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Beauty VIP of the Week: Bond No. 9 Chinatown Candle

Bond No. 9 Chinatown Candle

Hi, my name is Carla and I hoard expensive candles. I treat my expensive candles a little differently, I save them for weekends, special occasions or just when the mood hits me. I have a little rotation going; my Tom Ford, Dayna Decker, NARS, Nest and Bond No. 9 candles all get a little burn time. The rest of the time I burn some more affordable candles. :)

This week I’ve shown my Bond No. 9 Chinatown candle some love. It is has been a long, cold week and I’ve been unwinding at night by burning this candle for an hour or two each night. Let me tell you, it smells amazing. Each Bond No. 9 candle I’ve experienced is exquisitely scented, the Scent of Peace is another favorite of mine. Chinatown has notes of patchouli, peach blossom, peony, gardenia, tuberose, and cardamom. I’m obsessed with how the candle fills the room with fragrance and gives it a seductive vibe. It sounds very floral based on the notes but the patchouli and cardamom give it great depth and spice. Chinatown is great date night material.

The Bond No. 9 candles retail for $95. Expensive? Yes. Simply gorgeous as the candle burns and the jar glows in the dark? Absolutely… and the highlight of my week.

Birchbox Debuts Limited Edition "Home" Box and Pop-Up Shop

Birchbox delivery days are almost always the high point of my month. Side note: today will be that day, as my box is currently out for delivery with my local USPS. Beyond just the obvious joy a box of beauty goodies brings me, Birchbox has also introduced me to some awesome “extras” — like the Mighty Leaf Green Tropical Tea (the best), the Twistband and even stylish plastic zip bags. So today’s news of a limited edition Birchbox Home and Holiday Pop-Up shop is truly exciting. The limited edition box, priced at $58 (with a $140+ value) is a must-gift for the holidays — for yourself or the hostess who graciously opens her home to you on Thanksgiving AND Christmas (in my case, my sister — sorry for the spoiler, Tricia!)

Cuddle Up With Tocca's Laundry Travel Set

Tocca Laundry Travel Set

Getting into bed at the end of the day has been such a pleasure lately. Not only because sleeping is amazing, duh, but because my linens and blanket are sweetly scented with Tocca’s Touch fragrance thanks to the  Tocca Laundry Travel Set. I get in bed, cuddle with my soft, plush blanket and just breathe in the fragrance. It makes me a happy gal at the end of the day.

The Tocca Laundry Travel Set retails for $22 ad comes with four 2oz. travel size washes perfect for travelling (or hand washing your delicates, what could be better than having all of your bras smelling like Tocca Touch?) in a small zip up bag.  The bottle suggests you use 3-4 capfuls in a sink full of water for a hand washing or 6-7 capfuls for load in the delicate cycle. I used the entire 2oz. bottle in my washer for a few sets of sheets, this has helped the scent linger around a bit longer. Five days later and I still smell Tocca’s Touch in my bed. The fragrances in the set include my personal favorite Touch (gardenia, pomegranate and Egyptian balsam), Cleopatra (grapefruit and cucumber), Stella (blood orange) and Florence (iris and rose).

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glassybaby Evelyn Candle Holder

On Monday night, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation held its annual Hot Pink Party. This event raises money for the charity but this year it also honored its founder Evelyn Lauder, who passed away last year. I thought it was only fitting to share this find with you, Nordstrom collaborated with local Seattle company glassybaby on this candle holder in honor of Evelyn Lauder and named it after her.

These glassybaby candle holders are a labor of love. It takes four artists, three layers of molten glass at 2,000 degrees to make just one candle holder. The result is a unique hand-made piece of art that gives off the most beautiful glow when lit. Here in Seattle, we go crazy for these babies. When glassybaby sells its “seconds”, people stand in line early in the morning just to be able to scoop some up on sale.

You can find these candle holders in stores now and online, each one retails for $44 with 10% from each Evelyn glassybaby being donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Bathtime Approved: Archipelago Botanicals Travel Tin Candles

I take bathtime very seriously. Atmosphere is everything, and candles are always a necessary part of the equation. But they certainly aren’t all created equal. Last week, I noticed that a portion of my wall tile was black and chalky because one of my candles was burning black. It was a very luxe candle by a brand I adore but it had to go. Not only was it creating a mess, breathing in that air during bathtime is all sorts of wrong. I’ve since gone all brand loyal during bathtime with Archipelago Botanicals. They have all sorts of beautiful candles — pieces of art if you will — but I’m partial to the AB Travel Tins. Not only are they a budget-friendly $12, especially when burn time is limited to bath time, and they burn clean and evenly. For about 55 hours in total, to be precise. The tins are packaged simply and neatly and the scents are so unique. Arugala and Agave. Cucumber and Rhubarb. Jasmine and Peony. Eucalyptus and Lemongrass. Don’t you just love them?

NEST Fragrances Bamboo Reed Diffuser

When I walk in the door of my apartment, the scent coming from NEST’s Bamboo Reed Diffuser sitting on my desk greets me every single time and it’s a wonderful thing to come home to. I’m always amazed at how that little bottle and its reeds can fill the air in my apartment so beautifully and so abundantly.

The scent is described as “flowering bamboo is mingled with a variety of white florals, sparkling citrus and fresh green accords.” I couldn’t say this any better myself. The scent is not heavy in any area, it is a great combination of florals, citrus and greens. You can detect all the types of notes in this fragrance but you’re not overwhelmed by any of them.

