Saturday, September 16, 2017

Introducing Curioso Natural Perfumes

Hey guys!
I realize that it's been over a year since I blogged. I didn't mean to let the blog sit that long.
But, I'm back and I have something exciting to share: I started a natural perfume company: Curioso Perfumes! 

About ten years ago I began studying natural perfume making as a hobby. I've never been able to wear most perfumes because I have a chemical sensitivity to some of the aroma chemicals in them. They usually gives me headaches and sometimes stomachaches or mild nausea. There weren't a lot of natural perfumes on the market a decade ago, but I was inspired to learn after sampling some of the high quality ones, especially Aftelier Perfumes, so I began to study classical perfume composition and I came to really enjoy formulating fragrances. This is different than aromatherapy. Although I use many of the same materials, natural perfumes are designed for aesthetics rather than aromatherapy, though they do have some intrinsic aromatherapy benefits by virtue of their ingredients.

All these years later, I'm happy to announce that I now have an online store, currently at Etsy. Inspired by my innately curious nature (Curioso means "curious" in Italian), they're 100% natural and made in a base of organic grape alcohol and contain only natural materials such as essential oils, absolutes, Co2 extracts, butters, and concretes. No "fragrance oils" (that term = synthetic) or synthetic aroma chemicals. No greenwashing. My raw materials are high grade and come from conscientious sources.

I have several fragrances available in sample and full sizes, including a spicy amber unisex scent, and I'll eventually be adding several more to the collection, so stay tuned for more releases and for future specials for readers. My packaging is still a work in progress and I look forward to finalizing it down the road.
At this time, I'm currently only shipping within the U.S.

I hope to get back to regular blogging soon, as I have some more neat things to write about and I look forward to sharing them with you!


Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Antipasto Salad (Autoimmune Paleo)

I'm not that big of a salad lover in general (especially since dairy and I broke up and I can't put goat cheese on them). I eat them and I do enjoy them, but I rarely really crave them. But, in the heat of the middle of summer, when you don't feel like cooking and crave something fresh, a nice meal salad can be just the thing. I've been digging this antipasto salad because, even without cheese, it's still luxurious and makes me feel as if I could be eating it on a cliff side in Positano. Who needs feta or ricotta salata when all the other ingredients are so yummy?

So. This isn't a recipe, per se, but rather an assemblage (that might be the first time I've ever used that word) of ingredients. You're going to have to wing it a little, but it's too easy to screw up.

Antipasto Salad

Basic ingredients:
-Chopped romaine lettuce
-Preservative-free prosciutto
-Kalamata olives (I like the ones in a wine vinegar brine)
-Thinly sliced red onion
-Frozen artichoke hearts, thawed

-Capers for extra saltiness (don't overdo them!)
-Thinly sliced fennel bulb for crunch
-Minced Italian/flat leaf parsley for extra nutrients (esp. vitamin C).

-Red wine vinegar
-Extra virgin olive oil
-Sea salt

Combine the salad ingredients and don't skimp on the prosciutto (protein!) and olives (healthy fat!). And, the more artichoke hearts, the better! They're beneficial for the liver and are a great source of insoluble fiber, which is important for gut flora diversity. Plus, they're just so tasty.

Mix the vinegar and olive oil with a bit of sea salt. I don't have exact proportions- I do it to taste, but it's usually roughly 1 part vinegar and 2 parts oil. Add salt to taste- remember, several of the ingredients are salty, too, so you may not need much.


Friday, June 3, 2016

Things I'm Loving: 2

As per usual, I'm way overdue for a post and I want to post something, so I'm taking the easy road and sharing more things that I especially love right now. Enjoy!

1. Traditional Medicinals Roasted Dandelion Root Tea
Besides having numerous health benefits, I really love the taste of this tea. It's roasty and sweet and tastes slightly like coffee. I like to brew 2-3 bags at a time (usually overnight) and drink hot or iced with coconut milk.

2. Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss Of The Foods We Love by Simran Sethi
Such an interesting, engaging, and entertaining book about five foods: cacao, coffee, wine, beer, and bread, and the issues surrounding loss of biodiversity, the production of, and the changing ecosystem that threatens these foods. Highly recommended for anyone concerned or curious about hoe their food is produced and the impact on the farmers and ecosystem.

3. Al Wadi Natural Rosewater
I found this rose water while shopping at the international market. I have to admit that I bought it partially because I loved the frosted glass bottle (and I was out of rose water). I'm super pleased with this particular rose water! It smells gorgeously fresh and slightly fruity, just like an actual rose (no fusty grandma rose smell here!). I use it as my toner to soften and calm my skin, and I mist my face with it if my skin needs some cooling down. It would also be fab added to cocktails, spritzers, and sweet things.

4. ReserveAge Collagen Replenish Powder
I've used numerous brands of collagen powder over the past few years, and though I know it's beneficial for healing connective tissue, the gut lining, and hair/skin/nail health, I can't say that I've ever noticed any of the purported beauty benefits. This collagen is different. Maybe it's due to the inclusion of hyaluronic acid, or maybe it's the specific form of collagen peptides, but my skin is noticeably more hydrated. This powder mixes easily into beverages and I usually add it to my coffee or tea.

Several of the links I've provided for products are from iherb.com, where I do a lot of my supplement shopping. If you've never shopped at iherb, here's my referral code for $5 off your first order: HAZ439

Happy summer!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Things I'm Loving, Volume 1

I always like to see what's working for other people and improving their lives. So, I've decided to start a very informal series that I plan to be ongoing, detailing random things I've discovered that have made my life better in some form. I hope you enjoy my first edition.

D Minder app.
This free app is so helpful and satisfying to use. It calculates how much vitamin D you can make based on your location, angle of the sun, time of day, UV index, your skin color, and how much clothing you're wearing. I have to say that I find it really fun to see the estimated I.U.'s being caluculated as I get some sunshine and it motivates me to get outside during my D window.
If you live in a part of the world where you aren't able to make vitamin D this time of year, it'll tell you exactly how many days until you can!

Choice Organics Wild Forest Black Tea
This lovely black tea is smooth and a little bit floral and so reasonably priced (score!!). It reminds me of my beloved Yunnan teas, which are also harvested from mature, old tea trees, rather than from bushes. I save my bag and brew a second cup in the afternoon.

Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman
This book really changed how I view movement has and shown me that proper "nutritious" movement and the mechanotransduction (the signals our movement sends to our cells) it creates, is just as vital to cellular health as food, sleep, and supplements. I'm much more motivated to vary my movement and loads and to work on correcting some unhealthy patterns of movement I have. Also, Katy is kind of hilarious. I really enjoy her writing style.

Briogeo Blossom and Bloom Ginseng + Biotin Volumizing Shampoo
I'm actually testing this shampoo right now for another website and I. LOVE. IT. I have medium-fine hair and this stuff really delivers on volume, but not at the expense of shine or softness. My hair is so happy and bouncy and even retains a bit of bounce on the days I don't wash it. It also smells nice (it has a grapefruit-orange scent with a faint hint of ginger), lathers well without drying, and has no sulfates, parabens, gluten, or artificial fragrance (which I don't tolerate well). Win-win.

Stay tuned for more things I'm loving!