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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Your daughter’s home from school!  Woo hoo!

For how long?  Is she going off to camp?  For just the day?  Or is it time for her weekly getaways? Always so hard.  I get it, and you’ll never stop missing her while she’s away.  One thing that helps, just a little bit?  Mommy and me skincare.

Because fragrance is memory,… and fresh natural luxury skincare and luscious fragrances seem too wonderful a secret to keep to yourself.

I know you want to share the dreamy pleasures of beautiful gentle products with your family and friends, and this includes, above all, your daughter (younger sister, niece, granddaughter, god daughter, or any special lovely young girl in your life) who loves fragrances and skincare products made just for her, sweet juicy love in a bottle or jar to nurture her skin.

You’ll love them too of course!

We’ve created two luscious Mei Mei et Maman (Mommy and Me) fragrance collections… → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

The start of summer is the perfect time to play with our lusciously juicy citrus fragrance collections with essential oils of orange, lemon, lime, tangerine, lemongrass and grapefruit!  Summer relaxes the go-go girl in all of us, and is there anything more soulfully refreshing than citrus energy?  We don’t think so!  Citrus beauty just makes me want to jump in!  How about you, cherie?  Carpe diem, in a sensually indulgent way unique to gorgeous YOU! → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

One word with enormous power to make the difference between healthy radiant skin that you dare to bare, and skin you’d rather keep under wraps this summer: EXFOLIATE.   Yes, it’s a really big deal. You only have to try it once to notice immediate benefits.  When you make it part of your weekly skincare routine, you’ll continue to notice your best skin ever – healthy, soft, smooth skin that returns the love you give it!   → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

Some of you prefer 100% pure aromatherapy essential oils to fragrance skincare for the bath products whenever possible.  We understand, especially if you’ve experienced a sensitivity to some synthetic fragrances.

Our essential oils are ALWAYS 100% pure, authentic and genuine.  They are NEVER diluted with carrier oils that can negatively effect the quality and shelf-life of your essential oils.

Sometimes to give you a more beautifully unique and complex fragrance blend that’s not available with only fragrant essential oils, we blend our 100% pure essential oils with high quality synthetic (phthalate-free) fragrances to create the most elegant, refreshing, and playful fragrances we all adore.

Just one sec here:  Before we jump into talking about an important issue inherent with the use of essential oils in skincare products, an issue which most people don’t think about when touting the benefits of essential oils and citing the potential negatives associated with synthetic anything, including fragrances (e.g. sensitivities, allergies, irritation, etc.), let me tell you that very often, the primary culprit associated with synthetic fragrances is PHTHALATES.  Phthalates are the chemical compounds which can, in some individuals, cause headaches, respiratory irritation, and other temporary sensitivities.  Our highest quality synthetic fragrances are phthalate-free, for just that very good reason.

Want to know more about phthalates?  Several of you have asked me about this, so I’ll include a new post on the topic.  If you can’t wait to know more, shoot me an email, and I’ll share with you the scoop on phthalates, and why you can expect to see more and more quality beauty products listed as phthalate-free.

But, for right now, here’s a very important reason for using phthalate-free fragrances (rather than essential oils) when you’re out in the summer sun: PHOTOSENSITIVITY.

It’s important for you to know that just because we use 100% pure essential oils (not adulterated or blended with carrier oils which risk reducing their fragrant potency, therapeutic effectiveness and natural shelf-life), this does not mean that these essential oils are free of potential cosmetic issues when we expose our skin to the sun. → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

May is all about love: first love, new love, mom’s love, love for mom, love for newborn baby animals and their angels with fur kinda love for us,…. Love of all kinds as a vital force inspires us to feel happy, young and exuberant, and want to share all this luscious energy with our family and friends and smile at people we may never know other than in passing for a moment in time.   → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

If you feel as if you’ve been hibernating most of the winter, the last thing you may want to think about is making sure to get enough sleep now that spring is here.  You’re ready to burst forth and enjoy, greet your neighbors, catch up with friends over outdoor lunches, and spend evenings out after bitter chills and early sunsets have kept you indoors for too long.

