Victoria’s Maple Syrup and Garlic-Roasted Chicken with On-Ke’s Coconut Oil-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Seriously good food.
No one likes to admit weakness, but I will here: after years of heavy teaching loads and graduate school stress, I am prone to burn out. I used to think that I was invincible, a survivor who overcame those horrible stretches of apathy by plowing straight through them. In reality, I was only papering over my needs and making the situation worse.

Today things are different. I recognize the signs of burn-out more easily, those dark twinges that hang just outside of my metaphysical peripheral vision. Unlike then, I realize now that if I don’t take care of myself, I’m no good to anyone: family, friends, students, and colleagues alike. So I draw boundaries at the end of each semester, knowing that I need to take some precious time to recharge my batteries so to speak.

One thing that always helps me recuperate and regain my joie de vivre is food, particularly cooking. When life gets hectic and the stacks of papers that I need to grade grow higher, I pretty much cease to cook at home — an obvious mistake as cooking calms me and the food that I prepare nourishes both my body and spirit. I love trying new recipes and cooking from new cookbooks, but when I am really aching for something soul-sustaining, what I love most are recipes from family and friends. Those recipes and dishes are the ones that are really special because they make me feel as if that person is in the kitchen with me even though they may be thousands of miles away.

I’ve been spatchcocking a lot of chickens lately. Partly because I’ve finally invested in a good pair of very sharp, spring-loaded shears, and also because I like how evenly and quickly the chicken cooks. The white meat emerges tender and moist from the oven, the dark meat is rich and succulent, and the skin comes out crispy, burnished, and golden.

For this particular chicken, I finally got around to trying a maple syrup-kissed rub/marinade that Victoria over at Bois de Jasmin mentioned in the comment thread of her post on Hot and Spicy Cranberry Sauce. Many people think of Bois de Jasmin as a perfume blog, but I always consider it much more than that: a celebration of life and of all things fragrant, including food and drink. Given that the olfactory and the gustatory are so intimately intertwined, is it surprising that many perfume lovers happen to be fine gastronomes as well?

Victoria calls this chicken an improvisation, but I call it genius. The chicken feels infused with a terrific depth of flavor. The maple syrup caramelizes to a sticky, burnt sugar-like glaze. Victoria uses a mortar and pestle to render the garlic cloves into a smooth paste. I would have done the same if I had one. However, as I do not, I made do with a garlic press. Regardless of which technique you choose, the garlicky chicken roasting in the oven will make your kitchen smell mouthwatering good. I used a pinch of cayenne pepper in place of a pinch of paprika, but Victoria also suggests a little bit a garam masala added to the mix — a delicious idea that I look forward to trying as soon as I get back to NYC.

As for the coconut oil-roasted sweet potatoes, I never would have tried a so-called Paleo recipe if not for On-Ke, who had recently completed 30 days of eating Paleo along with her daughter Siobhan and her family. I had initially gotten to know Siobhan through her wonderful blog Garden Correspondent. When we finally met in person, it was as if I had known her for years. Laughing and chatting animatedly over Italian coffee and pastries, Siobhan decided that she needed to introduce me to her mother, another “culture vulture” who lives rather conveniently around the corner from me. Needless to say, we hit it off right away and have spent this past fall terrorizing the city in a good way: museum visits, perfume sniffing outings, theater performances, and always food, glorious food! Siobhan, you are missed!

One afternoon, On-Ke served me a roasted and roughly cut up kabocha squash that was rubbed with coconut oil, seasoned with salt, and studded with cracked black peppercorns. Super classy woman that I am, I devoured what must have been half a pumpkin in one sitting. I couldn’t help it; there was something about that subtle coconut flavor that made that roasted kabocha squash even more irresistible. Ever since that afternoon, this has been my preferred way to cook just about any squash or yam. As I thought about a perfect complement for Victoria’s chicken, I couldn’t come up with a better one than these sweet potatoes roasted in the same way.

