Mother’s Day Giveaway Winner

Courtesy of Brie :-)
The winner is . . .

The Perfumed Dandy

Congratulations, dear M. Dandy! Kindly contact us with your details via the contact form on this page.

Many thanks to Brie for the lovely guest post, the generous draw, and the wonderful and warm replies to everyone’s comments.

And thank you to everyone who commented!

Photo courtesy of Brie and her daughters. Corny captions by yours truly 🙂

Reminder: Last Chance to Enter to Win Mother’s Day Giveaway

Whooo wants to win?
Last chance for one lucky commenter to enter for the chance to win a tea sampler including Organic India’s Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea and a small sample of Soap and Paper Factory’s Owl solid perfume, courtesy of Brie.

To enter, leave a comment below or on the original post and tell us about a special mother or motherly figure in your life.

This drawing will close Sunday, May 19, at midnight EST. Anyone in the US or overseas can enter. The winner will be drawn by Brie and her children from her special ceramic owl. We will announce the winner on this blog in a separate post and also make the announcement on Twitter.

The winner will have one week to contact us with a mailing address. In the case that the winner does not get in touch with us, we will draw again for a runner-up.

Good luck, Everyone!

Guest Post from Brie: A Mother’s Day Story and A Special Perfume Pairing + Giveaway

Sweet roses and tea for mom.
A note from Daisy: After the warm and wonderful reception to Brie’s last Perfume Pairings Guest Post, I have asked her to contribute another one in honor of Mother’s Day.

In about a week, I will finally wrap up a grueling semester of teaching. I very much look forward to getting back to the kitchen and back to my dear Readers. In the meanwhile, I am pleased to hand the reins over to Brie again for this beautiful tribute to her friend’s mother and to all mothers. Enjoy!

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age arrives alone, unaccompanied.
Woon Tai Ho, Riot Green

by Brie

Christine is my oldest childhood friend. We have known each other for 42 years. When we met, she lived one flight down from me in an apartment in NYC. Her mother, Catherine, was a bubbly woman of Greek descent who lived life to the fullest. She had an infectious laugh and the ability to always see the glass half full instead of half empty.

One Christmas, Catherine invited all of her daughter’s friends over to present us with gifts that she had chosen quite carefully for each of us. What was revealed after we tore off the wrapping paper were handcrafted ornaments of various animals. I was secretly hoping for the cat (my favorite animal) and was dismayed to see that she had given me an owl instead. Sensing my disappointment, she pulled me aside and quietly whispered, “Do you know what the owl represents? Intuitive wisdom. Never forget that you are an owl, not a cat.”

At the time, being four months shy of becoming a teenager, all I cared about was getting what I did not think I had: popularity and attractiveness. Intuition and wisdom were the very last attributes I wanted to cultivate. Sadly, Christine lost her mother to breast cancer a few years later.

Flash forward to ten years ago when I asked my parents to retrieve all of my Christmas ornaments from the common storage room in their apartment building. To my horror, all of my collectibles from Hallmark had been stolen. The only decorations left behind were worthless stragglers, including that owl from Catherine. Despite my first reaction to it all those years ago, I took it back with me. When I hung it on my Christmas tree that year, I thought of Catherine. Her words haunted me and every year following that one, I placed that owl on my tree.

Whoo likes owls now? I do!

Slowly but surely, the owl became my animal, and eventually my three children heard the story of how I came to love them through the Catherine’s wise words.

It should come as no surprise that when I saw Soap and Paper Factory’s Owl solid perfume, I bought it un-sniffed. Luckily for me, it smells fantastic! Owl is a bright, rosy geranium on top of a dry down of sandalwood, tobacco, and vetiver. For a solid and natural perfume, it lasts an incredibly long time. The tea I love to pair it with is Organic India’s Tulsi Tea – Sweet Rose. Tulsi, or holy basil, is an herb renowned in India for its healing properties: it relieves stress and protects the immune system. That beautiful Sweet Rose tea melds so nicely with the Soap and Paper Factory’s Owl perfume.

Three years ago, I included a letter with my yearly holiday card to my friend Christine. I wrote about the exchange between her mother and me. I also included a picture of my owl hanging on the Christmas tree. Last year, she confided that she keeps my letter in a special place and reads it from time to time. I hope that it serves as a reminder that her mother’s memory lives on in the heart of a woman who hopes for wisdom to accompany her into middle age.

Now that I am a mother myself, as challenging as it has been to raise children in a world that isn’t always so wonderful, I can say that motherhood is an experience that I would not have wanted to miss.

