The Final Moment

Yesterday, we made the big announcement on social media that we will be closing down Scents the Moment.

Together, we have helped rescue so many dogs and cats with Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue and Twenty Paws Rescue. You were with us as we adopted Lucy, the rescue pittie. You were with us as we bought our first home and built our lab.  You were clicking away on your computers when we competed for Staten Island’s Online Business of the Year.  You cheered us on when the SBDC voted us as Business of the Month.

Many of you have become our friends and all of you have impacted our hearts and souls. We are eternally grateful for the relationships our business gave us the opportunity to build. 

Thank you so much for the outpouring of love and support!  We want to let you all know this closing is a positive decision for our family 🙂.  We will be officially shutting down our website August 31st, or when we sell out of product, whichever comes first. 

All of your orders from today and yesterday will be fulfilled on Friday. Happy 4th of July!! 

If you know anyone who may be interested in our supplies or equipment, we’re selling the entire lab for a really good price to make the room in our home as quickly as possible. Please feel free to call me, Kristen, at 718-667-3150 with any inquiries. 

We will be out of the country July 17th-July 24th, so any orders placed during that time will be fulfilled upon our return. 

As always, with our deepest love and gratitude

❤️🙏
Kristen & Frank

Taking a Moment for the Game of Thrones Finale

*SPOILERS AHEAD*

I have been a devout fan of Game of Thrones since the very beginning. I’m not just talking about HBO, I mean I-read-the-books-hardcore-fan.  I have felt love, I have felt loss, but I have never felt disappointment until HBO took over and released George R.R. Martin to the wind.

My analysis is simply the humble opinion of an English teacher who specializes in fantasy literature.

What HBO did right:

  • Personified Drogon with a depth and breadth of understanding that Daenerys never had. By burning the Iron Throne after Jon killed Dany, Drogon demonstrates his comprehension that the root cause of his mother’s death, his brothers’ deaths, and all of the suffering, was the quest for power. Drogon, of all the characters, illustrates the insight that power leads to corruption. The symbolism is poignant, epic, and makes sense since Drogon is supposed to be Khal Drogo, who was always disgusted by people obsessed with power (think Viserys in Season 1).
  • Making Sansa the Queen of Winterfell. If any character has shown a consistent growth, it has been Sansa. Her character development has been steady, with solid basis and anecdotal evidence to all lead her to that place. Lady Sansa has earned her keep as the Queen of the North, and while we can argue Bran’s blessing is nepotism, his near-omniscience makes us believe he has a greater understanding.
  • Samwell Tarly as Grand Maester is the precise payoff Sam has earned through his studies and character development. He has grown through plight, found his way to bravery, and continued to honor and value the pursuit of ethical knowledge above all. His precise balance of intellect and morality will make him ideal for the position.
  • Brienne’s dedication to Jaime. As much as they did Jaime wrong by making him fall back into the arms of Cersei, it’s not poor character development, it’s just because we (as the audience) hoped more for him. In truth, though, Jaime’s self-loathing is a flaw he has struggled with from the beginning, and the only consistency for him has been Cersei, while the main consistency for Brienne has been honor, and they both illustrated that to the very end.
  • Turning Daenerys into a villain. I know this is not a popular opinion, but what discerns heroes from villains is how we deal with hardship. Dany lost her claim to the throne, Jorah, Viserion, Rhaegal, and Missandei – any person would be completely heartbroken by this incredible loss over the last two seasons, but what would have distinguished her as a true leader and a rightful queen would have been to react with compassion and mercy, just as Jon said. Freedom is never bought without casualties, and as Tyrion explains, we cheered her on as she destroyed “the bad guys,” but a leader who continues to destroy her trusted advisers simply because they are advising her against bad decisions is no longer a leader, but a tyrant. A good leader, a leader of people, allows herself to be checked and questioned, to be open to different ways of doing things, and mostly, to know when she has made a mistake. Tyrion perfectly illustrates that Daenerys developed a god-complex over her unwavering philosophy.
  • I’m so glad Ghost got his hug. That killed me two episodes ago.
  • Bran as King of the Six Kingdoms. Bran was definitely a surprising choice for most people, but a brilliant one. It was Bran’s push from the tower which essentially sparked the entire series. It was Bran’s dagger to lead to the death of the Night King. It was Bran’s strange journey to becoming the Three-Eyed Raven which allowed the truth about Jon to be revealed (and essentially, the truth about Daenerys).  A man who knows suffering, a man who knows survival, a man who knows the history of the realm, and an omniscient-like wisdom – as illustrated when he tells Jon that Jon was “exactly where he was supposed to be” – and the son of Ned Stark (which, by birth, transfers honor to him). Bran makes perfect sense and will be a wise, just ruler as we can see from his distributed leadership in the last scene.
  • Tyrion as Hand-of-the-King.  Yes, Tyrion has made mistakes, but there is not one mistake he made that he didn’t learn from. All we can ask from an excellent adviser is intellect, reason, ethics, morality, and mostly, reflection
  • Comic relief done right:
    • Ser Bronn of Blackwater and of Highgarden… the story of how a lowly, low-life sell-sword can become the Master of Coin.
    • Ser Bronn then being called “Lord of Lofty Titles” by Ser Davos.
    • Sam inventing democracy and being laughed off by old white men.
  • Arya heading West of Westeros… I don’t know if I hate this or love it. It is befitting of her character, as she was never content to live the life of a “lady,” but it almost feels empty. I think many of us feel cheated not knowing about the “green eyes” part of her prophecy, but I still put this in the “done right” category because there is absolutely nothing conventional that could have been justifiably given to Arya’s conclusion, so it was best left up to the imagination.
  • Ser Davos growing from an illiterate character to one who corrects grammar; what a beautiful tribute to Shireen Baratheon.
  • The pathways for a follow-up film or sequel:
    • Tyrion telling Jon they would probably meet again and to “ask [him] in ten years.”