Special Equipment:

A good, sharp pair of cooking shears

One half-size sheet pan

One wire rack to fit the sheet pan

Ingredients:

For the sweet potatoes:

2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons of coconut oil (I prefer unrefined coconut oil because the coconut flavor is stronger)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the roasted chicken:

1 whole chicken

1 tablespoon of dark amber maple syrup

3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced or even better, pulverized using a mortar and pestle with a little course salt

2 tablespoons of good olive oil

A pinch of cayenne pepper, paprika, or garam masala

1 teaspoon of kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

How to prepare:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. While the oven is warming up, you can begin to prep the chicken. To spatchcock any bird, flip the bird over so that its breast is facing down on the cutting board and its back is facing upright. Using a good, sharp pair of sturdy kitchen shears, remove the backbone by cutting along either side of it. Remove any excess skin that is dangling from the neck hole. Turn the bird breast-side-up. Remove the wishbone with a sharp knife. Now with the heel of your hand, press directly down on the breast bone until you hear a crack. Congratulations! You have just spatchcocked a bird! To finish, tuck the wings behind the breast. For the legs, you can make small slits in the skin on either side of where the tail used to be and push the ends of each respective leg through them. You can also leave the wings and legs as they are. Your chicken will taste the same either way, but as a firm believer in trussing, I like to have everything looking neat. To help visualize this, here is a video.

3. Combine the maple syrup, garlic, olive oil, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixture evenly all over the chicken. Lay the chicken out on a rack-lined sheet pan and let it marinate uncovered on the counter for about 40 minutes to an hour.

4. While the chicken is marinating, use your hands to rub each piece sweet potato with coconut oil. Season the pieces liberally with flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, and spread them out in an even layer over another baking tray or in the bottom of a cast iron pan. I like my roasted sweet potatoes to be on the very roasted side, not exactly burnt, but just so that the surface sugars are caramelized. This should take about 40 minutes or so. If you prefer yours to be less roasted, you can remove them from the oven when they are softened and can be easily pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

5. When the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven. Put the chicken in the oven and carefully pour about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of water into the bottom of the sheet pan. The water should not touch the bottom of the wire rack. Roast the chicken until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°, this should take between 1 hour and 1.5 hours depending on how big your chicken is. If at any point you notice that the garlic is beginning to burn, you can loosely tent the chicken with a sheet of aluminum foil, removing it when the it is almost done so that the skin can brown. When the chicken is done, take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10-20 minutes before carving.

Serve the chicken with the roasted sweet potatoes.

Guest Post from Lucas: Fresh Mint Tea, Chemist in the Bottle-Style

I Heart Tea!
A note from Daisy: For many of you, Lucas needs no introduction. For those who don’t know him yet, he is the wonderful Polish blogger and outstanding cosmetic chemistry student behind Chemist in the Bottle. Although he writes primarily about perfume, he is also a hardcore foodie. It has been meltingly hot and humid lately and to help beat the heat, I have asked him to share his refreshing recipe for mint tea. It is a bit different from how I prepare it here in the States (i.e., brew something potent, pour it over ice, add more ice), but I love learning about how people elsewhere keep cool via what they eat and what they drink.

As my parents are still visiting, I am very happy to hand the blog over to Lucas this week! I hope that you enjoy his post as much as I do. 

By Lucas

Summer is an amazing season. Once the school year is over and children begin enjoying their vacation, people become more relaxed and everyone seems to be much happier than just a few months ago. Clear skies and sunshine are what give us endorphins, the hormones of happiness. However, when the temperature rises to dangerous levels, summer is no longer so much fun. The constant heat is hard to enjoy — especially when you have to sit in an office building or you don’t have air conditioning (or even a fan).

To counter the heat, I’d like to share a couple variations on my recipe for fresh summer mint tea. It’s a really refreshing drink that is very easy and fast to make.

You will need:

  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Salt

Let’s make a cold mint tea first! There are two methods to make it:

METHOD 1 – hot brew – cold drink

Take two fresh mint leaves if you’re making a single cup, or 5-6 leaves if you want to prepare a liter’s worth of tea. Put the mint leaves into your cup or pot. Boil some water. When the water is hot, pour in just enough to drown the leaves. You only want to cover the bottom of your cup or pot. Let it sit until the water is cool. During this time, the leaves will transfer their flavor and a little bit of their color to the water. Next, add enough cold water to fill your cup or pot and put it in the fridge to chill. After about 2-3 hours, your icy mint tea should be almost ready. Now you can add a slice of lemon and lime to add a citrus taste to your drink. Voilà! The tea is ready!

