Friday, November 14, 2014

Episode One: Alchemic Muse Winter (or Hurry, They're Almost Gone!)

Howdy! Welcome to the inaugural review here at OE. I thought hard about what I wanted to review and decided that I needed to talk about one of my favorite Etsy sellers, Alchemic Muse. Karen runs a lovely shop with wonderful products -- I could recommend any number of them. Today, however, I want to discuss specifically the Winter line, as these are Limited Edition, and going fast..

I don't own, nor have I tried, every item in the line, so I have chosen a selection to discuss. I want to review two very different perfume oils, a body whip and a bar soap. I wanted to mention one of the Hair Mists, as well, but as of this writing it is not available in the shop. So let's get down to brass tacks.  ;D

Perfume Oils

The first scent in the Winter collection I want to review is Northwoods. From Alchemic Muse's Etsy Shop: Stimulating, yet calming. Reminiscent of a refreshing walk through a forest of frosted evergreen trees on a snowy winter day. Crisp silver cedar and blue spruce amid lifting notes of citrus, soft herbs and wild mint grounded with smoky musk and vetiver. 
Northwoods smells, to me, like the cleanest, freshest air in a woods blanketed with snow.. This is a wonderfully unisex scent, the most pleasing so of all the Winter offerings. On me, and vetiver were the dominant notes, but with wear the musk also showed through. Biting and clear, I highly recommend this scent as not only a perfume oil, but also a Cream Soap, Bar Soap or Foaming Body Scrub. It is a delightfully clean scent. Buy it here.

The second perfume oil is the delightful Krumkake. Alchemic Muse says: Norwegian Krumkake is a delicious filled waffle cone cookie traditionally made during the Yuletide season. Freshly baked gingerbread, brown sugar, creamy butter, and dark molasses dusted with saffron, clove, nutmeg and cinnamon and filled with caramelized chestnuts in thick vanilla cream.
Krumkake is deliciously gourmand, smelling of everything cinnamon, nutmeg and a dark, spicy scent that reminds me of raisins, but I imagine is the molasses and chestnuts. On me, the nutmeg and "raisin" scents were most prominent at application, but with the dry down the vanilla and ginger came through strongly, as they usually do on my skin. This is a nearly edible scent for you gourmand lovers, and I also recommend the Body Whip and Bar Soap. Buy it here.

Body Whip 

I wouldn't normally speak about a different form of a scent I've already reviewed, but when it comes to the lovely moisturizing products of different independent bath and body shops, I think that there is something very lovely about the way they are able to capture the flavors (not literally of course) in the ingredients, to the point where wearing one could make you want to just give yourself a nibble. ;)
This is also the case for Alchemic Muse's Krumkake. Where the perfume oil is loaded with that "I'm baking now" spice, the Body Whip is the finished product. Mouthwatering and tantalizing, Krumkake Body Whip is the delicious brown sugar and vanilla cream that could melt in your mouth, if only it were the real thing. Paired with it's perfume oil counterpart and you get a gourmand experience worthy of the season. Buy it here.

Bar Soap 

How much can be said about a bar of soap? Well, a lot, if you've never bought from an independent bathory before.  The handmade, cold process soaps are a dream to use, with lather that feels velvety on the skin, and is never harsh nor drying. A little goes much further than with traditional soap, so you will find that you get your money's worth and more!
One of my favorites from Alchemic Muse's Winter catalog is Pipe Smoke. Full disclosure: I usually prefer traditionally "clean" scents for soap and cleansing products, but I am obsessed with tobacco scents, and pipes usually product a wonderful, aromatic smoke. The description says: Sweet pipe tobacco, vintage cherry wood, and the warm, subtle scent of fireplace smoke.
I'm not going to lie, I was a bit worried. I shouldn't have been! The actual smoke scent is faint, just enough to let you know that yes, this bar has that warm, smoky undertone you expected. The cherry wood is much stronger, and I have always perceived it as a more earthy aroma, almost difficult to detect, but here it mingles nicely with the wood smoke. The scent as a whole is light, much different than some of the other soaps I tried, and in all was a pleasure to use, for someone who enjoys a smoky aroma. Buy it here.

In all, I don't think you can go wrong with the products at Alchemic Muse. Her Winter collection is strong, with something for just about everyone. Her shipping is lightening fast, and although her blog hasn't been updated in a while, she responds readily to Etsy Convos, and is also on Facebook. I will certainly be reviewing more of her products in the future, so let me know in the comments if there is something in particular you'd like to see mentioned!

I hope you enjoyed this update, and that I see you for Episode Two: The Attack of the Gift Sets (or How do I pick a Fragrance Gift?) Pleasant journeys ~


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