What HBO did wrong:

  • They really did Jon dirty. No one even MENTIONS the fact that Jon is the TRUE heir to the Iron Throne at the end of the episode. Listen, we get that the Unsullied, Dothraki, and Dany-fans wouldn’t love what Jon did, but if Drogon could understand, then everyone else should have, too. And Tyrion, who essentially talked Jon into killing Dany, really should have spoken up for him. Not a word, a mention, meanwhile Jon risked himself advocating for Tyrion to Dany before he killed her. Only Sansa apologizes for not being able to do more for Jon. ONLY SANSA! Seriously, what do we learn from this? The man with the most respect and honor in the entire series has to kill BOTH of his lovers, get killed by his men, and then get ostracized by the very people he saved, all the while HE IS THE RIGHTFUL HEIR. I get not making Jon the King, but it should have been proposed to him to which he says no.  Tyrion is, and always will be, my favorite character, but Jon should have been the one to suggest Bran.  Jon knew what Bran went through. Jon knew he had to protect Bran. Jon and Bran always had a deeper connection for a visceral truth of the realm. Jon should have been given the right to suggest Bran, Bran made King for all the reasons presented in the show, and Jon made as one of the advisers because he served the realm on so, SO many other levels.   Not only was sending Jon back to Castle Black just wrong considering he was instrumental for saving the world, but to add that he cannot ever marry or have children just adds insult to injury.  It makes sense that Jon heads for the “real North,” as Tormund even describes Jon having the “real North in him” in previous episodes. Jon is also the only person who found a way to bridge the world of the Free Folk and the Seven Kingdoms, but always related more to the non-hierarchical diaspora of the Free Folk. I get why he goes there – his heart is not part of the Westerosi world, BUT IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN HIS CHOICE. It should have been made clear that HE says it’s where he really wants to be and he should have had a major vote in who would be the next leader, not just make him walk away and disappear from existence.
  • Where are Varys’ “little birds” and raven notes to save Jon?  Why show us that he put those wheels in motion to never call back to them? There should have been some mention of it to have given his final days legacy and purpose.
  • Turning Daenerys into a villain (the flip perspective). While Daenerys made a dark turn these last two seasons, I really think there should have been more Easter Eggs for our beloved Khaleesi getting all Dark Phoenix on us (yes, bad Sophie Turner joke). For example, as much as I love(d) Ser Jorah, I really believe if she would have had him killed several seasons ago, we would have gotten a true taste of how bitter her wrath could be.  Tyrion tries to explain away this point by stating just because we defined the people as “bad,” her murder of them was still indication….eh, no, let’s be real, no throne is earned and maintained without blood and imperialism. Even our “good” characters have blood on their hands – remember Ned Stark killing Lady? There simply wasn’t enough development to have us question her character arc to make the last turn of events truly believable.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments! Feel free to Tweet me @scentsthemoment, too.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

What’s In Your Soap?

I don’t ride bandwagons or hype-trains. I was never one to tout “all natural” or “organic” because it was trending. So, several years ago, when I started my research into making my own soap, it was out of the sincere need to help my husband’s struggle with psoriasis and eczema.

