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Oct 22nd
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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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Santa Cruz Restaurant Week

A huge part of Santa Cruz Restaurant Week has always been about offering a great dining experience for an affordable price. For some locals, the $25 flat-rate cost has provided the opportunity (or the excuse!) to try new spots, and indulge in Santa Cruz fine dining in a way they might have thought too pricey before.

 

Scorpio Sun, New Moon Eclipse, Mercury Direct

The Sun enters Scorpio’s mysteries Thursday under a new moon and partial solar eclipse (something essential has come to an end, its purpose completed). In Scorpio we harbor secrets, are devoted to something deep, dark and hidden. Sometimes it’s ourselves. We can bring great suspect to our assessment of others. Scorpio is the scorpion, the serpent and the eagle—three levels of development. As the serpent we take shelter in our beliefs. Sometimes we bite (or sting). The eagle vanquishes old beliefs through its sharp intellect, soaring high in the air, seeking to understand through perspective. Understanding releases us from the bondage of fear. The eagle is like the mother soothing feelings of mistrust, offering protection. Knowledge does this, too.

 

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