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Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap, continued
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-30 at 8:02 PM (Pacific)

Bryan Ferry - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow"

You must be tired. You've been running through my mind all day. Actually this is not the song that's been running through my mind--that would be "Taxi," from the same Bryan Ferry record. But I like this cover as well.

It's occurred to me Pacifica's Tahitian Gardenia soap smells quite similar to a perfume I've thought about, on and off, for a couple of years: Diptyque's Do Son.

Google Street View of the Diptyque shop on Maiden Lane

Tahitian Gardenia is not as complex as Do Son--you wouldn't expect it to be, soap not being perfume--but this is one type of scent to which I return, time and again.

Do Son was almost freakishly realistic--along with the Tahitian Gardenia slew of white flowers and a fresh green note out of nowhere, it featured a slight bitter edge (as actual flowers possess) and what I swear smelled like running water and a smidge of sunlight. The deal-breaker--like the other Diptyque eau de toilettes I sampled back then (2007, the same time I took a screenshot of the shop), it had no staying power. You'd be like some kind of a nut, spraying it every half hour or so.

So the question--and it's a beauty blog question--would be, how does Pacifica's perfume version of Tahitian Gardenia compare to Diptyque's Do Son? I'll have to look more closely next time I visit Whole Foods; maybe they have Pacifica scents out?

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Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap review
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-28 at 8:20 PM (Pacific)

pacifica tahitian gardenia soap

I chanced upon this tasty soap at Whole Foods in Berkeley, from the standard wall of scented soaps each health food store seems to possess these days. The Pacifica soaps were not the most economical--I get my bath soap at health food stores; less drying, superior quality--yet were reasonably priced, and smelled nothing short of divine.

So, along with my Whole Foods store-brand soaps ($3.99 for a honking 8-ounce bar), I chunked in a Pacifica Tahitian Gardenia soap ($5 for 6 oz.).

I was in no hurry to try it. A confirmed cheapskate, I was content to have the soap function as a sachet for a while; its white-flower scent could infuse my clothing with intense tropical goodness. (I'd never forgotten how flowers smelled in the South. They don't, out here, in our parched Western air.)

When the Whole Foods soaps had been consumed, it was time to unveil the Pacifica model. I somehow expected a neat white bar, like a Lever 2000, the kind of soap sold in the actual tropics, but the Pacifica bar was beauteous--a slightly translucent block, with softened corners and edges, a freckling of what appeared to be crumbled dried flower petals, beneath a thin layer of more translucent soap, so the whole was smooth and silky, yet angular enough to be interesting.

Soap-wise...good, but then good soap is good soap. A Trader Joe's shea butter soap is as good...the outstanding features here were the fragrance and lovely look and feel.

To me, Tahitian Gardenia didn't smell purely, nor even mainly, of gardenia; rather of a blend of white tropical flowers and lilies. To me the lily note was as strong as anything tropical or gardenia. On the Pacifica site, this soap is described as follows:

Pacifica's Tahitian Gardenia Natural Soap is handmade using a proprietary biodegradable, vegan, vegetable oil and glycerin soap base, ground almond meal, and Pacifica's own fragrance blend with ylang ylang, osmanthus and jasmine essential oils. No parabens, animal testing, animal ingredients or artificial colors. 100% VEGAN and Gluten-free.

Sweet! Oh, and I had to replenish my stock of Whole Foods soaps tonight; I added in another Pacifica soap--French Lilac--mmmmm....

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Odds and sods, part 4
posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-27 at 7:28 PM (Pacific)

dr. hauschka body care kit

Dr. Hauschka Rose Body Oil review

Hermmm...I see this sample pack is a bit over two years old. I've been using up each item slowly--the three creams are gone, the kids got into the Lavender bath oil; the Blackthorn body oil is something no one seems to want to use, so it's slated to be next on my list. I've just shaken out the last drops of the Rose Body Oil.

I wasn't particularly into body oils; they appeared simply a messier alternative to lotion, and the inner cheapskate scowled that a mixture of oils and fragrances had got to be more economical to make yourself. But, hey. The Hauschka rep was nice enough to send a plethora of samples, and I've liked just about all of them--the products are, in a word, engineered.

Rose Body Oil is no exception; you need a mere drop or two of this delicately scented oil to moisturize an area of dry skin. It produces a silkier effect than lotion, and doesn't feel greasy on. As evidenced by my poky use of the product, it keeps at least two years. A full-sized bottle could be a negligible expense.

salux beauty skin cloth

On second thought, I've decided to replace my current Salux Beauty Skin cloth. Its lifespan would appear to be about a year and nine months. Its scratchiness had diminished over time--it never frayed nor developed a hole, making it a bit awkward to throw away, but it is noticeably less abrasive (this is the thing for keratosis pilaris, ingrown hairs, and even some prevention of acne).

a zipper

"Fixing" a zipper

I had a horrific experience: the zipper on my handbag ceased to zip. It'd started out getting sticky; crossed my mind it would need some kind of lubrication, like graphite for a keyhole, but one day the pull simply wouldn't lock the teeth. You'd yank the pull all the way over, and the zipper would gape open.

Sometimes the teeth at the base of the zipper would lock for about an inch and a half; I theorized one of the teeth beyond that point was bent, throwing off the remainder of the teeth. Got out my chain-nose pliers, and looked for something to bend back...but after a close examination, I couldn't find any bent or otherwise damaged teeth.

Finally I googled to get some ideas. One article stated you should lubricate your zipper by rubbing a piece of beeswax on it. I actually owned a piece of beeswax, from way back when, so I got that out and started rubbing it along each side of the zipper. You need to do this several times to make zipping nice and smooth.

Weirdly enough, the zipper works now. It wasn't really damaged; it was the stress of sticky zipping that kept the teeth from aligning.

The morale to this story is--if you can't find broken teeth on the zipper, and the pull starts out working (isn't out of sync at the base), why not try this method?

Edited to add: I'm also not unzipping it quite all the way.

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posted by Colleen Shirazi 2009-12-09 at 7:58 PM (Pacific)

Lewis Black on Broadway

Okay, it isn't quite that cold here, but you've got to love Lewis Black. (If you are offended by bad language, yadda yadda...)

trasparenze gennifer tights

Trasparenze Gennifer Merino Wool Tights review

I got some of these--so far, so great. They're a better price than domestic wool tights, and the quality is lovely.

Gennifer aren't built for Antarctica, exactly, only slightly thicker than regular cotton-blend tights. It's a trade-off; I wanted something that would work with my existing pumps and boots. The colors, at least the ones I've tried, are perfect--Blu is dark inky blue, Fumo a very dark grey, Marrone a notch lighter than espresso...reminds me of coffee grounds, actually. I gravitate toward dark tights (easier to match with clothing and shoes).

Unlike other Italian-made legwear I've tried, these are relatively short; they just fit me (5'5", 134 lbs). I got size 2, which according to their size chart should have fit up to 155 lbs. in my height range--which is 5'5" to 5'8". I'm inclined to say no way would this size fit the upper end of that range in either height or weight.

Warmth-wise...not the warmest, but decent. In a lightly-heated office, Gennifer tights have been good to me.

It's too soon to say how well they wear, having washed mine only once so far, but I'll post back later on with an update.

Speakin' of updates...

salux beauty skin cloth
Salux Beauty Skin Cloth

I love this thing! I still have the one I bought around April of last year, and, knock wood, I keep waiting for it to go bad. It did lose an eensy bit of scratchiness, but it's still pretty darn scratchy, and it dries admirably fast even in cold conditions (no need to fret about mold).

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