At that time, prior to moving in with my husband, I was using Dove soap. I never thought about it – well, actually, at the time, I thought I was using the best quality soap, so, when I say I never thought about it, it’s more like I wasn’t aware enough to start reading ingredients.  When I learned that detergents and certain surfactants might be irritating for my husband’s psoriasis and eczema, I started reading.

These are the ingredients of Dove soap from their website on 3/27/19:

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All ingredients on American packaging, according to the FDA, must be listed in order of percentage from highest to least, with colorants at the end.

Sodium Lauroyl Isethionate – This first ingredient is a detergent/surfactant.  As soon as I noticed this as the first ingredient, I realized this may be why my husband’s skin wasn’t improving – it’s possible he was still being irritated by this soap which claims to be for “sensitive skin.” (Source)

Stearic Acid – Common source of fatty acids that have already been saponified (made into soap). This is used in many cosmetic products and very unlikely to cause any irritation.

Sodium Tallowate – This threw me for a loop. This is the saponified version of tallow – which is traditionally beef or pork fat. I was completely grossed out.

OR Sodium Palmitate – OR saponified palm oil?   Palm oil is great in soap (if it’s responsibly sourced), but why is this an OR?

Lauric Acid – This is a common fat, usually found in coconut oil. Totally normal for soap.

Sodium Isethionate – This is a cleanser and skin conditioner. It’s a normal ingredient in cosmetic products and not a cause of concern.

Sodium Stearate – A naturally occuring fatty acid of stearic acid.

Cocamidopropyl Betaine – According to the EWG website: “[CB] has been associated with irritation and allergic contact dermatitis, reactions that could be due to the ingredient itself or to impurities present in it, such as 3-dimethylaminopropylamine.” This could have also been a source of irritation for my husband’s skin.

Sodium Cocoate – Saponified oils of cocoa butter. Common.

Sodium Palm Kernalate – Saponified oils of palm kernal oil. Also common for soap.

Fragrance – Perfectly safe and common.

Sodium Chloride – This is simply salt – could be used for hardening the bar?

Tetrasodium Edta (Same as tetrasodium etidronate) – This is a chelating agent. That means it reacts with metal ions to make the product water soluble. A safe, common cosmetic ingredient, also sometimes used to keep the fragrance and color of products stable.

Titanium Dioxide – This is a white colorant – super common (use it in lots of my soaps).


After I did my research and analysis of Dove soap, there were two possible irritants for my husband’s skin because of the detergents. To be clear, these detergents are incredibly safe and common for soap, he just happens to be incredibly sensitive.  What shocked me the most, personally, was the Sodium Tallowate. While I’ve come to learn that many soap-makers use tallow (beef/pork fat) in soap-making, it was something I was personally ethically against. This was the final determination for why I chose to make my own soap.

To compare ingredients, let’s take a look at the ingredients of our best-selling bar soap, the Balance Bar:

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Water, Coconut Oil, Palm Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Calendula Flowers, Lemongrass Essential Oil, Lavender Essential Oil, French Green Clay, Sodium Lactate.

Olive Oil – This serves as a conditioning agent. I use mostly olive in this soap because it’s amazing for soft, healthy, moisturized skin. In soap, it protects the moisture.

Coconut Oil – Big, fluffy bubbles. According to WebMD, coconut oil may help psoriasis and eczema symptoms. I use it for the bubbles in soap, but glad to hear it has good buzz, anyway.

Palm Oil – Amazing hard oil for soap. Keeps skin moisturized, while making a strong, stable bar. I only use responsibly sourced palm oil, by the way.

Sodium Hydroxide – This is commonly known as lye. It’s what makes soap, soap. It creates the saponification process by chemically bonding to the oils.  (In the above example, they say “sodium palmitate” – it means those oils have already bonded with the sodium hydroxide.)

Calendula Flowers – I use them because they’re a pretty, natural decoration for soap, but calendula is said to have many medicinal properties.

Lemongrass Essential Oil – This smells like bright, lemony, green sunshine!

Lavender Essential Oil – Beautiful, floral, uplifting, lavender essential oil is known for its calming properties.

French Green Clay – A natural colorant which I add for its exfoliating properties.


The main differences are the minimized ingredients of the two soaps. Our approach is simple and VEGAN. At Scents the Moment, we aim to use science and nature to awaken your senses and love your skin.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

April 2019 Contest & Sweepstakes!

 

APRIL FILL-YOUR-BAG SWEEPSTAKES!

