Archive for the ‘Fragrance’ Category

Fiele For Fall

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

The bottles come tied up in earthy little satchels.


And the labels are made of linen-y fabric, lending your dresser top tray an extra dose of luxe.


I usually pick out a new fragrance for fall and this year I went with Fiele’s Pogostemon. It looks so rich, and with its Indonesian patchouli base it smolders with a spiced, camp-fiery scent perfectly mood-enhancing for the season ahead.

Fiele offers four other wildcrafted and organic scents including Cedrus (cedar) and Myrrha (myrrh), but Pogostemon definitely had my name spritzed all over it.

Gimme Som

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Being that I don’t drink alcohol and I rarely wanna waste my sugar intake on a bottle of soda pop, my life, beverage-wise, is admittedly pretty dry.


While shopping for birthday gifts earlier this summer I spotted Pok Pok’s Som drinking vinegar, which sounded like just the sort of offbeat and antiquated refreshment I’d be into.


Mixed into water, sparkling water, or liquor-centric cocktails, drinking vinegar has been enjoyed worldwide for centuries as a refreshing, health-boosting tonic.


At the shop where I came upon Som they stocked the Ginger, Thai Basil, and Tamarind flavors, and wanting the most exotic experience possible, I went for Tamarind. Unscrewing the vacation-colored bottle, the scent was incredibly sour. But once I’d mixed it with sparkling mineral water the taste was much closer to a sweet soda, with just a hint of astringence.


I especially like being able to control the amount of sweet ‘n sour I splash into my glass. It’s summer, so it’s nice keeping things on the light side.

Som is offered in six additional flavors including Pineapple, Honey, and Blackberry. I’m wondering if they’d be weird or weirdly wonderful poured over ice cream…

Old Factory Soap Company

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Imagine the waves of the ocean being frozen mid-crest and that’s the ruggedly beautiful look of Old Factory Soap Company’s bars of organic soaps.


For men, the Texas based skincare line batches together three Adventurously Scented bars into one brick-y little blue box.


Event Horizon combines olive, activated charcoal, and black iron oxide into a black mossy, moody little two oz. bar.


Flaxseed and French red clay combine for the pack’s color-blocked Woode bar, spicy if not camp-fiery in its cinnamon-y scent.

Peppermint leaves, raw goat’s milk, and Virginian tobacco anoint the Herb & Soil slab as the most dawn-breaking of the bunch, cool and invigorating on mornings that feel everything but.

Stacked atop one another like topographic tablets on my dresser, I found them almost too strikingly sculptural to pick a piece up and put to good use. But getting clean without black iron and such seemed suddenly super boring, so I got over it real quick.


A Few of My Favorite Things

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

I know all of y’all a little bit, but since I’ve never met your Sweetheart or your Sixteen Year Old Cousin or your Self-Defense Instructor, I wouldn’t know better than you what to go and gift any of them this Christmas. But I love the way Holiday Gift Guides shine spotlights on selections and shops which readers might not come across otherwise – and so I’m issuing out the first ever Treasury-approved Gift Guide, highlighting items I’m sure someone in your life would probably treasure.


1. Geneva Travel HiFi System
I demand my iPhone speakers white, un-ugly, and non-gigantic, and this is the most handsome little-ish device I’ve come across in my thirteen months of hunting. It’s got Bluetooth, of course, plus an FM clock radio, tuckable within a future-retro travel case.

2. Manjukaza Painting
Far across the sea, Hong Kong artist Majukaza strokes out a never-ending series of affordable ink wash paintings, all of them black on white, each one a little different than those that have come before, and all of them modern masterpieces.

3. Minuteman Watch
I grew up in Swatch Watches, and now tend to wear vintage timepieces off etsy. The aesthetic of Squarestreet’s Minuteman watches span both sides of the spectrum, and then settles somewhere in between. Some designs offer brown lizard print leather bands, others sport see-through candy-like cases. Whether your style is pretty Poppy or more Papa-like, Minuteman’ll tick with every look.

4. Vermont County Store Short-Sleeve Sweatshirt
Short-Sleeve Sweatshirts used to be a thing, then they basically stopped being a thing. And I just LOVE things like that. These sweatshirts appear to be cut a little on the big and baggy side but I’m gonna just go with it (like in the movie Just Go With It) and make ’em look casually cool anyways.

5. Monoi Tiki Tahiti Coconut Oil
The Line is a freakily chic shop in New York that sells some pricy little prizes. These bottles of Tahitian-made Coconut Oil cost but twelve tiny bucks though and they’re just the thing to make you feel dewy and tropical when winter turns you all dry and dreary.

