The World In Watercolor
As the last of the leaves have fallen and a chill settles across the countryside, have your dreams shifted to far-flung exotic places?
If your passport has its own layer of dust, and the last time you had any sort of passbook updated was at the bank, Ananda Khalsa's breathtaking line of Asian-inspired art jewelry is your ticket to a magical world of life captured in watercolor.
Deeply inspired by the symbolism of nature, each piece crafted by Ananda invites you to see the world in her eyes. Both plants and animals are painstakingly painted onto paper, and then showcased behind glass. Stone & bead accents add a layer of bejeweled elegance, and provide a breathe of femininity to the cool, sleek metal settings in which every illustration is set.
This is wearable art in its truest form. From conception to completion; from meticulous design to imaginative ornamentation; you will feel as though you are curator of your own personal art collection when you choose any pendant, ring or pair of earrings from Ananda's collection.
One can truly travel around the world and back again, simply by immersing themselves in Ananda Khalsa's vivacious world – a world where fragrant blooms, such as orchid and plum blossom, perfume your senses; where the stately willow lovingly nurtures; and where dragonflies bring love & joy on flickering crystalline wings.
Be Still My Darkened Heart!
At the time of year when spirits are stirring and things go bump in the night, it's difficult not to get caught up in the dark romanticism of it all. Independent perfumery Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab embraces that notion, and has stocked their online shop with potions and elixirs that, for the goth and the goth-at-heart, will make everyday feel like Halloween.
Browsing BPAL's online catacombs, it is easy to become enchanted by their sweeping array of themed scents that run the gamut from amour to the afterlife. However, with befitting monikers such as Love Potions and Dark Elements, one can easily navigate the collections and find scents to tickle your senses with devilish delight.
Perfectly befitting autumn and its melancholy atmosphere, The Lab's Bewitching Brews collection is rife with perfumery fit for a Queen of the Night. Thirsting for something dark & ominous? The musky undertones of The Raven could be just what you are looking for. Looking for a signature scent with a little more bite? The bitter blackness of The Lab's Count Dracula scent promises to add a more sinister spice to your perfume repertoire.
My own gothic teeth were cut on The Cure, Bauhaus and Siouxsie & The Banshees, not to mention a steady diet of black hair dye, talcum powder and my trusty Kohl eyeliner. So, imagine my delight when taking a virtual stroll through the dizzying selection of tantalizing scents and aromatic oils found at BPAL.
Amongst the mythological and magickal concoctions, you will also find numerous limited edition scents, such as the Halloween-themed Pumpkin Patch collection. With five "delightfully strange" variations, including #2, a combination of pumpkin with cocoa, hazelnut, & walnut, there is certainly one that will appeal to you. And don't worry – a quick search on BPAL's user forums offers up customer reviews of each Pumpkin Patch scent so you can, indeed, find the one that appeal to your personal scent preference.
In fact, the forums are an endless source of ideas & inspiration from perfume enthusiasts who love to talk shop, experiment with and swap their BPAL stash. Seriously, I can't think of another indie shop that has developed a cult following such as The Lab's, one that collectively thirsts for their aromatic blends, and will gladly wait the 21-30 days it can take to process, hand-blend, package and ship orders.
The funny thing is – with such a ravenous fan base, I have to admit my curiosity is piqued. Now to whittle down my wishlist to one that won't break my budget.
From the antiqued labels, vintage cobalt & amber vessels, and spine-chilling artwork, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has found their niche in perfumes for the dark-at-heart, and delivers them with dead-on diabolical accuracy.
For others who are intrigued by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab's extensive menu of intoxicating perfumery, visit their website, and be prepared to while away your witching hours browsing their virtual shelves laden with seductive scents sure to steal your heart.