  • Place an online order and ONE product gets placed in the purse and YOUR name gets entered into the sweepstakes!
  • Place as many orders as you would like throughout the month for multiple entries.
  • Only eligible for ONLINE orders.
  • The winner receives the purse PLUS all of the goodies inside!
  • Winner will be called April 30th in the evening. Stay tuned on our Facebook page for specific times! (And give us a “like” while you’re there!)
  • Fine print: Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible. Prize can only be shipped in the United States. Orders must be placed ONLINE. This contest is not open to any purchases made in person or at events.

 

Showing Your Hair Some Love

Have you ever woken up with just perfect hair? Us either! Especially as we color our hair, use products, get blow-outs, and just put our hair through environmental stress, we continuously damage the hair follicles, making it harder and harder for our hair to manage. What we need is MOISTURE. This is why we created the Good Hair Day Hair Mask. Use two-to-three times per week on your ends overnight and begin to see how you can create soft, supple, manageable hair. Restore the moisture balance to your hair by giving it the overnight treatment it deserves then wake up to many more Good Hair Days!

Directions: On clean wet or dry hair, take half-dollar size amount of Good Hair Day hair mask and work into ends of hair avoiding scalp. Leave treatment in hair overnight and rinse out in the morning. After the overnight treatment, feel free to wash and condition as usual, or just rinse out the mask. Use 2-3 times per week, as needed.

Holiday Shopping at the Hilton – the last show of 2018!

The last show of the year!

The old saying goes: Save the best for last, and that’s exactly what we did this year! Our last show of the season will be tomorrow at the Hilton. There will be door prizes, just for showing up, 51 tables of vendors, and a beautiful, elegant atmosphere.   Best of all, it’s the last chance to grab our goodies at show prices!

CLICK HERE FOR ALL THE DETAILS

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Shop Cyber Monday 2018

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CYBER MONDAY IS COMING!!
ON NOVEMBER 26TH, TAKE 25% OFF YOUR ORDER WITH CODE SOAPY2018.

  • CYBER MONDAY FINE PRINT: Code cannot be combined with any other code or discounts. Only valid from 12:00am-11:59pm EST on 11/26/18. Cannot be used on previous or future purchases. Only valid for online purchases.

Why Custom Candles Make Perfect Favors

Why Custom Candles Make Perfect Favors

I am always so excited when I get the opportunity to handcraft custom candles for party favors. It means that I get to be a part of someone’s wedding, shower, birthday party, bat mitzvah (to name a few we’ve done) in a little way. I have the privilege and honor of creating something uniquely beautiful for a person’s special celebration. I don’t take that responsibility lightly; I am distinctly aware of the necessity of perfect presentation for favors. While I make favors from a number of our products, I always feel that candles are extra special.

  1. The customer has the choice in the jar, fragrance, and label, which makes the customization process distinctly unique for every customer. Even if your friend gave candles for her shower, your candles will look and smell completely different based on your specific tastes.
  2. Everyone likes candles! Candles are found in 70% of American homes, which means your guests are sure to be satisfied by receiving a candle.
  3. Candles have a quick turn-around time. You can give a meaningful, handcrafted favor and not have to wait weeks for it to cure. Candles can be poured and ready in days (depending on how many you need).
  4. “Dr. Alan Hirsch of Chicago’s Smell & Taste Treatment and Research Foundation explains the draw of scented candles. ‘”When you collect candles,” he says, “you aren’t just collecting the smell of the candle, you are also collecting the emotion of the experience when you first created the memory associated with the candle’s scent”‘ (“America’s Burning Love for Candles,” The Week).
  5. “Candle purchasers say they view candles as an appropriate gift for the holidays (76%), as a housewarming gift (74%), a hostess/dinner party gift (66%), a thank you (61%) and as adult birthday gifts (58%)” (“Candle Facts & Figures,” National Candle Association).
  6. A typical 8oz candle will burn for 40-50 hours (when burned correctly). With the average person burning a candle for less than 4 hours at a time, your guests will enjoy their gift for weeks.
  7. Candles don’t expire. Your guests can keep the covers on their candles and keep the candle fresh for as long as they want without needing to worry about storage.
  8. Candles are timeless. People have been burning candles for thousands of years. Giving the favor of a candle is classic and will always be in style.

The next time you’re hosting a party, consider a customized candle as a favor for a sure-fire way to please your guests.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

The Hardest Part is Getting Started

the hardest part is getting startedI recently started going to the gym.  I’m not a big fan of the gym, in fact, I would dare say that it is slightly above medieval torture on my scale of things I loathe.  I have tried so many different ways to make the moments at the gym joyful – from classes, to workout mixes, to Bluetooth headphones, to quality sneakers, but the feeling of dread is always the same.

