Posts Tagged With: pacifica

Endless Summer…Coconut and Mango!

I think I have well established the fact that I am addicted to fragrances. I use them to affect a mood that makes me feel…happy (hopefully). Since the scent-center of the brain is so strongly bound with memory, coconut (or coconut-inspired) scents are like summer in a bottle for me. Put a little bit of mango with that, and I am whisked away like in those old Calgon ads, except to a tropical island drenched with sun and sweetness. And in the face of the impending time and season changes to something ever more dreary and less sunshine-y, I intentionally cling to my summer with coconut and mango inspired products.

I know most people are all into the “pumpkin spice” or chocolate or mint or other seasonally appropriate scents, but not me. Not yet. So…let me, as your all-natural product guide who is also addicted to summer, offer some things worth trying and some things to avoid.

Let me first start by admitting that Alba Botanica is the brand that first introduced me to “good for you” products in the form of it’s Honey Mango Very Emollient Bath & Shower Gel.  This product literally smells good enough to eat.  When you look at the details of the ingredients, you will even find that there is no actual honey in the product, meaning that it is vegan (the company also conducts no animal testing and is cruelty-free).  This bath gel creates a creamy, moisturizing lather that seems to work (for me) against the drying powers of more wintery weather.  You can find a 12 oz. bottle for about $8-ish in natural stores and probably for less online.  If you aren’t super excited about a “honey mango” fragrance, they do have other scents like French Lavender, Island Citrus, etc.  I haven’t tried ’em, but I am sure there is something everyone can love.  I give this product a “Hooray!”

And just as a refresher, straight from the company’s website:

Alba Botanica® products are formulated without: parabens, phthalates, artificial colors, propylene glycol, aluminum, mineral oil, petrolatum, oxybenzone, PABA, nano-particles, DEA, MEA or TEA, PEGs and PEG derivatives, ethoxylated ingredients associated with 1,4 dioxane, formaldehyde donors, or GMOs.

Which leads me to the second Alba Botanica “Endless Summer” selection:  “Coconut Milk” Shampoo and Conditioner for “mega moisture.”  I bought a dual-pack of these two (also in a 12 oz. size), for around $11 at the end of September.  I expected something that looked, well, like coconut milk.  I also expected it to smell like, well, like coconut.  So, the shampoo is clear and gel-like and smells like coconut mixed with something that reminds me of that oh-so-popular potpourri fragrance:  mulberry.  Now I like the smell of mulberry, but I don’t think it smells like coconut, and I’m not sure how they arrived at that fragrance given the ingredients listed like pineapple and papaya and ginger.  Must have been a magical alchemy of sorts.  The shampoo works to clean my hair, but it seems to take a bit more than usual to get a good lather going and I sometimes feel compelled to “wash, rinse, repeat.”  So, that’s a bit wasteful.  The Coconut Milk conditioner is very thick and creamy, coming out of the bottle very “dollopy” instead of runny.  It smells like a lighter version of the shampoo, which is fine.  Still not too coconutty.  It does a good job at detangling and moisturizing without weighing my hair down.  So.  I’ll give this duo a “Yay.”  It does the job, and it smells fine, but just not what I’m looking for to satisfy my “coconut” craving.

On to Desert Essence, another brand I have featured before…they are dedicated to natural products that are phtalate-free, cruelty-free, organic, etc.  The Coconut Shampoo/Conditioner (Nourishing for Dry Hair), is also specifically touted as having no:  “parabens, sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfates, Phthalates, artificial fragrances or colors, silicones, EDTA, glycol or petroleum based ingredients (from drugstore.com’s product details).”  For about $7.49/8oz., I think this product (on sale) is a bit too expensive for me.  But I wanted coconut shampoo and it was on sale!  This shampoo is also clear, but lathers really well…I’d say it’s just like “regular shampoo” with a nice rich lather that really leaves my hair feeling clean.  Unfortunately, I think the fragrance is…terrible.  I’ve really tried to like it, but I just can’t.  Again, it is another instance of coconut not being the “superstar” of the fragrance.  This was meant to smell like a pina colada, I think, but…sigh.  Okay, I’ll tell you what it smells like to me.  You know that white shoe polish people use to write on their car windows?  Yeah.  That’s what it smells like to me.  If I *try* to think about pina colada, I can kind of get it, but no.  White Shoe Polish.  The conditioner is similar to the Alba Botanica above, thick and rich, moisturizing without being heavy.  The fragrance is much diminished in the conditioner and I WOULD consider using just the conditioner with some other shampoo.  So…in the end.  This shampoo gets a “Not So Great” and the conditioner gets a “Yay.”

