On Scent and Aromateria Scents & Sensibilities

October 4, 2012 § 5 Comments

About a couple of months ago, the only scents I owned and used were from Clean – Fresh Laundry and Summer Escape. They were simple and smelled good (my boyfriend and my dad call them bagong-ligo, or freshly-showered fragrances!), which made them perfect choices for everyday especially when I’m in a hurry and tend to reach for the quickest option.

When I discovered Darling Clandestine and Haus of Gloi, that’s when I really started getting into scent and appreciating the art and alchemy it takes to bring together wonderful, complex, uncommon fragrances. In fact, I splurged and bought perfume solids, samples, and full-size perfumes from DC and the Haus, which I talk about briefly here (and which have yet to make a full appearance on the blog, sorry), and some of which are on their way to me.

The only downside is that it takes some trouble and time to get your hands on these scents – since both of them are from sellers based in the US, I’ve limited myself to placing big orders from them, so that the shipping cost is worth it.

But, when I was clicking around on Facebook though, I stumbled on a local business that does exactly what DC and the Haus: provide you with handmade, artisan fragrances and solid perfumes.

Aromateria Scents & Sensibilities, owned by Shani Tan.

It looks as if they’re a relatively small and new business, having started in 2011, and making appearances in craft fairs and the upcoming Yabang Pinoy bazaar (November 10-11, 2012, in the Rockwell Tent). They have around 22 scents in three categories: Men, Women, and Unisex.

This is their scentlist, as of February 2012 (I think they classified the Unisex fragrances under the Men category):

Aromateria perfumes come in the form of solid perfume sticks (which look like lip balms and gloss, although they warn that you shouldn’t use them for this perfumes). Solid perfumes (I have the DC fragrances in tin form) are very convenient to carry around – they take up little space and you don’t have to worry about spills in your bag.

I like that they’re packaged so conveniently, with design that’s a little bit arcane, and a lot artistic. The ingredients, scent descriptions, and ‘instructions’ are also printed on each label.

What I LOVE, however, that they’re inspired by books and comic books, and tv shows and movies and whatnot. The fangirl in me is dying to own fragrances inspired by Game of Thrones, Agueda (which, I think, references Nick Joaquin’s May Day Eve), Jane Austen, alcoholic drinks, and even Shakespeare. I mean, the business name itself references Austen – and I’m sure you’ll be able to spot familiar characters and names in the picture above. And it’s Filipino-made.

The price isn’t explicitly stated on the website (which I think could also use a complete list and descriptions of all fragrances offered), but from clicking around Facebook, I’ve found that an Aromateria solid perfume stick goes for P250. Which makes them reasonably-priced, especially for a handmade fragrance that’ll last you for a long time.

Right now, I really want to try:

  • Sto Helit (dark chocolate, grapefruit, and tangerine)
  • Beach Bunny (Florals, mossy marine with a touch of sugar)
  • Van Pelt (lemon & musk with warm ginger)
  • Holy Basil (fresh basil, sweet lime with a hint of mint)
  • And maybe Sherlock (bergamot, patchouli, oakmoss, basil, and cedarwood) for my boyfriend.

Aromateria has me very intrigued. This was actually not in my line-up of posts, but I got so excited when I stumbled on their website that I just had to write about them. I will most likely, be unable to control myself, and place an order by the end of the week!

Check out Aromateria’s website here, or their Facebook page here.

Are you interested in any of their scents? Are there other unique, Filipino-made products you’ve discovered?

[All images were taken from the Aromateria website and Facebook page. No copyright infringement is intended.]

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Tried&Tested: Haus of Gloi pumpkin butters review

September 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’m pretty sure I first heard of Haus of Gloi over at Claire’s Beauty–specifically, this Indie Interview post with Evonne of Darling Clandestine, who mentions that she uses her own scent concoction mixed into Aether Pumpkin Butter. Aether. Pumpkin Butter.

