If you like to bathe in luxury, try Pacifica soaps. Before buying, you can wander through a virtual garden of high-quality scents with names like Sandalwood, Tahitian Gardenia, Tunisian Jasmine, French Lilac, Bergamot Amber Rose, Vanilla Orchid, Bali Lime Papaya, Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Thai Lemongrass and so on.
The soaps are nature-friendly (biodegradable, vegan, not tested on animals, no artificial colors), and the scents are strong but smell authentic — it’s hard to detect a chemical base that’s typical for some scented soaps. Each beautifully boxed 6-ounce bar is priced at or close to $7 — which might seem extravagant until you realize that with scented products of this caliber, you get what you pay for.
Posted March 2, 2006 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, gifts, home
Whoo-hoo! Macy’s is having a big fat Presidents’ Day Sale on apparel, jewelry and shoes for him, her and kids — but today is the last day. Also, this is the last week of the annual Home Sale on bed & bath, dining, housewares, luggage and rugs.
Posted February 20, 2006 by Mariva in bath & spa, decor, entertaining, fashion, home, jewelry, kitchen
Ever feel nostalgic for products or supplies that you remember from childhood, but haven’t been able to find in years? Your search may be over. The Vermont Country Store offers a wide variety of products that your parents or grandparents used — all brand-new and recently manufactured. How is this possible? The proprietors get permission to re-create vintage products as close to the originals as possible — including design and packaging — and bring them to market for another generation of consumers. If you’re not in the neighborhood of one of the stores in Weston or Rockingham, Vermont, you can order vintage games, classic New England apparel (warning: not for the fashion-conscious), long-lost fragrances and even food and beverages online. If you can’t find what you want, let them know, and they’ll consider re-creating it for you.
Posted February 15, 2006 by Mariva in bath & spa, business, decor, edibles, fun, games, gifts, home, innovations, kitchen, resources
I made a special trip to Pure Beauty in the Castro to purchase its last inventory of the Smoothies hair claws that I like so much. (The Rake, Chunky Square and Skate claws are my favorites for quick, no-fuss updos. And check out the Trap Claw, which features a patented hidden spring that makes your French and faux-French twists look more elegant.) While I was there, the employees were busy clearing out the old "beauty supply" items and replacing them with chichi "beauty boutique" stuff. I decided to scope out the higher-end merchandise.
I found the most miraculous thing: a bottle — with an unostentatious label — of Fresh Pink Jasmine Eau de Parfum, the scent of which was splendiferous, even transcendent. (The product description lists its scent notes — a top of red orange, freesia, spring lilac; a heart of magnolia, peony, fresh jasmine, tiare flower; and a base of precious woods, velvety peach skin, marsh mallow — which I can’t make heads or tails out of, but hey, it sounds fabulous.)
OK, I decided, I’ll bite. So how much?
Seventy-five dollars. Oh. Definitely beyond my "impulse purchase" budget. OK, so how much for the Pink Jasmine Body Cream? Another $75? Well, then how about the Pink Jasmine Soap Set? Twenty-five dollars? Twenty-five dollars for soap? Man, that’d better be some fresh soap.
Luckily, I found the Fresh Pink Jasmine Gift Set — which includes the perfume, body cream and soap — for $95, instead of $175 for the three separate products. Now that I can live with — especially since the distinct scent from the tester bottle lasted on my cotton jacket for two days afterward.
Other notable products include LaLicious Gardenia Body Butter, Bumble and Bumble hair care products and Calypso fragrances.
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Posted February 3, 2006 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, gifts
||When I was conducting research for my post on scented paper, I came across some interesting smell-related sites:
- Better Living with Essential Oils: information about and uses for essential oils for body and home care. #24 is instructions on infusing scents into paper, although I would suggest adding the drops of essential oils to a cotton pad rather than directly onto the paper.
Posted December 29, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, education, health, home, resources
Does scented paper exist? I’ve been intrigued by the concept since seeing Legally Blonde, in which Reese Witherspoon’s character Elle Woods submitted her resume on paper that was not only pink, but scented as well, to give it that "extra something." After conducting my own exhaustive research, however, I found out that you can’t just purchase a ream of scented paper at, say, Office Depot.
The only products I found that were even close to this mythical scented paper included:
I also found a couple of resources for do-it-yourselfers, so that you can either infuse a scent into existing paper or make your own scented herb paper from scratch.
I hope someone eventually makes inexpensive scented paper that’s suitable for printing. A savvy entrepreneur could fill some niche markets in the wedding, home crafting, scrapbooking, stationery, dining napkin or specialty paper industries. Maybe Martha or Kate — or, more practically, Wausau Paper or Gartner Studios — should look into it.
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Posted December 28, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, business, decor, entertaining, gifts, home, innovations
A cup of tea, the big newspaper (or a good book) and feet soaking in warm bubbling water — can you imagine a better way to spend Sunday mornings in winter? The only challenge to this cozy scenario is how to keep the water warm in the foot bath. I grew frustrated with having to get up to refill the foot bath in the middle of a relaxing soak because the water had become tepid. Unlike other foot spa baths, the HoMedics JetSpa Ultra Jet Action Pedicure Footbath not only actually keeps the water warm (even hot!), it can heat up cold water via its own safe heating mechanism. The bubbles and jet action are nice, too. It comes with a brush and pumice stone pedicure attachments, but I never use them. The system is great for softening toenails for a spa-quality pedicure. So no more annoying refill interruptions — you can keep your feet in this thing until your soles wrinkle and you’ve gotten through the entire paper.
Available for under $60 here and here.
Posted December 26, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, gifts, health, home
robin’s egg soaps in apothecary jar
These soaps are so beautiful that you’ll have to convince yourself to use them — and you’ll want to. The aquamarine blue soaps contain fragrant chamomile and meadowsweet extracts, and the “speckles” on the eggs are bits of oatmeal and wheat bran for gentle exfoliation. Best of all, these French-milled, high-lather, vegetable-based soaps are "nested" inside an old-fashioned apothecary jar.
Posted December 21, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, decor, gifts, home
|What a great gift idea: with a PajamaGram (your choice of pajamas, robe or slippers), your recipient gets a free:
- keepsake organza hatbox
- lavender sachet
- "Do Not Disturb" sign
- personalized gift card
- decorative shipping box
Also available are bath & body spa supplies, candles, gourmet treats and relaxation accessories for creating the perfect retreat-at-home experience. (Maybe I’ll send one of these gifts to myself!)
Posted December 14, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, edibles, fashion, gifts, holidays, home
DailyCandy provides today’s gift idea at Amazon.com and offers reviews of things to eat, wear, visit and enjoy. You can choose an "edition" set to your city (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, Dallas and London are available so far), although moms and dads may prefer viewing the "Kids" edition. Personally, I find the most interesting and valuable stuff listed in the "Everywhere" edition. For your convenience, you may sign up for the daily shopping deals and the daily email messages.
In addition to providing daily candy, this site offers delicious eye candy as well; you’ll love the beautiful watercolor/pen & ink graphics. Check out each "edition" to see all the drawings.
Posted November 10, 2005 by Mariva in bath & spa, beauty, edibles, entertainment, fashion, fun, gifts, jewelry, resources, social, travel