bread pudding. Makes me want to make some.

 

Sweet Lavinia’s Risalamande    Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab  Yule : Miskatonic Valley Yuletide

Clots of rice pudding (harvested from the fair trade rice farms of Bokrug Lake!) and organic whipped goat cream topped with a sebaceous glob of black cherry sauce.

In the Bottle: Another sweet pudding, hint of fruit.

On me:  Yes, I want to bite my arm.
It’s the best rice pudding, freshly made, slightly tart Dark cherries and heavy sweet cream.

 

shub niggurathBlack Phoenix Alchemy Lab  Yule : Miskatonic Valley Yuletide

Since 1928, Mother Shub and her brood have been providing the snack shacks of the Miskatonic Valley with a bevy of otherworldly sweets and baked treats. This year, Mother Shub has created a promotional perfume oil that embodies the scent of her famous Peanut Brittle Caramel Popcorn. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! Thank you for an eon of community support!

In the Bottle:  Peanut Brittle and Cracker Jacks.

On Me:  *om nom nom nom*

 

**Indulgent scents were acquired from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, reviews by me**

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