And now, the piece de resistance…the one that has NOT let me down, once again…Pacifica Perfumes, I love you.  I swear they are not paying me.   This IS summer in a bottle, to me.  It is a “true” coconut in my mind, not mixed with a variety of other fruity fragrances that detract from the star of this show.  There is some vanilla in the mix, but even with the dry down, coconut is the feature of this perfume.  I also think that this particular perfume lasts longer than some of the other, more citrusy fragrances that I love from Pacifica.  Here it is 3pm on a warm day and I still smell great.  One of my friends says it smells like sunscreen…which is just fine with me.  I wish they sold “Coppertone” as a fragrance.  All those childhood memories of my favorite time of the year come rushing back when I use this perfume.  Winter-schminter…now I can keep it summer all year long (which makes me happy–mission accomplished)!  So, if you haven’t guessed…this one gets a “HOORAY!”

I am still on the search for a natural shampoo/body wash that will really strike home that coconut summer of love when January rolls around.  If you have any favorites that achieve that feat, please DO share!  Stay tuned…I’ll share if I find some other good ones!

Categories: hair products, perfume | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hoorays, Yays, and Not So Greats

Hello, all!

If you read this blog often, you know my most recent post was the first “real” post since way back in the winter.  Well, what happened was that I had bought a lot of products, but needed to pace myself on actually using them for awhile, finding replacements for the duds, and well, using everything I had bought with all that money before I went to go buy more products.

So, I’m ready now with some new reviews.  My ratings go like this:  Hooray = I”m a FAN and will buy this product as long as they make it!  Yay = it’s good, but there’s some sort of issue, either cost or ingredients or something that hasn’t convinced me not to try something else.  Not So Great =  it might have been a good idea, but definitely not worth buying again.

To start, since the products I tried are quite numerous, a few Hoorays!

Tuscan Blood Orange Spray Perfume

Pacifica perfume sprays, lotions, and candles.  I’ve raved about this product in more than one place online, bought it for my mom and sister-in-law for Christmas, and pretty much wear it everyday.  The body butters are moisturizing without being too greasy and they absolutely smell delicious.  I pretty much replaced my vast collection of perfumes with about 6 different fragrances from this company.  My favorites are Tuscan Blood Orange and Island Vanilla.  Okay, and Malibu Lemon Blossom is a very close third.  This company is committed to only the best and most natural of ingredients, ensuring no pthalates or other “bad for you” chemicals, they do not test on animals, all products are 100% vegan, and by the way, gluten free.  They have some crazy good online specials once a month and can also be easily purchased at Whole Foods, Central Market, and other naturally-minded stores for around $20 for a 1 oz. perfume. They also have yummy all-natural lip balms with shimmer and tints, body wash, bar soap, reed diffusers, and more. I am. in. love. HOORAY!

Shea Moisture body wash – specifically the Coconut & Hibiscus scent…Holy moly, does this product smell so totally yum.  I was so sad that I had to give away all of my moisturizing and bubbly body wash for fear it was full of phthalates and other dubious ingredients.  Bar soap is fine, but it *can* be more drying than other soaps, as we all know.  This brand, Shea Moisture, has a broad variety of products that list all-natural products, fragrance created from essential oils, and promises “no parabens, no phtalates, no paraffin, no formaldehyde, no propylene glycol, no mineral oil, no synthethic fragrance, no animal testing, no PABA, no synthetic color, no DEA, and no animal ingredients.”  Their website is currently down for reconstruction (I imagine it was flooded with fans once their products became so widely available), but you can find their products at reasonable prices at places like Walmart, Target, Walgreens, and the like.  They have lots of other scents, and they specialize in hair products for ladies of color (more on this in another blog), so there is something for everyone with this brand.  Again.  Major win!

On a side note, I am impressed with the growing availability of natural products at places like Target and Walmart.  You do need to know where to look, though, because you aren’t necessarily going to find those “good for you” products in the same aisle as similar products.  While I did find the Shea Moisture products above in the usual aisle in Walmart, the Burts Bees, “Yes To” products, and other things like Dr. Bronners are often in a dedicated section of products near either cosmetics (Walmart) or in my local Target, they get their own side of a whole aisle between cosmetics and the pharmacy!  As you can imagine, the selection at Target is pretty extensive if it can fill up a whole aisle.

Next time…the “Yays.”

Categories: perfume | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

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