Mother’s Day isn’t necessarily about biological mothers, as far as I am concerned. We can get love and that motherly connection from our closest friends. I know because I have! For that reason, I think that is an important to stress that many of us are already “mothers” to others without even knowing it.

This story is dedicated to all mothers: past, present and future.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all!

Thanks to Brie, we also have a special Mother’s Day Giveaway: A tea sampler including Organic India’s Tulsi Sweet Rose Tea, and a small sample of Soap and Paper Factory’s Owl solid perfume. To enter, leave a comment below and tell us who is the “mother” you would like to dedicate this post to.

This drawing will close at midnight EST on May 19. Anyone in the US or overseas can enter. The winner will be drawn by Brie and her children from her special ceramic owl. We will announce the winner on this blog in a separate post and also make the announcement on Twitter.

The winner will have one week to contact us with a mailing address. In the case that the winner does not get in touch with us, we will draw again for a runner-up.

Good luck, Everyone!

Guest Perfume Post: Jordan River Presents Us a Scented Tale + Spikenard Oil Giveaway

A note from Daisy: This post is courtesy of Jordan River, also known around these parts as The Fragrant Man. As I have been inundated with work these past few weeks, I am quite grateful to place you in his capable hands for a little bit of a departure from our regularly scheduled programming 🙂

Since this post went up yesterday, there has been a little bit of confusion created about the religious nature of it. I would just like to say that I am not a religious person. I did not choose to publish Jordan’s post in order to impose any kind of ideology. What I did like was the idea of being able to travel back in time through scent.

Sometimes when I smell something, I feel instantly transported to another time and space. Those memories need not always be personal and yesterday’s post is an opportunity to reach back and feel a small sliver of what the past might have been like.

Now without further ado, Jordan will take us on a journey to a faraway land filled with mysterious women, men, and precious oils . . .

Alabaster Box

by Jordan River

Are you spending too much on perfume? Here is a scented tale for you.

The Oil in the Alabaster Box

There are many faiths in this world. There are also many myths and legends. It’s up to you to find the truth on your fragrant journey. Let’s travel to the east this Easter to visit a woman living on the boundaries of her culture.

She has recently met a man. She believes him to be her spiritual guide. He is surrounded by men at a dinner party. She is uninvited and has to make her way past the guests in order to be able to offer her teacher a scented gift.

The gift is spikenard oil, an expensive perfume ingredient which at this volume — a Roman litra* — is the equivalent of spending a year’s salary on a scent. The scent so potent that the home where this story takes place becomes filled with fragrant air.

image

The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind

She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There’s no place here for her kind

Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of alabaster

Don’t be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren’t there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don’t know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

– lyrics: Janice Sjostran
for chanteuse Cece Winans
– an interpretation of Mark 14:3-9

Judas the accountant thought this money would have been better spent as food for the poor. Nevertheless the teacher accepted this gift from a woman’s heart.

Jesus looked at her with a smile “Your deed will never be forgotten. Your story will be told throughout all the lands, for all time, and in ways you have never even dreamed of.”

Never could she have imagined that one day the story of her alabaster box would be told on the World Wide Web.

* A Roman litra ~ 327 grams

Album Version – Cece Winans – The Alabaster Box
A more melodic version.

Easter Giveaway: Spikenard Foot Oil

We also have a gift to give away. Brie in New York has made some spikenard foot oil especially for this post. If you would like to encounter this scent and look after your own or your loved one’s feet, please leave a comment below or follow Daisy and/or Jordan on Twitter.

The gift recipient will be announced on Easter Sunday and your package will be lovingly mailed to you on Tuesday.

Spikenard or nard originates in India and Nepal, high in the Himalayas. The root of the plant is the source for one of the rarest and most precious oils.

Brie would like to say that she is not a professional perfumer. This is an interest for her. She blends with the best of intentions, carefully choosing oils for their healing properties as well as for their scent. Brie says that spikenard is quite tenacious and challenging to work with. In her experience, it can easily take over the blend (as tea tree oil similarly does).

This giveaway is appearing on multiple platforms. Please visit the other participating blogs for more chances to win. You can enter more than once!

Australian Perfume Junkies

Scents Memory

The Perfume Dandy

All I Am – A Redhead

Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood Sample + Tea Sampler Giveaway Winner is . . .

And the winner is ...
. . . Rubyandwheaky!

Congratulations! I’ve already contacted the winner and passed the contact information on to Brie. Enjoy your sample of Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood and your tea sampler!

A big thank you to Brie for her generosity, her wonderful post, and her fantastic replies to your comments.

And thank you to everyone who commented!

