If you’re anything like me (and considering the average American gains, what, 10 pounds over the holidays?) the traditional November-December season is fraught with peril. Everywhere you look you are greeted with gobs of pumpkin pie, piles of gingerbread, and decadent, sticky fudge….mmmm….fudge. And booze. The holidays are entirely and inextricably linked to indulgence.
However, if you’re trying to avoid the temptation of a 1000 calorie dessert while still surrounding yourself with the scent of holiday cheer, never fear, your intrepid scores of bath and body retailers are standing by and ready to assist you. For a grand total of zero calories, you can slather yourself in potions and lotions that fill your senses with seductive smells, without the worry about your New Year’s Eve outfit popping a button on the 31st.
I am an admitted perfumista. I chose that word. My husband calls it “hoarder of bottles, creams and salves”. I guess we are both right, as any visitor to my cluttered master bathroom vanity will attest. Everyone knows about the big names in the smelly stuff biz- Body Shop, Bath and Body Works, etcetera, all offering some variation of the typical apple cider, pumpkin pies or gingerbread scents. But if you’re looking for something a little different, there is a huge niche market in the etailer world for small businesses, many of whom specialize in one type of scent category or bath product. Allow me to enable you to a few:
Villainess: The woman makes soap, and makes it well. Considering most of us bathe with bland bars of Dove, or if we’re feeling fancy, single note glycerin creations, how could you resist the allure of Grampa Joe soap: “Grandpa’s toffee candies with a stiff shot of rum.” Other unusual combos that I love are Absinthe and the charmingly horrible Unicorn Poo.
Possets: Owner Fabienne specializes in perfume oils, with an entire line of Naturals with no synthetic ingredients. I’m looking forward to trying Sweet Potato Pie myself, though the most unique offering is an ever-evolving scent called Cambienne. The line is girly and indulgent and, best of all, you can get a 6 item sampler pack for $10 just to try them out.
My own personal favorite place to get lotions, shower gels and shampoos is Make Me Smooth Cosmetics, though I hesitate to share the info with you since I want them all to myself. Plus they are on winter break through the end of the year so it’s not a lot of help to you right now anyway, but if you go to the website you’ll soon see how it could take you a month and a half to figure out your order. The variety is dizzying, I tell you, dizzying. 6 types of body creams. 4 types of body butters. 4 types of body LOTIONS. Each offered in multiple sizes. In hundreds of scents. Innumerable combinations. You can create just about any type of product in any type of scent, as each order is made to order. My brain explodes every time I go to the website and I sit paralyzed with inertia, the grown up version of the proverbial kid in a candy shop. Personal favorites: gingerbread latte, and Ambra del Nepal (a dead on dupe of i profumi di Firenze’s pricey and gorgeous amber scent.) One tip: no matter what your scent preference, try the In the Pudding body cream- it’s a totally unique fluffy product that I just adore.
As a disclaimer, I didn’t get any sort of free product from any of these places, it’s just stuff I buy and love. If you have a bath and body or fragrance etailer you adore, feel free to share it in the comments. I have a problem with product monogamy and will happily try them all. Happy shopping!