I dream of taking my beloved ’98 S70 lipstick red Volvo out for a spin, give her a turbo thrill anywhere but 30 mph Valley View Road (and I don’t mean 32 or 35 mph which is pushing a speeding ticket).

This I can no longer do.  She was forced into retirement last May when one of her cylinders unexpectedly went down.  I was in deNile, in part because everything else about her was perfect.  I don’t want to believe she’s gone.  Even now, I sometimes look for her in parking lots, wondering who might have brought her home, fixed her up, and now takes her out for a spin.

I wanted her back the moment I felt with little choice but to replace her with a computerized black Volvo S60 that has a bazillion features (of which I still have minimal comprehension), and lacks her colorful personality.  Without my Mimi magnets, I feel a little guilty saying this, but she’d be just another black car in a sea of black cars, undistinguished from all the others.

She’d been huffing and puffing (running rough they call it) for about a week before I took her in to Borton, thinking she might need new spark plugs. Don’t all of us older gals need new sparks from time to time?  Made sense.  Unfortunately, the problem lay deeper.  When we’re not on all cylinders, it’s a serious problem, one I wasn’t prepared to face.

Dan at Borton Volvo service told me to have a stiff drink and say goodbye.  She was no longer safe.  She could blow at any moment.  What does that even mean I remember wondering.  Would she just stop without warning on the freeway?  Would she blow up?  I didn’t feel she’d betray me in that way.  She’d give me a few signs.  Dan continued to impress upon me the severity of the safety risk.  It could be a day, a week, a month, maybe a year.  I didn’t want to let her go, but I couldn’t continue to hold on.  I drive my daughter around town.  Safety’s a big deal.

So, I took photos.  I stood next to her.  Wherever she went from the Borton Volvo lot, she remains ever in my heart.  I’ve not yet had the stiff drink, and don’t really think it would have worked anyway.  She was bigger than that.  She grows more special in her physical absence from my life.

I’ll never feel the same about another car.  She was my first Volvo, my signature red, a boxy handmade Swedish girl who developed a distinct personality with age, and carried on even after I blew out her ignition one winter, and someone pushed her gently in a parking lot, leaving a subtle barely remarkable dent in her otherwise perfect frame.  She proudly wore my kissing Mimi magnets till the end.

One never knows, but I can’t imagine ever feeling quite the same about my new (to me) Volvo S60 on whom Mimi blowing her kiss to passersby seemed sadly faded.  My new Volvo demanded new magnets. That’s the thing about changing one thing – other things seem suddenly old.  And who I am to judge.  I’m getting older too.  My parts will wear out.  Where will I go?  She deserved better.  I acted in haste.  I wished she were back.  It was too late.

I digress.  Besides, if I count out the years, I’ll have a few more Volvos enter my life.  Or I’ll leap into a hybrid.  Just must remind myself to get ready and prepare for it emotionally next time.

Back to our theme of beauty sleep.  Cherie, now is when you need your sleep more than ever, to handle the ups and downs of life, hopefully more ups…

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written by Raulla S. Mitchell

May is the perfect time to play with new spring fragrances.  Everything around us seems more playful, delightful and full of intoxicating natural fragrances and joie de vivre, so welcome l’amour fou (crazy wild love) of springtime into your heart!  Fragrance is all about happy little sensual pleasures, feeling fab in your skin and making beautiful memories that remain forever.  Franz Kafka said “Anyone who retains the ability to see beauty never grows old.”  I couldn’t agree more.  Fist bumps Franz and Andre (Breton), l’amour fou man. And the best part?  Crazy wild love and this genuine fountain of youth are available to you, everyday of your life.  Just choose to invite them into your life today. → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell “All is a miracle. The stupendous order of nature, the revolution of a hundred million worlds around a million stars, the activity of light, the life of all animals, all are grand and perpetual miracles.”   Voltaire (1694-1778, France)

Bliss is a perpetual miracle. And what’s so fab about bliss is that we can discover it everyday within ourselves!