Aether pumpkin butter: it sounds pretty, appetizing, and luxurious all at the same time!  Ok, there you go, curiosity piqued: I visited Haus of Gloi.

The Haus is an indie, vegan bath, body, and fragrance line based in Oregon. It’s run by Matt and Britton — all the scents are crafted and blended by hand, so you’re pretty much assured of getting interesting and unique products, whether they’re pumpkin butters, body emulsions, soaps, emulsifying scrubs, bubbling scrubs, and perfume oils.

I like that they put a lot of thought into their “branding.” For example, the website’s overall theme changes with the seasons – right now, it’s autumn, as you can see from the screenshot.  Whether it’s spring or autumn, the site reflects their aesthetic (a mix of quirky and arcane come to mind), is really easy to navigate, and only has the essentials.

BUT browsing the catalog is difficult, because everything sounds so appealing! Check out the pumpkin butters here and be tempted.

Since this was my first order, I decided to order pumpkin butters in the sample sizes (2oz) so I could get a variety of scents: Elevenses, Troika, and Twice is Nice. I also ordered a perfume oil sample in Honeysuckle Lemon Curd (which I’ll review in another post). I received my little haul – with a free sample of Picaroon – thanks to my aunt’s obliging friend (who allowed me to ship this to her) and to my aunt (who brought them home from her business trip).

Here they are, a little worse for the wear, after I’ve used them a few times.

The pumpkin butters come in little plastic jars with screw-on lids — and as a bonus, they’re sealed, which I didn’t expect from an independent business. Once you open them, they look like whipped butter, close to the pictures in the catalog.

I scooped a small amount on the back of my hand to show you the texture – doesn’t it look thick and luxurious? Be warned: a little of this product goes a long way; it was enough to cover my entire forearm. I’ve used them each a number of times for my whole body (usually after I shower to lock the moisture in), and I can tell you that these pumpkin butters also go on smoothly and sink well into the skin. If you use a little too much, you might feel a bit more stickiness on your skin, but that’s not really a bad thing for me, as these are all so moisturizing.

On to the scents (official description in italics, my impressions below):

Twice is Nice: Sweetest offerings of opulence! Buttery sugar cookie, with shavings of creamy coconut and topped with toasted almond slivers!

– I’ve found that with the Haus, scent descriptions are generally spot on: this smelled to me like a freshly-baked, buttery coconut macaroon. The almond’s also there upon initial application, but fades away behind the buttery, coconut smell. I thought I smelled delicious, honestly – but my younger sister also said I smelled like virgin coconut oil. She got the scent right, but not in the way I would’ve liked!

Troika: A trinity of soft milks, almond, oat and coconut, lashed with sweet agave nectar and the ethereal scent of clean white.

– This is the most subtle of the scents I chose – it smells clean and soft, not too overwhelming at all. The prominent notes are really the milk and almond, with a hint of the coconut. I can’t really distinguish the other scents, but they’re there to keep the fragrance from being TOO simple and boring. At first, I thought this was exactly similar to Vanilla & Co’s Milky Almond buttercream, and then I compared the two – yep, Milky Almond is Troika’s more boring sister.

Elevenses: Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, its the little snack in between. Bring out the old cracked china! Tiny, little, fluffy orange cakes, sugar coated toasty almonds and a wee steaming cup of black tea!

– This was my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE of all three scents. It makes me feel like I’m in Hobbiton, having second breakfast in Bag End – astringent black tea, orange cakes flecked with spices, and something creamy tying it all together (must be the almond). I love this so much I’ve only used it twice – on days that I need a pick-me-up.

The packaging’s pretty nice as well – it reflects the site’s quirky-arcane aesthetic. Labels are also printed with a complete list of (vegan) ingredients and the descriptions of the scents. I like these so much that when I’ve used all of these up, I don’t think I’m going to throw these jars away!

I thought that these were such tiny, tiny jars, but you get a surprising amount of use with these products – I’ve used Troika five times, and there’s still a little over half the jar left.

