Friday, October 7, 2011

Last breath of Summer.

As much as I love autumn, I'm always sad to see the summer end. It's been years since my back to school days, but autumn's first blaze reminds me that soon the planting and the gardening will be over, the roses will die back to hips and berries, night will fall earlier each day and soon we'll face the dreaded "s" word*

Once Halloween is done, the party's over, and autumn goes from spooky and harvesty to dead and depressing. Winter is romantic until about mid-January, then it's hell on wheels. Frozen wheels. The snow stops being pretty and pristine and the streets are just a muddy, slushy, churned up mess. The fireplace and hot cocoa stop being charming and become grimly necessary in the long, uphill death march that is February in NE Ohio.

But let's not think about that right now! The trees are turning and it's beautiful here. It was almost 80 degrees today, and if I'm careful about where I look, I could almost pretend it's still August or late September and there's time yet to put in that last bed of late summer annuals. My roses are still blooming and I've got a few tomatoes ripening on the vine - making up for such a crappy growing season earlier. In celebration of mock late summer, or an early preview of Indian Summer, which hasn't happened yet, I bring you three summery scents from Fairly Charmed.

I don't remember how I found the shop, but my need to deny the oncoming cold season led me towards green, outdoorsy scents. They deal in solid scents and lip balms, and I chose to try the scents.  I love solid perfumes because they're great to toss in a purse without having to worry about breakage or spillage. Also, as I've said before, I'm incredibly clumsy, and solid scents in balm sticks or pots bounce on a tile floor rather than shatter like, say, my glass bottle of Crabtree and Evelyn Violets toilet water** did the other day. (sob)

Anyway, I purchased a pick 3 for 12$ and chose The Meadow, Allegheny Moss and Acorns & Oak Leaves.  These three scents are extremely similar, and the shop also carries florals, earthy and other scents.  I'd put these in the sweet green category. They're packaged in oval lip balm tubes, have a nice soft, but not mushy consistency. They do contain beeswax, so they are not vegan. The ingredients (besides fragrance) are Shea Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Coconut Oil, BeesWax, Avocado Oil and Cocoa Butter.

The Meadow is part of the Twilight series of fragrances based on the books/movies. In spite of my utter loathing for all things Twilight (my vampires*** can kick their sparkly white-boy undead butts)I liked the notes, so I bought it. The Meadow is described as:  "a fantastic fragrance. A bit green, a bit earthy, and a bit electric! While the Twilight movie combines Muse and baseball for an exciting game, we've combined the best odors into this scent. It really doesn't matter if you are Twilight fan or not, this grassy green, melon, rich wood and vanilla scent is sure to please." It's a very pleasant, sweet-grass scent. None of the notes stand out in particular, but the whole, overall aroma is fairly meadowy. It reminds me of tall grasses, grown so long they've tasselled at the top and the rush of green scent and flavor when I'd chew on the stems as a kid. I wouldn't call it a melony or fruity scent, but there is an overlying sweetness reminiscent of a scattering of summer flowers. It's a nice, bright scent, like a sunny morning in a farmer's field left to go fallow for the season. Maybe with a baseball field hidden in the back.

Allegheny Moss was inspired by the Allegheny National Forest, and contains notes of "Iceland moss, quillaja, yucca, olibanum and galbanum. A soothing fragrance with a fresh appeal." This one's probably my favourite of the three. Definitely the greenest and least sweet. If The Meadow is bright green, this is a deep green, very foresty. It smells like wandering off the hiking trail in a park on a summer afternoon, climbing down to a riverbed and listening to the water rushing over the stones. It smells like trees and moss and climbing ivy, with a glimpse of dappled sunlight. There's green and a slight, sharp damp pungency that's very characteristic of wooded areas around the Great Lakes.
stolen from Pennsylvania's Travel Guide web page. Probably full of gorgeous scenery.

Oak Leaves & Acorns is a flowery, spicy green scent. This could be a late summer autumn scent. It's listed as "Rustic pine, wild violets and fall leaves are the center of this intriguing new scent." I'm a sucker for anything with violet notes. Mmmmm...violets. I can definitely smell the violet note, mixed in with a spicy, woodsy smell. This one does make me think of the forest as the first few leaves have started to fall. It's a bit crisper than the other two, and the violet gives it a heady punch. I'd say this one smells like a sundown walk in September, the first fallen leaves mingling with the last of the blossoms and a few lingering berries.  That combination of beauty and sadness as another season nears its end.

Any of these scents would be good for daytime or early evening wear. I wouldn't put them with a slinky black dress, but they're perfect for a dinner date or an afternoon out. They're not excessively complex, and they wear well, even in solid format. While I don't expect to use them up as quickly as some of my other fragrances, I do see myself reaching for them when I want something fresh, green and outdoorsy, like a quick shopping trip or running errands. Or when it's 15 degrees and snowing bloody murder outside. I was very pleased with my overall purchase and will be trying other some of the other scent and balm offerings in the future.

*snow. Also sleet and slush
**which, of course they don't make any more.
***The Hunger, for example.

All products were purchased by me for my own use. My opinions are my own and always will be. Your mileage may vary. The book, which I don't own, but I'd love to check it out, is by Ed Bernik (photographer), Lisa Gensheimer (Author), Jonathan Tourtellot (Author).

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