Recently Loved: Patchouli, Incense and Sandalwood

I love the warmth and density of spicy scents. Patchouli smells kind of sweet and spicy, in combination with ylang-ylang it seems almost flowery itself. Incense remains more on the cool side of spicyness, for me it is not as complex as patchouli and smells maybe a little dull. Yet I like it much! Sandalwood, as the name suggests, smells woody. Together with citrusy scents it adds volume to every composition.

In music, for me …
… patchouli would be a bariton in “Ameno“.
… sandalwood would be the cello in “Tonight“.
… incense were background choir in “Ronja Rövardotter“.

But as in music, these scents don’t go solo. They take their part in an orchestra of ingredients and essential oils blended together to create some wonderful skincare.

Franincense Essential Oil and Hydrosol

Frankincense promotes healing, fades scars, helps against acne and evens the skin tone as well as lifts the skin. It reduces the appearance of large pores, combats wrinkles and fine lines and has a calming effect on the mind.

Patchouli helps with acne and skin irritation, it is cell regenerative, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-aging. It counteraffects inflammation and promotes healing.

Sandalwood is effective for acne and eczema and reduces large pores. It is good for very dry, dehydrated and sensitive skin.

You can add 5 drops of essential oil to 30ml carrier oil for a body treatment oil or 10 drops of essential oils to 100ml carrier oil to get a face oil. Also you can use incense, patchouli and sandalwood hydrosols as face or body mist.

(I gathered these informations from all the manufacturers websites that make these and more lovely products containing incense, sandalwood and patchouli.)

Akamuti Olive & Avocado Night Cream

Akamuti Olive Avocado Night Cream

This cream is one of my most pleasant discoveries of the last months. It helps keeping my skin hydrated by preventing moisture to evaporate. The scent is calming and helps me to relax at night.
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NZ #4: Lake Tekapo [Jan 4th]

This was one of the most lovely views I got in New Zealand. Lake Tekapo is 700 metres above sea level and covers 83 square kilometres, so it is really impressive with the mountain view behind the lake. Like a giant’s bathing place!

Lake Tekapo with Mountain View
Lake Tekapo with Mountain View

Be sure to wear sunscreen when visiting one of the lakes, the water reflects so much of the UV rays that you almost immediately can get a sunburn. I forgot to reapply on my feet, so the pattern from my walking sandals stayed with me for almost half a year. Not so nice!

Me at Lake Tekapo
Me at Lake Tekapo
Chapel at Lake Tekapo
Chapel at Lake Tekapo

There is a chapel at Lake Tekapo, the Church of the Good Shepherd, where many couples get married. When you got to see the mountain view right behind the altar … you know why:

View through Chapel's Window
View through Chapel’s Window

From the astronomical observatory at Mount John hilltop you have a great view upon Lake Alexandrina which has dark blue water.

Lake Alexandrina, the dark blue Lake
Lake Alexandrina, the dark blue Lake

Looking from the other hilltop side you see Lake Tekapo with its stunnig turquoise blue water.

Lake Tekapo, the turquoise blue Lake
Lake Tekapo, the turquoise blue Lake

When you take the gravel road north, you get closer and closer to the Southern Alps. I promise you, when you are there, you will feel a little bit like in one of the Lord of the Rings movies, only better because you can explore everything all by yourself.

Mount Cook View
Mount Cook View

What we indeed got to see much of that day was the gravel road. 20 kilometres to the mountain view, 20 kilometres back, … the lupins cheer you up. Also you get to see so many birds, that’s amazing!

Endless Gravel Road
Endless Gravel Road

If you ever gonna be in New Zealand, make sure to have enough time to spend at Lake Tekapo. Grab some picnic stuff and make yourself comfortable at the shore. Rest, get some peace of mind.

NZ #3: Mt. Somers and Sharplin Falls [Jan 3rd]

On my way from Christchurch to Geraldine I gazed at the mountain view at the horizon. The snowcapped mountains seemed so near, and yet it was hot summer. Hot south summer, as at home there was heavy snowfall. I was completely deranged yet enjoying the weather.