6. Nate Berkus Aluminum Box
Online, almost everything Nate Berkus designs for Target looks lust-able. In person, that’s not always the case. It all comes down to (it always comes down to!) material and finish, and these shining ebony and ivory enameled storage boxes could pass for “good vintage condition” 1977 Pierre Cardin pieces. Hurly-the-Hubby thinks they’re cool too.

7. Cupid Deluxe CD by Blood Orange
iTunes gift cards are a’ight, but a real CD you can handle with care feels so much better un-stuffed from a stocking. Blood Orange’s album (I swear) is like the seductive soundtrack of some Pacific-set romance starring Mia Sara and whichever heartthrob looked hunkiest in bolo ties back in ’88. It’ll turn your half-lame life into a montage of hair-flips in hot tubs and kisses in corvettes. (Wouldn’t “Kisses in Corvettes” be the BEST name for a song? Someone go off and make that happen.)

8. Musco Orange Amber Shaving Cream
I haven’t considered straying from my praise-worthy Proraso brand of shaving cream for six or seven years now. But the Hermes-y citrus-colored tube of this orange and amber-infused Musco cream is telling me it’s time to at least consider letting something new come between me and my Mach 3.

So Happy Holidays, friends! Go give and receive with all your heart.

And for year-round insight into all I’m basically wish-listing, peek at my Pinterest boards.

Liquid Luxury

Monday, January 7th, 2013

It’d been years that I’d intended to set a bottle of Byredo parfum on my bathroom counter. It just kept not happening.

Again and again, my ability to select precisely which scent to shell out for never timed up just right with the amount of bucks in my bank account. But then I spotted something which shot me directly into decision-making, debt-be-damned mode.

Byredo’s nouveau line-up of ultra-luxe, leather travel cases are so indulgently unnecessary – they’re essentially a must-have. Available in seven shades, I went for black, then committed to the dusky, honey-ed spiciness of the Accord Oud scent.

Slipping one of the three, 12 ml mini vials into their sleek leather chamber makes me feel like a sly, Helmut Lang-cloaked super spy. Though designed for a jet-setter’s lifestyle, the cases are too captivating to toss deep into a carry-on bag, or set, mundanely, inside one’s medicine cabinet.

Mine’s assigned permanently to the top of my dresser – personal fragrance disguised as home accessory. Or home accessory disguised as personal fragrance, perhaps. I can’t say quite yet, the case is just that clever.


Face The Morning: A Grooming Guide

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A while back, a reader asked if I’d compile a list of the grooming products I use on a daily basis, and I basically do anything anyone asks me to do. (Just ask anyone.)

I’ve always loved ink or internet-ish articles about what the semi-famous spritz on their faces, or stash in their briefcases, or would smuggle onto a deserted island. So here it is, a list of the prettifying products I swear by, and my stab at seeming semi-famous.

1. Whole Foods 365 Shampoos & Shower Gels

As this blog can attest to, I don’t mind splurging on…well, just about anything. But I’d rather save my money for overpriced t-shirts or tables – so I buy these 365 shampoos and shower gels partly because each bottle is only $2.99. The more important reason is they are paraben-free and eco-friendly, and I prefer to buy paraben-free products as much as possible cause I’m not super into sneaky diseases and defects.

If you want the real run-down of my daily routine, then you should know that I only wash my hair about once a week, and I take baths instead of showers, cause I’m a stressed-out mom of four at heart. I use the 365 Shower Gel as a non-bubbling bubble bath and then do my power scrubbing with:

2. Dial Bar Soap

Probably not un-paraben-y, and I do use hippie-approved soaps from co-ops often too, but Dial smells strong and guy-like, scenting your whole bathroom like a date with Rob Lowe in 1984. (Rando Tip: I even unwrap unused bars of Dial and stash them in my closet and dresser, before I need them in the bath. It’s like frat boy pot-pourri.)

After my daily bath, I floss, then use a natural-leaning toothpaste. Lately it’s:

3. Weleda Salt Toothpaste

It’s the sunburned color of worms, and tastes a little bit like gum and a lot like olives. (Yum?) But its multi-faceted strangeness is refreshing, and it does leave my teeth feeling smoother than glass.

4. C.O. Bigelow Shaving Cream

Although this list is starting to suggest otherwise, I am actually a sucker for cool packaging and new, intriguing scents when it comes to grooming products. And there’s no shortage of cool looking/smelling shave creams out there – Pinecone & Raisin Shave Pudding by Brooklyn Bearded Brothers Ltd. or whatever. But the last eight years or so I haven’t bothered giving any new cream even half a try, because this Bigelow stuff works so supremely. It smells minty, and makes your skin zing a bit when you shave, but….most importantly, it gives you a really smooth, slick, nick-less shave. It costs ten bucks, you can find it at even the dumbest shopping mall near you, usually. If I’ve ever been “Brand Loyal” to anything ever, it’s this shaving cream.