Day-Spa-Tripping for the Modern Gal
Have you heard the latest dish? Your local health & wellness retreat has made the move from seaweed wraps to the information superhighway. And you're the one who is set to clean up.
anise&currant, the newly-launched go-to site for all things bath, body and abode, is subsequently poised to be THE authority on sweet-scented elixirs, suds and balms. Resident scent sleuth at anise&currant, Kristen Magee is on her way to compiling an impressive list of companies specializing in spa products.
While dressing table standbys, such as candles and soap, are well represented, Kristen adds an extra level of cachet to the directory by seeking out products that, until recently, were more scarcely represented by smaller designers, including cosmetics & perfume.
The true beauty of any directory website is that of discovery. Browsing through the indexed listings, I am pleasantly surprised by the list of indie staples, as well as a number of shops I had not heard of before. From Kristen's own Beccalights, to my new discovery of the cheekily-named Villainess, anise&currant's showing of products promising to soothe, detoxify & de-stress is proof that the bath, body, candle and cosmetic markets are on the rise when it comes to home-based ventures.
Beccalights' impressive range of candles, scent melts and room sprays is only outrivaled by the incredible scents! I personally own her Tannenbaum, Carmelized Chestnuts and Pumpkin Cheesecake candle tins, the latter of which I have to admit to continually opening and reopening, just to breathe in the realistically divine scent. These candles are richly infused with aromatic blends without being overpowering. With the addition of more new scents every season, Beccalights truly lives up to its tagline promise to "scent your world".
Browsing around the website of my new discovery Villainess, I am struck by not only the endless list of scents in her Smooch! And Sudz lines, but also by Brooke's combination of sassy wit, practical employ of traditional soapmaking, and the tongue-in-cheek naming of her fragrant "skin-friendly" goodies. With sinful treats such as the appropriately-named Decadence Smooch!, I would gladly adopt the Villainess lifestyle if that means being able to spoil myself daily with the milky concoction that promises to exfoliate as well as moisturize in one fell swoop.
The days of being wrapped up in bandages mummy-style are over (unless, of course, you are busy preparing for your best friend's Halloween party). Today's spas are au courant, and instead of stealing away to some secluded hideaway, now you can find the latest pampering products with the click of a computer mouse.
It is easy to become overwhelmed when faced with the sheer magnitude of fragrances, flavors, and colors, not to mention the clays, minerals, and herbs formulated into bath & body products. But anise&currant's department-store directory layout is intuitive to shoppers both informed and those who are not so.
With a sudsy sampling of the best in bath & body, as well as an expanding collection of candle makers, cosmetic chemists and perfumeries all in one easy-to-navigate directory, you won't have to run yourself ragged in order to hit them all.
Then again…you just may want to. It will give you the perfect excuse to spoil yourself with a little extra face time at aniseandcurrant.com
Posted on February 15th, 2008 No comments
Creepy is the New Cute at Sick on Sin
It’s Halloween, and the streets are crawling with ghosts, ghouls and goblins. With various spooky & sinister treats from Canada’s Sick on Sin, you can get your fill of zombies, skulls and undead creatures, all with a dash of cuteness.
Blending equal parts precious and perverse, Sick on Sin proprietress Jennifer Krebsz and her partner-in-crime Michael Lalonde have cooked up a bevy of buttons, pocket mirrors, tees and undies that are like little drops of candy-coated diabolism.
From zombies to gargoyles, and bats to skulls, you can get your creep on, and still garner endless “ooh’s” and “aah’s” from your friends. Even the animals aren’t safe at Sick on Sin. Sweet critters get a beastly makeover this Halloween with protruding bones, exposed brains and bloody lacerations that somehow make the animals look that much more adorable.
My personal favorite is the Every Day is Halloween Series B button pack, with its baby gargoyle, ghoulish bat and darling skull whose grin could easily cause one to die laughing with delight.
Visit Sick on Sin’s online breeding ground of sugar-coated devilry, and treat yourself to frightfully fun merchandise that, as promised by the evil geniuses behind the brand, is sure to cure your inner demons.