Photo by Brie’s daughter Brittany. The adorable owl is Brie’s own 🙂

Giveaway Reminder: Enter to Win a Sample of Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood and a Sampler of Teas

Win me!
Last chance for one lucky commenter to enter for the chance to win a 1ml sample of Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood, accompanied by a sampler of aromatic teas, courtesy of Brie. This is a random draw open to only residents of the US due to tightened shipping restrictions on perfume.

The draw will end this Sunday, March 3, at 11:59pm. 

The winner will be announced here and via twitter.

To be eligible, leave us a comment either below or on the original post!

Perfume Pairings: Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood + Zhena’s Gypsy Chocolate Chai

You see your gypsy.
A note from Daisy: This post is a first for me and this blog: I have never had a guest writer before and am pleased to present one today. You may know Brie from her comments here and on other perfume blogs. When she isn’t working with autistic children as a speech pathologist, she is busy studying aromatherapy. She also makes essential oil blends for her friends and family in the Hudson River Valley where she lives with her husband and three children. This post marks a new foray into perfume for this blog too, the first of many more to come.

By Brie

Many years ago, I worked with an eccentric woman who — aside from claiming to be psychic and descended from gypsies — was well-versed in the healing properties of essential oils. She insisted that sandalwood was “my oil” and gifted me a full ounce of pure Mysore sandalwood encased in an Egyptian-style bottle with a gold stopper.

For those of you who might not know, Mysore sandalwood is like liquid gold: extremely rare and increasingly hard to come by! At the time, I was an eau de toilette-spraying sillage monster. The idea of dabbing sacred oil on my “third eye” was preposterous! After two years of collecting dust on my desk, I finally threw out the bottle.

Ironically, she was right.

Flash forward twenty years later . . .

For the past six years, I have shared an office with a “perfume despising” co-worker. No matter how judiciously I apply, she makes comments like, “Your perfume reeks of old lady!” and “Open the windows NOW!” To add insult to injury, my husband bans perfume in our house every spring and fall, when my conventional perfumes exacerbate his allergies.

In my attempt to inoffensively wear perfume on a daily basis, I began exploring essential oils. Nowadays, one of my favorite scents is New Caledonian sandalwood — which I wear straight up without any complaints from my co-worker or my husband.

One day, I had another epiphany: what better way to further scent my environment on a daily basis than with aromatic teas? They offer up a dual sensory delight in taste and smell and are unobjectionable to those who have a problem with perfume.

To me, drinking rooibos tea is like drinking sandalwood: it is a creamy, woody, caramel delight.

Zhena’s Gypsy Chocolate Chai Rooibos Tea is blended with spices and dark chocolate. It is the perfect match for Sonoma Scent Studio’s latest release: Cocoa Sandalwood.

Sonoma Scent Studio is an artisanal perfume company located in California. It is owned and operated by Laurie Erickson, the mastermind responsible for these high quality and affordable liquid masterpieces. I also especially love supporting Laurie. She is a kind and generous soul who makes an effort to stay very connected to her customers. She also maintains a terrific blog that you can check out here.

Cocoa Sandalwood perfume contains generous amounts of New Caledonian sandalwood, natural peach lactones, spices and a deep, dark chocolate note. It is the quintessential grown-up gourmand scent and is truly a delicious olfactory delight.

As it is all natural, it sits close to the skin. It also plays well with the “perfume-averse” crowd. In fact this is the only perfume that my husband allows me to wear to bed. One tiny drop on my wrist is all that I need for happy sniffing into a land of slumber.

During these cold dreary days in the Northeast I wear my SSS Cocoa Sandalwood and drink my Gypsy Chocolate Chai Rooibos Tea whilst thinking about that zany woman twenty years ago. Eerily enough, many of the predictions she made about my future life did indeed come true.

Giveaway: We would like to offer one lucky commenter the chance to win a 1ml sample of Sonoma Scent Studio Cocoa Sandalwood, accompanied by a sampler of aromatic teas, courtesy of Brie. This is a random draw open to only residents of the US due to tightened shipping restrictions on perfume.

The draw will end this Sunday, March 3, at 11:59pm.

To enter, leave a comment for us below! 

Cocoa Sandalwood Eau de Parfum is available directly from the Sonoma Scent Studio website in 4 sizes: 3ml ($15), 5ml ($25), 17ml ($64), and 34ml ($125).

Zhena’s Gypsy Tea Chocolate Chai is available to purchase for $6.99 from their website. It can also be found at other outlets like Safeway, Whole Foods, and Central Market.

Photo by Brie’s daughter, Brittany.