5. Master Spice After Shave

Shaving goes better when I only do it once every six or seven days. When I do, since December, I splash this practically vintage bottle of Master Spice on and pretend I’m Robert Redford or it’s 1974, or both.

6. Up & Up Daily Facial Moisturizing Lotion SPF 15

Days when I don’t shave, then my face heads Up & Up. The main thing that keeps me loyal to this Target in-house version of an Oil of Olay lotion is I have yet to find any other daily SPF that doesn’t leave my eyelid skin sorta stinging the way that vacation suntan lotion does. I wish this Up & Up stuff had an SPF higher than 15, or was paraben free – but the other brands I’ve tried, at Whole Foods or The Body Shop or other places, always burn my preemie-like eyes and baby ain’t having none of that.

7. Wonderwood Cologne

When I lived in L.A. in 1998, I read in a magazine with Courtney Cox on the cover how anti-perspirants trap toxins inside your body, slowly turning your sweat into an internal enemy who lives inside you every day, wanting you dead and diseased. So since about then, I don’t use anti-perspirant or deodorant. I spritz or dab cologne around there instead, unless I have a scary job interview in the Sahara desert that day or something. I like to have a lot of scents to chose from and favor Comme des Garcons colognes, as they are usually smoky, spiky, and sultry. I ran out of their 2 scent last year, and Wonderwood is almost gone now too. They have a new one, Amazingreen, that I might try next.

8. Redken Rough Paste

I hate my hair, the world must know, and I always have. It’s hard to cut, it’s too straight and too blunt, and eternally poofy on the sides. I have a new wing in my house for all the thick creams and cements I use to try and smash everything into order. One tub of gunk I’m liking lately is this Redken paste, because it smells a little bit like the perfume Debbie Gibson came out with when I was a kid called “Electric Youth”. The cheerleader up the street who my sister and I were friends with had a bottle of it – and I always thought it smelled fun and happy. Exactly like teen girls and my dumb 2012 hair should smell.

9. Now Solutions Apricot Oil

My hair’s become a little dry over the years. I think it’s maybe the alcohol in the hair gunks I use. Hippie conditioner doesn’t seem to help that much, nor did two hot oil home treatments. But this summer I tried Fonze-ing five drops of Apricot Oil through my hair, and it worked wonderfully, so I do that about once a week now.

Besides my long mom-baths, I find it boring spending much time getting ready in the morning, and trying to look remotely alright, when my Hurly seems like he can just roll out of a nightly coma and wander out the door instantly, looking nice like he always does. So most mornings, for all my vanity, I do the bare minimum of dolling-up. When I have someone to invisibly impress though, I go the extra mile. The extra mile being:

10. Chapstick

In classic Strawberry or Cherry, I have three or four lying around my house/car. They’re just pink and dewed enough to be like a dude version of lipstick, without at all seeming like you’re wearing a dudette version of lipstick. The ‘ol Stick makes a whole face turn juicy.

And juicy faces are cool and important a semi-famous person said once, in ink or on the internet. So pay attention, and do as they do.

New York Stories pt. 3

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Saturday morning we wandered through Brooklyn and into a new shop called Goose Barnacle where I shuffled through thirty or so assorted packs of Afro-jelly bracelets to select the perfect color combination.

At the Barney’s Co-op we met up with Yuko whose lovely New York life I’ve followed on the internet and Twitter for years. She suggested we walk to an old Pharmacy turned Soda Fountain which sounded super to me.

I tried to select something that wouldn’t ruin my upcoming stop at the Shake Shack, so I went for the Red Velvet Twinkie Sundae. While we snacked Yuko told us about the dream-like shopping in Japan, and we recounted our survival story of being stranded in Paris last Spring at the hands of the Icelandic volcano.

We stopped into a few more hipster-worthy stores on our way back to the subway. Yuko mentioned she doesn’t actually venture into Brooklyn that often because she has a hard enough time stopping herself from buying clothes and shoes and important stuff like that all throughout Manhattan. That’s pretty much half the reason to know and love her!

Another New York blogger, Kwannam, told me about the Cured Olive Shortbread Cookies at a coffee shop called Abraco, so later in the day I tracked one down and adored its offbeat amazing-ness. I think I’ll try and bake some at home myself, sometime sorta soon.

