I think that I have finally found a brand of organic lip balm that I love. Badger USDA Organic Lip Balm is smooth and not gritty. I find that many formulas of natural lip balm get very, very gritty after a few weeks of use. I also find that many brands wear off too easily or they are too thick and apply unevenly. Badger is the perfect texture. It is not heavy or cakey. It is smooth without being greasy. It is the longest wearing natural lip balm that I have tried (and as you know, I’ve tried many). It’s a great everyday lip balm. I also love the Lavender and Orange fragrance. It is a perfect balance of lavender and orange, so it isn’t too medicinal or too citrusy. I know the aroma of lavender, I live in the PNW. This has a genuine lavender aroma that is balanced by the sweetness of orange. At first I think I was a tad disappointed with the aroma. I think that I wanted it to have more lavender and smell like a late summer day. However, after using it for a few days, I realized that the Badger blend was perfect. Just lavender would be too overwhelming in a lip balm. The orange adds a subtle sweetness. So, this reminds me of my favorite summer desserts that contain Meyer lemons and lavender. Delicious and gourmand without smelling like chocolate or cupcakes.

I’ve only tried the Lavender and Orange flavor. Six other flavors are available. I am interested in the Ginger and Lemon but I’ll probably stick with the Lavender and Orange since I know that it is perfect. The lip balm stick is a great price at about $3. It is available from Badger balm’s website or drugstore.com.

lavendercollage

Who doesn’t love lavender on those late summer days or nights? I never knew I loved lavender so much until I moved to an area with many lavender farms. Even I can grow tons of lavender here. I love to have the doors open and just let the breeze carry the aroma throughout the house. There are many lavender products on the market and I have “collected” a few. If you have any others please share. Usually if I want all out lavender I use an oil from one of the local farms. I know a few companies have launched fragrances with lavender but I haven’t given those a try yet (like Acca Kappa White Moss and Lostmarch L’eau de l’Hermine).

Budget Lavender Scents: A light wearing, sweet lavender fragrance is Body Fantasies Body Spray in Clean Lavender Vanilla. The scent is a bit sweet for my tastes but it isn’t horrible. It makes a nice linen spray as well. It retails for $7. Apivita Lavender Fragrance Spray is a fresh lavender. It retails for $12 for .33 oz.  Provence Sante Lavande EDT (my favorite budget lavender) is a great lavender scent for the lavender purist. It retails for about $30 for 3.5 oz. Yves Rocher Pur Desir Lavender EDT is lavender with a hint of wood. It retails for $22 for 2 oz. L’Aromarine Lavande Perfume Oil is a long wearing and pretty strong lavender scent. It retails for $9.50. L’Occitane Joyful Mood Touch Fragrance is a take along fragrance. It is a sweeter, feminine lavender blend. It retails for $20. Another great travel friendly lavender scent is Bonny Doon Farm Lavender Creme Parfum. It goes for $16 (not pictured).

More Expensive Lavender Scents: Jo Malone Amber & Lavender Cologne is a very rich, sensual lavender scent. It makes lavender sexy. The 3.4 oz. bottle goes for $100. LaVanila Vanilla Lavender is a sweet lavender scent. It’s very comforting and the spray goes for $56. Yardley Lavender EDT was one of my first fragrances ever. It is a pure lavender, almost medicinal. It’s $55 for over 4 ounces. Potter & Moore Lavender & Italian Lemon EDT is a super refreshing lavender that is perfect for summer. It’s fresh and light-wearing. It retails for $42 for 3.4 oz. Lollia Relax EDP is a sweet, comforting lavender floral blend. It retails for $46 for 3.4 oz. Parfums DelRae Eau Illuminée is a beautiful herbaceous lavender, almost “hippie” blend. It goes for $135 for 1.7 oz. Surge Lutens Gris Clair is a bewitching smoky lavender scent. It goes for $120 for 1.7 oz. Acqua di Parma Colonia is a classic refreshing citrus, herbal lavender blend. The 3.4 bottle retails for $117. I love Diptyque Eau d’Elide EDT. It is a “shrubby” lavender blend. The 1.7 bottle goes for $88.

Other Lovely Lavender Items: Diptyque Feuille de Lavande Candle is so relaxing. It’s the perfect at home scent. Candle goes for $60. L’Occitane Lavender Harvest Hand Creme is a rich formula with a soothing scent. This cute tube goes for $20. Ombra Lavender Bath Foam is a super concentrated lavender scent. It is perfect for those rotten days that life throws us. The bottle goes for about $10. Boscia Lavender Blotting Linens are great for mid-day shine. Plus, the lavender scent is very soothing. A pack goes for $10. Agraria Tassle Air is a cool product and it comes in a Lavender & Rosemary fragrance, perfect for the bedroom and it is so fresh! These retail for $40.

lavender field in Sequim, WA

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One of my favorite things about summer (other than lots of time off and the mild climate of the Pacific Northwest) is that I get to use my entire bath line of Jean Naté. Busting out the Jean Naté means that summer is here. It’s fresh, clean, citrusy and not fussy, making it a perfect summer must have.