I do 45 minutes of cardio and for whatever reason, the first 20 minutes are the worst. I even allow myself a 5-minute warm-up… to me, I’m “cheating” those extra 5 minutes. Time oppressively slows down whenever I do something I find loathsome.

This maligned battle of time seems to also work in reciprocal shifts. The longer I procrastinate on doing what I need to do, the faster time flies. For example, on days I tell myself I will go to the gym, but just at a later time, I’m up at 7am and five minutes later it’s 3pm.

I have to just show the hell up and hit the 25-minute mark.

That’s all it really takes for me to make it because, at that point, I talk myself through the next 20 minutes.  The elliptical conversation goes something like this:

  • Minutes 0-5 – Ok, I’m just warming up, let me just go at a normal pace and it won’t be so bad.
  • Minutes 6-18 – Dear God, let the shuffle in my iTunes pick the best songs ever so I can “dance.”
  • Minutes 18-25 – Feel that sweat? You did that. Let it drip. YOU LOVE IT!
  • Minutes 25-30 – Only 5 minutes left and you got 30 minutes of cardio in. You can do it! You can survive anything for 5 minutes!
  • Minutes 31-35 – Good momentum. The worst is over. Only 15 minutes to go!
  • Minutes 36-40 – Pick up the pace! Shuffle songs to the highest BPM!
  • Minutes 40-43 –  Almost freaking done! Push HARD – you’ve come this far!
  • Minutes 44-45 – I’m a damn champion.

I realized that in order to make it through the first 25 minutes, I first need to show up. Showing up is definitely the hardest part of any routine that we want to get into, but sometimes a little positive, accountable self-talk is necessary:

  1. Why am I doing this?
  2. Will it help me reach my goals?
  3. How do I feel when I have finished?

Our most precious commodity is our time, our moments, so how we spend each moment is crucial.  We need to look at our lives globally: How can I live the best life?  Use this guiding question to determine what activities are adding value to your life versus detracting from it.

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident

Scents and Spirituality – Contacting the Dead with Candles?

Scents and Spirituality - Contacting the Dead with Candles

I received a really interesting direct message on the Scents the Moment Instagram the other night:

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Initially, as you can tell from my response, I was a little taken aback. I mean, if you look at my Instagram, I have photos of products and my dog, Lucy – I never thought my branding would direct me to be that kind of shop.

But, I questioned my own thinking… what, exactly, did I mean by that kind of shop?

A spiritual shop? A Wiccan shop? A head shop?… I realized the error wasn’t with the question, but in my own thinking.

Candles have existed for millennia and their brightness have served as metaphors for just as long. I realized the question I received was deep-rooted in far more history of candles that I was never aware of.  After a little guidance from my friend Deb Jasien, owner of Fields of Ambrosia, she directed me to Wicca Lore and I started to do my research and revised my response:

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Candles are inherently magical because they represent the four elements of nature. The wax is equivalent to the Earth (think of the soybeans used to create our wax base). The melted wax is like water – liquefied parts of the Earth.  The flame is obviously fire and the smoke produced by the candle is the air. According to Witches Lore, this deep-rooted connected between candles and Earth is strengthened based on the scent.

There exists a whole realm and encyclopedia of fragrances and what they spiritually mean.

  1. http://sacredwicca.com/herbs-correspondences – This website has a full and thorough list of so many fragrances and their power.
  2. https://wicca.com/celtic/herbal/magickall.htm – An herb list with all of their magical properties.

A few magical attributes examples associated with our candles:

Magical attributes of Chamomile: Good as a meditation incense, for centering, peace, sprinkle in your home for protection, healing, money.
Unstressed

Magical attributes of Jasmine: Used in love spells, charm, and sachets.
Summer Break

Magical attributes of Lavender: Sleep, long life, peace, wishes, protection, love, purification, visions, attracting men, clarity of thought.
Unstressed
Weekend Getaway

Magical attributes of Rose: Love, friendship, luck, protection, psychic power, and divination
Serenity Prayer Candle

Magical attributes of Sandalwood: Purification, protection, and healing.
Weekend Getaway


So, can you contact the dead with our candles?

Our candles were not created with the intent to draw any connection with the dead. We create our candles for beauty, aesthetic, fragrance, home decor, and to use your olfactory sense to connect you with a blissful moment in life.  That being said, we do use scents that are inherently “magical” (as demonstrated above) and would love to hear about how you use our candles to feel more connected with yourself, spirit, or more.

Serenity Prayer Candle Scents the Moment

Kristen Fusaro-PizzoPresident