See – there’s still a lot of product left

I did a little sleuthing around Google before I ordered these, and I found out that Julia of Bless My Bag has also ordered from the Haus. You can read her post about them here, especially if you’re wondering about shipping to Manila.

I should add that Matt and Britton have great customer service as well – when I sent them an email to correct my shipping address, they responded promptly.

As a bonus, they include a free sample of perfume oil with every order. Turnaround time (the time in between placing your order and them shipping it out) is also very fast – it took 2 days for them to ship out this order.

PROS: packaging, generous sample sizes, very moisturizing, spreads and sinks into skin well, amazing scents, scents linger for 3-4 hours, affordable prices, fast turnaround time, great customer service, they ship worldwide, and all products are vegan-friendly

CONS: none that I can think of!

Try? I would recommend these products to everyone, whether they’re from the general collection (as all 3 of mine were), or they’re from the themed seasonal collections (Autumn is up right now). Right now, Elevenses is the only one I would repurchase in the full size – not because I didn’t like the other products, but because I want to try everything else. Yes, everything.

(and in fact, the entire Autumn line of pumpkin butters is on their way to me!)

How Reddit introduced me to the world of indie

September 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

Since an officemate introduced me to Reddit, r/MakeupAddiction has quickly become one of my favorite subreddits. I agonize over looks that I’ll never be able to get right, look for things to add to my to-buy list, and get tips and tricks and be entertained by the lovely MUAers, in general.

Lo and behold, one morning – in the middle of the stressful and hellish month that was July – I clicked on a post talking about the perfect summer lip color and was immediately *sold*. A pretty coral color + Zoidberg = NEED.

So I went to Shiro Cosmetics and placed an order for five of the sample intertubes in Trololo, Why Not Zoidberg, Ridiculously Photogenic, Team Buffy, and Three Wolf Moon.

Then I settled down to begin what would be a three-week long wait and decided to keep browsing Reddit (no surprises there, hahaha). The comments and a lot of Googling brought me to Luna over at Toxid Lotus, and eventually, to Claire over at Claire’s Beauty. It was through them that I first heard of Darling Clandestine, Haus of Gloi, and Etsy/indie bath and body products in general.

I started browsing the Haus, DC, and Etsy, and with every click, it was almost like my money was begging to be spent. “Tina, you need to *smell* like butter cookies sprinkled with coconut and almond. Hey, don’t you need a bright, summery perfume? And in a handy-dandy solid that’s easy to lug around? No, come on, seriously, you need these now!”

Honestly, it sounded like that in my head at the time that I was salivating over the pumpkin butters and perfume solids. The massive Googling I did to see whether their products were worth buying brought me to reviews that convinced me even more: I had to have ’em.

At that point, I was only worried about the logistics, especially since the things I wanted to buy could only be shipped through regular mail, and were considerably more bulky than the Intertubes samples. The Philippine Postal Service isn’t considered very reliable after all, and Customs is notorious for overcharging taxes, asking for bribes, and even stealing from the packages (despite having Comm Biazon at its helm now). And then I got a text message from my Mom saying, “Your aunt is going to the US. If there’s anything you want to order, order it already and she will email you the address where you can have it shipped.”

Everything fell into place, really. The heavens conspired, and now, I have ALL OF THIS:

L-R: Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butters, Darling Clandestine solid perfumes & perfume samples from DC and Haus of Gloi, Sakura Bath & Body lip balms

I’ve tried most of them already, and I am seriously addicted – I’ve a list of shops I now browse regularly, and I’ve got a regular ol’ shopping list for the coming months. But first – the things I already have for the next post – specifically, the Haus of Gloi pumpkin butters and the Sakura Bath & Body lip balms!

Considering this is only the second post on Three Tii’s, I feel a bit silly (but I’ll keep the optimism and act as if there are people reading this already), but – how did you discover Indie? Any favorites? :)

P.S. Crappy pictures for now because I have yet to unearth our camera. Sorry!

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