We cannot help but be reminded of the veracity of Voltaire’s eloquent expression, particularly after months of nature covered in snow and ice, green begins to expose itself once again, the initial sign of nature’s powers of miraculous rejuvenation and rebirth.  April’s wet grass, blossoms beginning to form in May, fruit growing on trees, and moisture in the air tells us that spring has returned. We are part of the cycle of nature, and follow her revitalization.

Even if Mother Nature decides to snow flower-sized snowflakes in Minnesota this April, we know from experience that they’ll quickly melt when the sun comes out.  Just a little reminder to be grateful for the spring when she comes to stay!

When I was a child, my grandmother used to call each April 1st with the same line “Look out the window, it’s snowing.”  I’d say “Grandma, it’s not snowing, don’t you know it’s April!”  She’d insist, so finally I’d put the phone down, go to the window, and when I’d return to the phone, she’s say the inevitable “April Fools.”  I miss her calls every April 1st.  I’ve always thought Mother Nature and my grandmother were conspiring to make me truly appreciate the beauty of spring.

What better place than a warm fragrant bath to discover your blissful rejuvenation this season? Your bath is a sanctuary for undisturbed reverie and meditation. Release all winter’s cares to be swept away by the uncontrolled beauty of your thoughts, feelings, emotions and sensations.  Give in to wherever they lead you…Your bath is your bath.  I’d say your bath, your rules, but it’s more your bath, no rules sort of thing, a rule-free zone.  Your isolation tank or a shared space, whatever you’re in the mood for.  → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

SEASONAL FRAGRANCE PHILOSOPHY, in a few words:

Your favorite fragrances become your signature, and there’s no need to change your fragrance wardrobe from season to season, unless of course you want to!

I will forever remember my mother’s perfume as she prepared for a night out with my father. It was part of her essence, a woman celebrating a romantic evening. As she hugged me before going out, the smell of her skin became one with my own.

Like the fragrances I wear today, my mother’s fragrance remained on the fabric of her clothes.  Trying on my mother’s clothes hanging over her chair was like wrapping myself up in her arms.

Today my teenage daughter wraps herself lovingly in my bathrobe, and tells me it smells like me.

Your fragrant self is a gift of love to you and to those whom you cherish, now and forever. It is the stuff of treasured memories, an expression of YOU.

That said, maybe you change how you feel from season to season? Do you feel a sense of renewal and joy when spring rolls into town?  Are you ready to change your fragrance up a bit to express how you feel now?

There are fragrances that seem to naturally herald the first gentle caress of spring, flowers and fruit growing from the fertile earth. The light floral and fruity fragrances of the following 4 fragrances celebrate a gentle transition to spring.

Express your new spring self, and always feel free to call for a personalized consultation if you’d like to play and explore a fragrance that beautifully expresses who you are right now! → Read more

written by Raulla S. Mitchell

“Do not fear to make changes.  When it is making headway, a boat may rock.”  Chinese proverb

At today’s yoga class, my instructor’s words focused on breaking through our fears.  Yes, we fear that we may topple over in a pose (or in life), but break through this fear, just try it.  Fears created and sustained by our minds seek to disempower us, while yoga seeks to free our minds of fear, anxiety, worry, and breathe into the present moment of life free from self-imposed limitations.  Her heartfelt spoken word music coupled with her own words inspired me to let go just a little bit more, to trust in the moment.

Do you make changes with ease and joy?  Do you love change?  Or do you fear it?  Do you hear the word “change” and think “Hmmm… Now what?  Just when I was getting used to the status quo, looking forward to the ease of running on automatic pilot, I’m supposed to C-H-A-N-G-E?  Do you and David Schwimmer’s character on Friends, Ross Geller, share a similar “No one likes change” philosophy?

Let’s face it, everything is in a constant state of flux.  Life is all about change, expansion, growth and learning.  Stagnation and constriction aren’t very pretty.  So how do we leap forward with a rational mind, faith and a happy heart?

→ Read more