METHOD 2 – cold brew – cold drink

Take the same amount of fresh mint leaves and crush them with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle in your kitchen, simply chop the leaves roughly with a knife or use scissors to cut them into smaller pieces. Fill the pot with the water and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day, your water will have a light green tinge. The color will be more intense than if you had used the hot brew method, as cutting the leaves helps the pigment and flavor to transfer more easily to the water. Pouring hot water over cut or crushed leaves will cause your tea to taste more intense and be darker. This is called infusion. Add a slice of lemon and/or lime for an even more refreshing twist. For this cold beverage, ice cubes are optional. Please be aware that if you add a lot of them, the tea will be more diluted. I rarely add ice to my cup but when I do, it’s usually only 2 ice cubes. Neither of these methods (infusion or hot brew) make a very strong tea so you don’t want to lose the charming flavor of fresh mint by adding more frozen water to it.

METHOD 3 – hot brew – hot drink

Both of the methods above produce a cold drink. However, you must believe me when I say that it’s sometimes good to drink something hot when it’s hot outside. This might sound ridiculous and ridiculously unappealing (I mean, who wants to have a hot drink when it’s scorching outside?) but I have found that when it’s 35°C (that’s 95°F) outside, you can feel refreshed and less tired of the heat after you treat yourself to a hot liquid.

Once again, take 2 fresh mint leaves, 5 for a pot’s worth, and cover them with hot, but not boiling water. Wait about 10 to 15 minutes for the tea to be properly infused. Toss in a slice of lemon, lime, or both and enjoy your hot beverage. Did you notice that the heat isn’t so tiring now? 🙂

As a matter of taste, I have to mention something about lemons and limes: if you prefer your tea to be less bitter, cut off the rind of your slice before you add it into your mint tea. The limonene present in citrus fruits is at its highest concentration in the yellow, orange or green rinds. If you have nothing against tasting a refreshing bitterness, feel free to include the rind. Its limonene and tannins are responsible for the sensation that you are enjoying.

One more thing: did you notice sodium chloride, or salt in the ingredients? On super hot days, you should always add a tiny bit into your tea. We sweat more when it’s hot out and our bodies lose their necessary minerals faster. Just a few crystals of salt will help to keep the balance of chloride anions and sodium cations in your body. Cl- are especially important in our body cells. For just a cup of tea, a pinch is enough (that should be just a couple of grains, no more!) For a liter, add about a ¼ teaspoon salt. Regardless of how you brew your tea, the salt should be added at the end, either with lemon or lime, or right afterwards. Don’t forget to stir your tea to ensure that all the crystals are properly dissolved.

In Poland, mint is a pretty seasonal garden plant so when I get some leafy sprigs of mint, I like to keep some fresh and dry the rest on my balcony in the sun. If you have fresh mint, you can do this too and enjoy your mint tea made from fresh leaves even after the summer months are over. If you dry your own leaves, remember that you should use a hot brew preparation for them. A cold method will take ages for the dried leaves to infuse the water.

If you can’t get fresh mint, you can use regular mint tea packed in bags or sachets. Use one sachet for one cup and two for the pot. If using tea bags or sachets, the hot water method of making iced tea is better. The cold infusion method works well too, but it will take longer — around 24 hours — and will give a very light brew with gentle flavor. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is ideal for summer evenings when you want something calming before going to sleep.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will enjoy your homemade fresh summer mint tea, which is delicious and all natural. Let me know in the comments if you decide to prepare it. I would also love to hear what you think after you drank a cup or two!

One last note from Daisy: All these photos are courtesy of Lucas! I’m sure you’ll agree with me that if he ever decides to drop out of school, he could be one heck of a great photographer and/or food stylist 🙂 Thank you so much, Lucas!

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.

My First Perfume Post: Touring The Art of Scent Exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design New York for Bois de Jasmin

Come tour with me!
I tour The Art of Scent exhibition at the Museum of Art and Design with curator Chandler Burr for Bois de Jasmin.

Click here to read.