Simultaneously to the jetlag I got a really bad cold. The air conditioning in the airplanes and airports in combination with a coughing husband was not good for me, so I was physically at the end, completely exhausted. Therefore I only did a short mountain walk at Mt. Somers. Everywhere in NZ there are creeks, I haven’t seen so many creeks in my whole life!

Creek at Mount Somers
Creek at Mount Somers

The walking track followed the creek to a double waterfall:

Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part one
Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part one
Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part two
Sharplin Falls at Mount Somers: Part two

The water in NZ is very clear, one can swim nearly everywhere – if you don’t mind the temperature. So take your swimsuit with you in your daypack. And don’t forget the sunscreen, the UV level is extreme in NZ. I put on SPF 30 every single day.

NZ #2: Christchurch [Jan 2nd]

Christchurch is the largest city in the South Island on New Zealand. I did not go to the city centre, instead I wandered around in my accommodation’s neighbourhood. There is a lot of graffiti and street art, several houses are painted with 3-D-pictures.

Christchurch Street-Art
Christchurch Street-Art

After several earthquakes lots of Christchurch’s buildings collapsed. So between newbuilt buildings, old houses and street art locations there are collapsed buildings and demolished sites. Everywhere are containers, they preserve walls from collapsing onto pedestrians.

Christchurch: Cinema after Earthquake
Christchurch: Cinema after Earthquake

Now, home again, I am sorry that I did not have more time to spend in Christchurch. With the delayed arrival and the jetlag I was merely getting a thought of this town. If I ever come back to NZ, I will stay longer in Christchurch and its surrounding area.

NZ #1: Banks Peninsula, Christchurch [Jan 1st]

On my first day I was lazy. After fetching the rental car I went to the Banks Peninsula southeast of Christchurch.

Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula

I had a very bad jetlag for the first three to four days, so keep in mind not to put too heavy sightseeing into the first few days abroad. Sitting on a hilltop was just fine, the view was lovely!

Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula

In New Zealand there are no native mammals (apart from two sorts of bats), but it is populated by various birds. In millennia they had no natural enemies, so lots of the NZ birds don’t fly but leap around.

Banks Peninsula
Banks Peninsula

I’ve been to NZ with my husband, nevertheless I will write I and not we as it is my blog and my memories and my photos.

New Zealand #0 – The Adventure Begins [29.12. – 31.12.]

Today I start with a new blogpost series about traveling. In January I have been to New Zealand and in about 40 days I have visited both the south and the north island. It’s been a lot of fun, and I will share with you some of my photos, thoughts and travel tips.

When I started my journey in Germany, it was heavily snowing and the plane left Frankfurt Airport with delay after being de-iced. Unexpectedly I got an upgrade to business class:

On my flight from Frankfurt to Dubai I got an upgrade to business class.
On my flight from Frankfurt to Dubai I got an upgrade to business class.

It was nice being served champagne and cocktails and having so much space to lounge around, but I don’t think I would ever pay for first class. It is way too expensive for me!

The delay from Frankfurt messed up the complete schedule as we arrived in Dubai after our plane went off to Australia. Hence I had hours to spend at Dubai Airport in the middle of the night before flying to Bangkok.

Dubai Airport in the middle of the night.
Dubai Airport in the middle of the night.

From Bangkok, next stopover was Sydney, Australia. It was New Year’s Eve and I still wasn’t on a plane to Christchurch, New Zealand. In Sydney, our gate was occupied by staff and passengers for a flight to Birmingham which delayed our timetable even more. Half in delirium and after more than 40 hours of journey we got shuttled to a plane – originally I should have been in Christchurch after 36 hours.

This is Sydney, seen through the windows of the airport shuttle bus.
This is Sydney, seen through the windows of the airport shuttle bus.

I arrived in New Zealand after … I really don’t know after how many hours. My departure was on Monday 29th at three in the afternoon and I arrived on Wednesday 31st at six in the evening and had yet to go to the accommodation. The rental car was no longer available because of the public holiday, and my room reservation had been switched to another accommodation. Like a zombie I took a taxi to town. The very friendly taxi driver saved me from starving – you must not take any food with you when going to New Zealand – and gave me some bananas.

Twelve hours ahead of CET I did not stay awake for New Year’s Day. I collapsed exhausted into my bed and waited for the jetlag.