Jean Naté or Jean Nate as my grandmother would say (like blue “jeans” and “nate” rhymes with “late”) was launched in 1935 under Charles of the Ritz, now Revlon. This is a best selling bath line. It was a hit then and continues to be so. Every generation of women in my family has used this stuff. It’s timeless despite the lame 70’s ad campaigns that my mother was exposed to. The scent is one of my favorite scents ever. And to my benefit this product is inexpensive, available at drugstores all over the country, and has the cutest vintage packaging (got to love that font).

The trademark is “clean never felt so fresh”, OK, not very brilliant but I promise that the products are. Overall the fragrance is a super fresh blend of citrus, bergamot, and lavender. But, each item has its own “special” quality and scent that it plays up. It’s like if you use the body wash you have the top note, the lotion you have the middle note, and with the splash you have the base. They all work together wonderfully.The scent is light and refreshing and really reminds me of very, very expensive European EDT/colognes.

Moisturizing Body Wash: This is my favorite body wash of all time. It is so fresh. It leaves my body clean all day. It’s my girl version of Irish Spring, making it a summer must have, especially here in Washington with no a/c. This body wash is “sparkling” and almost effervescent and bubbly in fragrance. This reminds me of a “top” note used in fragrance. It is heavy on the lemon and bergamot. I love it. It seriously leaves a faint scent on my skin all day. It lathers nicely and is everything I want in a shower gel.Unfortunately this is a very hard product to find. When I find it I pick up a few bottles because it is my favorite shower gel of all time. It goes for $6-$10.

Hydrating Body Lotion: The texture of this lotion is lightweight and perfect for summer. It isn’t greasy or sticky. It is very fragrant but less effervescent than the shower gel. This has the lemon and bergamot but with more lavender making this is a very refreshing and soothing product at the same time. Plus, you can pick up a fresh, dewy floral such a geranium. It is lovely.This goes for about $6 and you can sometimes find a very large bottle for $10.

After Bath Splash: I would say this is the most popular product in the line. This hit it big in the 70’s and 80’s when “light” fragrances were all the rage. People were simplifying their routines. The After Bath Splash is now available in 3 sizes in a convenient spray bottle. I love the old school splash with the big black spherical top, but since I pretty much bathe myself in this stuff the spray bottle is much more functional. The scent is so refreshing and much more herbaceous than the other products. It is lemon rind, bergamot, and English lavender. It is simple and refreshing and has a slight almost patchouli dry down. This reminds me of a classic Guerlain EDT such as Mitsouko, refreshing herbaceous Provincial inspired colognes like Potter & Moore Lavender & Italian Lemon, Hierbas de Ibiza Agua de Colonia Fresca, Satellite Paris L’Ombre, and even Lubin L’Eau Neuve. I love this stuff. It’s what I want in the summer. It is light wearing, I mean it is a body splash with a high alcohol content. Sometimes in the summer this is all I want. But, if I want more I will layer it under the fragrances that I have mentioned above. Hint-Put it in the fridge for an extra refreshing, cooling spritz. The prices for this range from $6 to $10 depending on size.

Silkening Body Powder: I love a dusting powder because I am an old-fashioned kind of gal. The powder comes in a cute yellow container with a nice puff. I only wear body powder in the summer so I happy it is available in this scent. This is a floral herbaceous blend that smells like the after bath splash in powder form.It’s soft and easily mixes with other fragrances you may layer over it. It retails for $10. I love to use this after one of my very late evening summer strolls. Or to freshen up in the summer midday if I don’t have time to shower before going back out.

A cologne spray is available but I have not tried it but I hope to soon. Since this product is a classic you can find good deals on it. For example, limited edition jumbo sizes for summer where you get 30 fl. oz. of bath splash for $10. Many say that the formula has been tampered with in 2007 and that it isn’t close to the original. I’m sure the formula has been changed but I think it is all a matter of opinion. My family members declare that what they buy today is what they remember it being like. I’ve been using it pre-2007 and post-2007 and find it the same. But, with classic products it is a touchy game. Old customers tastes could of changed but they would never admit it. But, I’m not going there. I just bought a new batch of every item I mentioned for this summer and love them all. There is an old commercial on youtube here that further emphasizes the “exhilarating” aspect of the product. It’s funny but warning, video quality isn’t so hot.

