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Apr 24th
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The E-scent-uals

 

jasmineThere’s a lot of crap that goes into conventional perfumes. Nasty chemicals, synthetic fragrances, alcohol—you name it (see a more detailed list here: ourlittleplace.com/chemicals.html). Not to mention they’re often overwhelming and annoying to anyone within 10 feet of the wearer.

Why cloud yourself in that crud when there are so many tantalizing, more subtle scents found in nature? That’s my thinking, anyway. There are plenty of natural perfumes and spritzes on the market, but I prefer roll-on natural oils. My current favorites are from Inesscents, a brand that can be found at most of our local natural foods stores as well as online at inesscents.com. And contrary to what one may think, “natural perfume oil” doesn’t just mean patchouli (although they sell that, too). Inesscents offers a wide selection of alluring floral, fruity, musky and otherwise olfactory-pleasing fragrances. I’m crazy about the Jasmine Sandalwood and Sudanese Coconut and Vanilla varieties (a few dabs on the wrists and neck go a long way), but they make it easy for new customers to find their own personal favorites with the five-item sampler pack available for only $8 on their website. I recently went for the Inesscents seven-item body butter sampler pack ($5.25) on a quest to find the right Inesscents lotion for me. I’m leaning toward the Magic Mango Butter Rose Sandalwood—a blend of their Magic Mango Butter (made from the seed of the mango fruit), jojoba oil, and essential rose and sandalwood oils. The tiny sample jar is almost gone, and I may just spring for the full-size. At only $7.75, it’s an affordable luxury. The company also sells African Black Soap (which this eco-beauty blogger is dying to try), a pure soap with no animal fats or chemicals that is made from cocoa pods, plantain peels and natural oils. It’s said to work wonders on skin, and is used traditionally in Africa for everything from rashes and acne to eczema and body odor. More on that soon. Share your favorite natural scents in the comments section below.

 

 

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

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