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Jan 27th
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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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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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