Our final day in New York began at Barney’s where I’d wanted to see their R&Y Augousti accessories since I’m never fast enough to add any of them to my cart when they show up on Gilt. I’ve totally got a thing for shagreen, and after leaving the shop without anything, we trekked all the way back later in the day and bagged one of the boxes above!

I’m always way early for everything, so while wasting time until our lunch reservation we walked past the Apple Store to witness firsthand the fan memorials to the life and work of Steve Jobs. I actually got pretty choked up seeing all the people weeping and hugging and laying down their tributes to the man who changed the world. It’s been such an exciting and impacting decade or so; I guess my almost-tears were a silent little “thank you”.

Needing a AAA battery for the plane ride home, we then darted into a Duane Reader drugstore, where I added a bag of Utz Potato Chips to my souvenir stash. Cuz you don’t see Utz in Minneapolis very often, and Don Draper did do their creative, after all.

The day’s main event was a grand tour of Bergdorf Goodman’s, the retail kingdom where the turban-crowned Kelly Wearstler is now reigning queen.

Having just added clothing and accessories to her brazen line of brassy home goods, our tour climaxed with a two-and-a-half course lunch in the Wearstler-designed BG restaurant.

The best thing about a vacation to a big city is you can curate it with only the topmost shops, and the snappiest snacks, and the most atmospheric eateries, making it as if, for those four or five days, you live in a time and place where everything is beautiful.

Cause that’s the kind of time and place in which we should all be living.

Holiday Haul pt. 2

Friday, December 31st, 2010

The second batch of Santa’s bounty.

1. Wasp Queen Honey Flavored Syrup (in the sweetest jar ever).

2. Quirky-Colored Prize Ribbons.

3. Imported Indian Bowl & Spice Spoon.

4. Yesterday’s Candy (edible today).

5. Little Bottles of Liquid Luxury.

6. Military Grade Notebooks.

7. Sweet Potato Chocolate Bar (I’m enthralled yet half-afraid!)

8. Letterman Jacket Patch (to attach to almost anything except, probably, a jacket).

I’m saving my favorite present for last. (Be sure and check back!)

Passing On The Savings

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Although I flirt with and photograph Byredo bottles of fragrance, I tend to end up with whatever scent COMME des GARCONS spritzes into the ether.

The essence of the line’s newest, WONDERWOOD, is richly wooded and thickly forested – yet fine and fancy; too luscious for luggy ol’ lumberjacks. It’s the smell of black-tie in a birch grove, of tuxedos in tree houses. And although I’m not afraid of an offbeat, edgy scent WONDERWOOD’s calmer and quieter than CdG’s Man 2 or Hinoki fragrances which I also favor.

For a limited time you can indulge in any of COMME des GARCONS’ scents at 25 percent off at with a semi-secret coupon code. The code is applicable to any of BeautyHabit’s myriad of brands including Treasury favorites Valobra soaps and shaving cremes and Couto Portuguese toothpaste.

Click below to learn the not-so-secret code, and pinky promise me you won’t make fun of me for knowing it.



Sample Sizer

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Playfully, I often turn the selection of a new scent into an ultimate death match-type competition. I’ll order a batch of sample fragrances from Luckyscent, then spray two different scents on me per day – the winner then going head to head with a new contender the next day until only one champion cologne remains.

I’d learned that with Byredo, if you sign up on their website, they’ll actually send you three scent samples in the mail free of charge. After flirting with their Fantastic Man and Bal d’Afrique fragrances last summer, the new pepper + leather based Baudelaire sounded worth a trysty test-spritz, and since they were out of one of the other scent samples I’d requested, Byredo kindly threw in a few extra vials for me.

Ladies and gentlemen, the competition begins now!

Skin Trip

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Annoying 90º plus temperatures hit Minneapolis by May this year, and there’s still a whole lot of summer yet to come. Surviving such sudden scorching all last week was made considerably easier and more exotically atmospheric by my new bar of Coco-nutty Skin Trip soap from Colorado based Mountain Ocean.

Hard and heavy and scented like a well-bronzed beach bum, the sudsy bricks are online at Hickorees.

All Aflame

Monday, March 1st, 2010


Incense is for hemped up hippy-dips and candles can get a little soccer mom-ish. The “hot” new way to play with fragranced fire is with Armenia Papers.


Florentine pharmacist Santa Maria Novella offers an abundance of dramatic costume-drama-like cosmetics and tonics, and their frankincense and myrrh-scented Armenia Papers singe away the stagnant staleness of our modern days with a cinematic sense of ceremony.


Sized like a stick of gum, each scented stick is to be folded back and forth like an accordion, set on its side, and set aflame, to fill your room and your soul, once again, with a sense of romance and of warmth.