The Rain Watcher by Tatiana de Rosnay was a vivid and beautiful story about a family reunited in Paris for what should be a joyful celebration, but instead is a tragedy. The story is mostly told from the perspective of Linden Malegarde—a successful photographer who grew up with dual citizenship in France before moving to the USA. He has found the man he wants to spend the rest of his life with, but as far as he knows his dad doesn’t know he’s gay. He and his father have never been good at communicating with one another, but their love and affection for each other is apparent. One of the story threads centers on this lack of communication between father and son and how it is resolved. This was one of the most beautiful and moving parts of the book.
In the beginning, Linden joins his parents and sister at a hotel in Paris for a celebration of his father’s birthday and his parents’ wedding anniversary. The moment he arrives there is talk of the incessant rain causing the Seine River to flood. What follows is a serious uprooting of plans, but sometimes lives need to be shattered in order to be healed. Hard truths are faced, painful memories brought back to the surface, and secrets revealed.
The Rain Watcher was slow in the beginning, but I was soon hooked. Even the most minor characters were brought to life, seeming to leap out of the page. I honestly fell in love with the entire Malegarde family.
This was an eloquent and hauntingly beautiful story. I wanted to savor every evocative sentence, and felt a sense of loss after reading the last page. This was the first time I read anything by Tatiana de Rosnay. I can safely say I have discovered a new favorite author.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Net Galley for the free galley to review. This was a 5 ⭐️ read!
Looking for a natural deodorant that actually works? I’ve reviewed my top three favorite eco-friendly and natural deodorants.
I’ve been wearing all natural deodorants for close to twenty years now. Some have been okay, some have been absolutely terrible. I thought my search was over when I discovered Nature’s Gate European Witch Hazel formula deodorant. This was the best! It lasted all day, didn’t cause me to break out, and didn’t stain. Eventually they changed their formula, and it was still the best deodorant I could find, but it has been discontinued.
When I saw it was getting harder to find, I stocked up on a few bottles. I recently ran out of it!
As much as I loved this deodorant, I didn’t love that it came in a plastic bottle. I’ve been gravitating to a zero waste/minimalist lifestyle in recent years, so of course I started the search for a natural AND eco-friendly/sustainable deodorant.
I’ve tried several different kinds, and I’m going to share with you my three favorites.
Little Seed Farm, grapefruit lemon deodorant cream. 4 ⭐️
This deodorant is a cream, rather than a paste or solid. It’s a creamy, silky smooth consistency. It also smells amazing, and is gentle on my super-sensitive skin. The sample is pictured here, but it comes packaged in a glass jar (🙌🏻) and is priced around $12-14. This month, they are donating $2 per purchase for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Most natural deodorants tend to include baking soda as an ingredient. This one does not! It’s the best one I have found on the market for people with sensitive skin. It’s GMO free, paraben free, free of artificial and synthetic ingredients, AND it is packaged in an eco-friendly container. There is even an option at checkout to have your entire order shipped zero-waste!
Schmidts- Rose and Vanilla Deodorant Jar. 3⭐️
(Yes, I know the soap is pictured here instead of the jar. I used up the jar, washed it, and reused it to hold my homemade skincare oil).
I love the scent of this, but it did cause my skin to breakout in a rash on hot, humid days. If I were to buy this again I would only be able to use it during the winter months. They do make a sensitive formula, but unfortunately it comes in plastic bottles instead of in the glass jars. Still, I know a lot of people claim this brand is their absolute favorite. Well worth a try. Retail price- around $9
Stinky Girl Beauty Co. Lavender Cream Deodorant. 3⭐️
I really wanted to love this deodorant, but it was just okay. I like that it comes in an eco-friendly glass jar. I love the lavender scent. I was thrilled that it is made somewhat locally (Upstate NY region). Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be that effective for me, and it irritates my skin. It’s probably the baking soda. If you don’t have problems with baking soda in deodorant, definitely give this one a go.
Do you have a favorite eco-friendly & all natural (safe) deodorant? Share in the comments, or send me a DM.
**note— these are not affiliate links. I just wanted to share my favorites and make it easy for you to shop them if you want.
Do you have a signature perfume? When I was a teenager, I read this delightful book called “Romancing the Ordinary” by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Her vivid, sensual descriptions prompted me to seek my own signature scent. At the time, it was Enjoy by Jean Patou—a complex blend including notes of orange, jasmine, rose, and amber. My first bottle was a gift from my dad, from Saks Fifth Avenue. The second bottle was purchased from a tiny perfumerie in Paris on my 21st birthday.
I still have this second bottle, and it’s more than half full of scent. Why haven’t I finished this bottle? As much as I adore this scent (and the memories associated with it), from around the age of twenty-two I have been on a journey to live a clean, eco-friendly, non-toxic life. It’s horrifying the amount of dangerous chemicals that can be found in traditional perfumes. Petrochemicals that are hormone disruptors? No thanks!!!
Over the years I have tried blending my own essential oils and wearing eco-friendly fragrance oils, but it just isn’t the same. (I can recommend a few blends to those of you who can’t handle even green perfume brands, and want to go the all natural route. Just comment at the end of this post if you want some pretty awesome recommendations).
There is a quote from Mandy Aftel, something like, “Scent has always provided a direct path to the soul, and no one who becomes immersed in it can fail to be pleasurably changed by the experience.” Sometimes, okay rarely, I spritz on a bit of my beloved Enjoy. It does seem to be a direct path to my soul. And yet, the headaches and the knowledge that these harsh chemicals could be damaging my body prevent me from wearing it much. So what’s a gal to do?
Fortunately there are plenty of options for eco-friendly perfumes without harsh chemicals these days. A few brands I have come across are Phlur, Pacifica, Curie, Skylar, and Ellis Brooklyn. I’ve tried many different samples and these brands seem to offer the best selection, and they are committed to using either all natural, or mostly natural AND eco-friendly ingredients and packaging.
My favorite by far is #ellisbrooklyn. I like several of their fragrances, but right now the clear winner is FABLE. Isn’t that a perfect name too? #fable is inspired by the story of Androcles and the Lion (I’m a Leo for the record). It’s a blend of orange blossom, violet, pettigrain, honeysuckle, amber, and cedarwood. https://www.ellisbrooklyn.com/
It isn’t Enjoy, but it is heavenly! It instantly lifts my spirits (that’s an important factor in choosing perfume when one has a melancholic temperament).
Do you have a favorite natural perfume? Comment your recommendations. I’m compiling a list, which I will share in a blog post soon.
“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” —Coco Chanel
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