NEST’s Reed Diffusers are well priced at $34 for a large 5.9 fl oz bottle. I’ve seen some other brands charge much more and they do go the distance this diffuser does. I don’t have a very large apartment, it is a modest size and this diffuser manages to scent all of it without constantly flipping the reeds around. I don’t want to have to do that to enjoy a scent and with NEST, I don’t have to. I haven’t even flipped my reeds once. Bamboo has been in the air in my apartment for almost 2 months and I still have 3/4 of the bottle. Color me impressed.

You can find NEST in stores like Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s. If Bamboo is not for you, check out the Grapefruit, Moroccan Amber, Moss & Mint, Orange Blossom and Wasabi Pear scents!

NARS Acapulco Candle

There is a new fragrance gracing the air in apartment these days and it is NARS Acapulco Candle. Here in Seattle, we have not had much of a summer. The weather here has resembled fall more than summer. Sometimes when I get home from work, I light this candle and pretend I’m somewhere else. This candle helps me pretend I’m in the tropics and it smells divine!

When you first open the box and smell this candle, you’re hit with a note of chocolate but if you keep inhaling and devouring this scent like I do when I have the candle in my hands, the creaminess of the vanilla and whipped cream comes out. There’s also a note of coffee in this scent. These notes go on to make sweet, sweet love together. Is that even possible? YES.

I’ve burned chocolate based candles in the past and sometimes the scent is too rich to enjoy for more than a half hour. This is not the case with this candle at all, I can burn it all evening and the smell does not overwhelm me. I’ve never been a gourmand candle kind of gal but Acapulco has turned me into one.  Best of all, the candle burns cleanly and evenly. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve spent money on expensive candles only to have them burn unevenly and waste so much of the candle. This is my candle pet peeve!

Yes, this is a pretty pricey candle but when I consider some of the candles I have been coveting cost more and burn for less time, I make peace with the price tag. Acapulco burns for 70 hours. I was gushing about it to my friend and I didn’t even need to tell her the name, for us it is “that” NARS candle. I received this one from NARS but plans are being made for backups as we speak. :)

Gimme Gimme MOR during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

Did you know that MOR is now sold at Nordstrom? And that you can snag these impossibly chic soaps and lotions for nearly 50 percent off during the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale? MOR has some of the best scent combinations (hello, Basil and Grape?!) and they feel just as luxurious as look. To boot, Nordstrom packaged them as sets and they come in this carrier that just screams I’M THE PERFECT GIFT. And yes, they are the perfect gift. For yourself and to have on hand for hostess gifts or for that person who gave you a holiday gift but you didn’t get them one. You’ll thank us later.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Maison Francis Kurkdjian's Washing Liquids

You may think it is odd that I am essentially saying laundry detergent is my beauty VIP of the week but Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Washing Liquids is laundry detergent beautified. It is all about the fragrance it leaves behind. You can use it on your delicates as well as linens.

I have been interested in this line since I first spied their Les Bulles d’Agathe, perfume scented bubbles. I got a chance to play with them in New York at Bergdorf’s a few weeks ago and loved them, so much fun. You only smell the notes when the bubble is burst. I didn’t cave on the bubbles at the time but while I was at the counter, I discovered Aqua Universalis. It is a beautiful cologne that is as refreshing and light on women as it is on men. I became immediately obsessed with that scent at that very moment and am handling my sample vial with care.

Aqua Universalis has notes of bergamot, lemon, lily and musk. The scent is great on skin but I’m totally loving it on my sheets and blankets. The scent has lasted longer than I expected it to, I used this detergent 5 days ago and I can still smell the fragrance when I get into bed at night or snuggle with my chenille blanket on the couch. There really is nothing more comforting than a snuggling up with a soft blanket scented with a fragrance like this.

These washing liquids retails for 45 for 35oz bottles, which give you about 20 washes. It is available for dark colors and as a fabric softener as well. It is expensive for detergent but I’ve been using this very sparingly to make it last. It definitely makes a boring chore like doing laundry a little more pleasant. When you use this on your delicates and wear the perfume, it takes layering to the next level!

Beauty VIP of the Week: Lisa Hoffman Madagascar Orchid Candle

This week’s Beauty VIP is Lisa Hoffman’s Madagascar Orchid candle. I’ve been burning it every evening for about a week and I don’t think I could ever, ever tire of this fragrance… it is so beautiful and graceful. It makes me feel like I’m lost in a beautiful garden and I don’t care if I ever find my way out. Madagascar Orchid has been named as one of the Top Five Fragrances in 2009 by the Fragrance of the Year Awards, it has notes of orchid, jasmine, ylang dew, mimosa mood, and pink peony in it… in short, just a gorgeous floral fragrance.

When I can’t wear this in my skin, I’m happy to burn this soy candle in my home. The 9oz. candle will burn for over 50 hours but I’m savoring it slowly by burning it just an hour a night. That is just enough to fill my (small) apartment with the Madagascar Orchid scent. It also has a wood wick. This was my first time burning a wood wick candle, I realize I was a bit slow to get on the wood wick train but now I’m not getting off. I found the wick made the candle burn brighter, more evenly and the crackling sounds it makes as it burns is so cozy.

Lisa Hoffman also makes a Japanese Arganwood candle (also a beautiful scent!) and according to the brand’s Twitter account, we can expect candles in Lisa Hoffman’s other scents Tuscan Fig, French Clary Sage and Tunisian Neroli. I’m excited to smell those, I don’t think Lisa Hoffman can make a scent I won’t like.