I have a very special treat for you today, my dears; I've promised some lovely surprises in my last post and here you have it! Not only will I tempt you with some delicious Haus of Gloi goodies, I've also asked its lovely owners, Britton and Matt, a couple of questions, and they agreed to share behind-the-scenes details... and photos!
I placed my first order towards the end of February; it was shipped within a day and then arrived maybe 3 days later (bonus of living in the neighboring state!). Every product was wrapped separately (and beautifully) in tissue paper and the box was stuffed with old newspaper to protect the goodies. Here's what I got:
1. Vice Soft Bubbling Scrub, $8 for 6 oz (full size)
I won't repeat the scent descriptions you can easily find online, but rather attempt to describe what the smells are evocative of to me. In this case, it must be hazelnut gelato! It simply has this sweet nutty scent at first, which then develops into something more caffeinated on the skin. The texture of the scrub is soft but the grains hold together, making it easy to scoop a bit out of the jar. It emulsifies on contact with water and accompanied by rigorous rubbing, leaves behind smooth, hydrated, subtly scented skin.
2. Twice is Nice Soft Bubbling Scrub, $3.50 for 2 oz. (sample size)
In the same formula, I also got Twice is Nice, being tempted by its foodie description. Again, to put it simply, this reminds me of a coconut macaroon. It does smell very buttery and I'm pleased to report than I can definitely smell all three scent notes: cookies, coconut and a touch of almonds. The sample size is very generous; I think I used it about three times already and I just made a little dent in the top of the jar.
3. Picaroon Sugar Exfoliant, $2 for 1 oz. (sample size)
I've also wanted to try the other scrub formula and picked this in the Picaroon scent because it basically sounded like a delicious cocktail. To most, it smells very much like men's cologne; to me, it smells like a margarita; very lemony, salty and definitely liquor-ish. The scrub itself is much more like your typical body exfoliant; it just scrubs away with small grains of sugar. I find that in this formulation, the scent is much stronger than in my Soft Bubbling Scrubs and lingers on the skin much longer. I much prefer it in the mornings than before bed, it can be a bit too energizing, if you know what I mean...
4. Come Hither Pumpkin Butter, LE for Valentine's Day 2011, $4.50 for 3 oz. (sample size)
I also wanted to try the famous Pumpkin body butter and picked it in a limited edition Come Hither scent. Unfortunately, it's my least favorite scent from the bunch; I just realized I'm not a great fan of roses. It's very floral and quite sweet, but to me a bit too old lady. My husband likes it though (on me, that is!). As for the product's formula, it's gorgeous: rich and silky and very moisturizing. The scent lasts on the skin for a good while too.
5. Troika Perfume Oil, $2.50 for 5ml (sample size)
Another foodsy scent (what can I say, I'm really into those lately) I liked the sound of. On the first impression, it is very coconutty, but in a fresher way than Twice is Nice. After a while, it develops into a softer, more feminine scent (I'm guessing it's the 'clean white' note). In terms of longevity, literally a drop of oil lasts for a good couple of hours on me. I've had my sample vial for 3 weeks now and I'm only half way through!
6. Madcap Garden Perfume oil sample, gift with purchase
This came attached to a lovely handwritten note from Britton and Matt, such a nice touch! Anyway, I was a bit skeptical at first since I'm not a big fan of peppermint. But you know what? It doesn't smell very minty to me at all. Initially, I can smell the freshness of mint, but after just a couple of minutes it starts smelling a bit like liquorice. And then it develops into this sweet, complex scent with just a touch of honey, very interesting and unique. I'd say it's definitely a repurchase (in that more distant future after I try every single scent they make).
Now, the best part. If you're as interested in the process of creating perfumes and other pieces of insiders' scoop, I'm sure you'll enjoy the interview as much as I do!
1. Could you describe the process of creating a new scent, from the inspiration to the finished product?
Well, inspiration can come from pretty much anywhere. For example, I've recently delved into ancient Greek history and mythology, so I've been dipping into that whole era fragrance wise. I'm thinking of dates, figs, olives, resins and honey. Once I have key notes in mind I work them together, add and subtract, and once I feel that it fits the idea that I had in my head from the get go, its done. Sometimes I have to rework a blend several times before I get it where I want, sometimes I get the right mojo flowing and it's perfect the first time around. Those are always the best!
2. Are you inspired by seasonal trends in fashion/make-up when creating new collections?
Hmm, I don't know! I love looking at makeup trends, so I guess if I see something evoking a sort of mood, ethereal, dark, etc. it may have an effect on the overall mood of the blends.
3. Could you give us a little hint of what to expect in the upcoming Summer release?
For summer we're looking at the return of Beguiled and Insalata Nocturna, those were the two most popular from the release last summer. I may have to soap Zazz though! So delicious and fresh in soap form. I will be bringing a few new scents to the release though - I'm thinking Oregon themed and berries, berries, berries!
4. Matt, what inspires you the most when creating a label design for a particular scent?
I try to approach making labels for HoG the same way I did designs for clients in my freelancer day - sort of a visual version of what Britton does with scents. Starting from the idea/theme that Britton has for the scent, I try to free associate images that are evocative of it. Usually at some point the solution will sort of "pop into my head". In all honesty, 75% of design is throwing ideas at the wall until something sticks.
5. What is your favorite beauty tip? Drink your water, use AHAs and slather yourself in jojoba oil!
6. What's the best part about having your own company?
Well, it is very rewarding and satisfying being able to do something you love for a living. I feel eternally blessed being able to do this! I do enjoy being able to whip up interesting concoctions, like making a mask or facial scrub. Creating a new fragrance right off the top of my head is always wonderful - best to strike while the iron is hot! Blends like that are usually turned into Reverie items.
7. What are your goals for the future?
Brick and Mortar! I would really love to open a storefront. We're hoping to do this in a couples of years. I am also wanting to expand our perfume offerings. The current space we're in limits us when creating a full line of products in once scent, but perfume is something that doesn't have the same kind of space restrictions. My mind is bubbling over with ideas, and I think that would be the best way to share them!
I'm sure keeping my fingers crossed for Britton and Matt and wish them all the best! Meanwhile, the Spring collection is already available on the Haus of Gloi website and I already have my beady eye on Lassi and Milkmaid...
What is your favorite Haus of Gloi scent and product line?