Clarins Eau Dynamisante is the kind of fragrance that nobody would purchase if they just sniffed it on a blotter card. It is the kind of fragrance that needs to be worn to really “develop” and to figure out if it works for you. It’s a unisex fragrance, so no Red Velvet cupcakes or honeysuckle blossoms here. It is citrusy and herbaceous and really lives up to its invigorating name. It kind of shocks the senses with a burst of lemon zest. Yes, the fragrance smells good enough to dip a French loaf into and smells mainly of items found in the herb cabinet or garden: lemon zest, thyme, bits of rosemary, a teeny tad of lavender. However, it is grounded by patchouli. The patchouli doesn’t take over, it still smells very green and citrusy. It is a cologne or EDT, so the lasting power isn’t so great. It lasts less than an hour. However, the fragrance isn’t even marketed by Clarins as a fragrance. Instead it is marketed as a “well-being” product. This is appropriate since the wear is short termed. It is an invigorating burst, a pick-me up. So, it would need to be sprayed a few times throughout the day to clear the mind. One “burst” doesn’t keep us going throughout the day anyways. I mean I know we all have more than our morning cup of coffee. This fragrance is very fresh, very energizing. It is perfect for summer because it isn’t heavy or offensive. It wears lightly and smells of citrus and in season herbs. The scent really shines with body heat. The warmth of the fragrance is really seen with the warmth of the body. It will begin to smell a bit more of rosemary and patchouli. It is very neutral and natural. I love it. I always have it around in the summer. It isn’t the most beautiful fragrance I own or even the most interesting. It is just so fresh and easy to wear. It’s gladiator sandals and a jersey knit dress in the summer. It’s just that easy to wear. It retails for $46 for 3.4 ounces. I really wish it came in a smaller and portable bottle so that I could haul it in my tote in the summer to spray and to sanitize mass transit 🙂 . I have chilled the bottle in the fridge for a summer shocker. It lives up to its “dynamite” name. It is available at fragrancenet.com.


Weekly Cheap Secret: This isn’t the best lavender soap on the market but it isn’t too bad considering the price. It retails for under $4 for four bars of normal sized soap. I love lavender because it smells like summer. Since home air conditioning does not exist in the Pacific Northwest, windows and doors are frequently open for that ocean breeze in the summer. And since lavender seems to be pretty happy here everybody seems to grow it. And the nice thing about people is that I think they may actually plan things sometimes. For instance, we moved into a home with a gigantic English lavender bush directly in front of the door, so when the wind blows so does that amazing and relaxing fragrance. The neighbors are nice enough to share their breeze and their lovely lavender aroma also. Anyways, it is very nice in the summer to have that calming fragrance, especially when you feel hot and irritable because your craftsman lacks air conditioning. The lavender just seems to keep you sane on those hot days. Then, winter happens and you never see the sun again so you begin to miss anything dealing with summer at all. You forget about the pit stains on your shirt, the dryness and dust, and the fact that everyone in Seattle smells of B.O. In the winter you forget all the negative things of summer and just remember all the pretty things. I was feeling a bit summer sick and ordered these Yardley soaps from drugstore.com. The entire boxed that was shipped smelled very lavender. It isn’t a sweet and gross Bath and Body Works lavender vanilla mix. It is straight up medicinal smelling lavender. This isn’t your kinder and gentler English lavender oil, this is more that medicinal Italian lavender oil. That isn’t a bad thing, especially in winter when you kind of forgotten what anything alive smells like. Plus, it helps open up your airways. I find lavender so amazing because it really does make you feel happier and calmer.

The soap bars themselves are fragrant but the fragrance fades with time. So your first bar may smell strong but your last bar won’t cause the bathroom to smell so great. I think a new bar would make a nice addition to the underwear drawer as a sachet or the linen closet to freshen things up a bit. The bar is average size, not to small and not so large that it is like holding a slippery football in the shower. They lather OK and so far it hasn’t bothered my skin. It doesn’t feel very moisturizing but I’m not shedding like a Bearded Dragon either. It is just an average bar of soap with a medicinal lavender type smell for under $4. I don’t know if I will repurchase but I really don’ t have a reason not to. It is a nice pick me up in the winter and I hope to be smelling the real thing once again.

If you want an herbaceous smelling expensive body wash then this is it. I really like Borghese products. I use many of them. I love the smell of this product. It is very invigorating. It contains many essential oils but to me it mainly smells of thyme, lavender, and comfrey. It really smells of rosemary too but that isn’t even an ingredient. So I think it is the thyme that is really stealing the show. It has a nice unisex fragrance. It also contains chamomile and patchouli but those are very faint in comparison to the other herbs. It is a beautiful spa, teal blue soap. It doesn’t really “foam” in my opinion. I mean, yes, it foams but it isn’t like Mr.Bubbles or anything. It really feels “clean” because of its scent and the fact that it contains sea salt. It makes the skin feel invigorated and purified. So, saying that, it is like a day at the beach. Your skin feels really smooth but it needs moisture badly! If you are dry, you’ll need a strong, greasy body cream after using this. It comes in a nice shower friendly pump bottle. I really liked to use it in the summer because it felt so fresh and my skin wasn’t as dry as it was in the summer. Then I lived in the South where it got to 100 degrees and I drove an old Chevy with no air conditioning. Hell; I think that is what they call that experience. This stuff managed to make me feel clean. Of course any shower would if you would sweat like I would. But, one day this gel turned into liquid. I had it in the shower and never took it out. An 1/8 of it was left and it was just water like, it still smelled good and foamed, it was just really weird. Has that happened to anyone else? But, anyways. It is a bit pricey for $32 for 16 ounces. However, Borghese always has wonderful gift sets and have GWPs a few times a year. This has a nice herbal fragrance. It’s expensive but it is like being at the spa everyday and that ain’t cheap. It can be purchased at drugstore.com.