Back From Vacation and In Fiore Winners

First, let me announce the winners of the In Fiore giveaway, Barbara and Tao. Congratulations! I know you are both going to love sampling Julie Elliott’s line.

Mt Baker

So I am back from an eleven day vacation that included the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, and Vancouver BC. Our boys were in tow which went surprisingly well, but was nevertheless exhausting and it is so good to be home. The above photo was our view while on Lopez Island. A stunning view of Mt. Baker, the water, and loads of trees. There was a claw-foot tub that overlooked this view, and the bathroom was stocked with a local soapmaker’s goods that were divine. Bathing Beauty is the name of her tiny operation, and it’s only available at the Lopez Island farmers’ market. If you ever find yourself on this laid back, beautiful island, be sure to pick up her bar soaps and solid scrubs shaped like pastries.

Arghand Pebble Soaps

Next stop was Vancouver Island which included Sidney, Victoria and the quaint seaside town of Comox. A dear friend that I went to midwifery school with lives in Comox, so off we went to visit her and her family. Having my boys and husband on this trip, I knew I would not be getting in much perfume/body product shopping. But who knew perusing guest bathrooms would offer such opportunities? I was pleased as it was with my Lopez Island trials of Bathing Beauty products and then actually being able to buy them at the farmers’ market. When I stumbled upon a dish of Arghand soaps (Jessica wrote about these on Now Smell This about a month ago) in our Comox guest bathroom, I was surprised and elated. Fortuitously, they were a gift that had been purchased at a local pharmacy. Needless to say, I was more than happy to do my part in supporting the Arghand Coop that makes these soaps in Afghanistan, as well as the Comox economy. The above photo is of the Arghand Pebble Soaps and the bowl was made by ceramic artist Jeff Hanks and is available at the Chimera Gallery on Lopez Island.


Vancouver BC was our final destination which for me, was one of the highlights. Not only is this city gorgeous with its mountainous, Pacific Coast splendor, but I was honored to have tea with natural perfumer, Ayala Sender. What a treat to chat with her and browse her entire collection. We sipped one of her delicious blends of tea, ate her perfumed chocolate truffles and homemade tea cookies. She was such a lovely host and even though we were able to visit for nearly three hours, I could not believe the time had flown by so quickly. I have exciting news to report: we Ayala Moriel Parfums fans have something very special to look forward to as Ayala will be launching a new perfume this fall. I am going to wait to review it, but I will say this…I love it!

I also found a new favorite clothing store called Maiwa. I was sitting with my husband and sons at Granville Island Market having a much needed late morning snack. A boutique caught my eye filled with beautiful Indian blockprint clothing, scarves, bags, bedding, etc. I celebrated my birthday while we were away, but had not picked out my gift yet. Well, as soon as I stepped foot in the shop, I alerted my husband that Maiwa was the place my birthday gift redemption would occur. Not only was I surrounded by sumptuous beauty, but the clothing and textiles are made by skilled artisans who are a part of a cooperative and have great respect from Maiwa’s founder. Maiwa is a part of the “Slow Clothes” movement which is in opposition to the factory approach to life and embraces the human involvement in all aspects of the production of their clothing. Not unlike small independently owned natural perfumeries, don’t you think? Their artisans also use natural dyes whenever possible like henna, marigold, and pomegranate. Since Maiwa’s products are only available in their store, I might have to make a pilgrimage back to Vancouver BC in the next few years to visit Ayala and buy more “Slow Clothes”.

Orca and baby

I hope many of you have had the chance to travel throughout the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, and Vancouver BC. The area is stunning, relaxed, and makes for a fabulous vacation. We really enjoyed the ferry rides, and even saw orcas on the way to Vancouver Island. Breathtaking!

Posted by ~Trish

Photos by ~Trish


8 thoughts on “Back From Vacation and In Fiore Winners

  1. Your trip sounds wonderful. So do tell… what did you end up picking out for your birthday present?

    1. Hi Amy,

      It really was an amazing trip. At Maiwa, I picked out a few things 🙂 An indigo/paisley block print tank top with dainty spaghetti straps, and a wrap blouse that is sage green (also block print) and a silk scarf that’s “sculptured”. The technique is called bandhani. (Scarves might be second only to perfume and body products in terms of difficulty to resist!)

      Everything was really reasonably priced. In fact, the scarf was the most expensive item.

      Thanks for asking!


  2. Hi Trish,
    We had the opportunity to visit BC two years ago when Greg was there working on a film. I visited some of the same exact locations, sights and smells as you! It’s such a fantastic place, with a plethora of trees.
    Welcome home.

    1. Roxana,

      Isn’t BC such a beautiful area? I would love to go to the Olympics this winter!!

      Any thoughts on Blunda at the end of the month? Would love to see you there 🙂


  3. BC is enchanting! I think my favorite was Salt Spring Island.
    Looks like we will be at ComicCon in San Diego the day of the opening. I’m disappointed to miss the opportunity to see you, but I know you’ll have a fabulous time. If things shift I’ll be in touch.

  4. OH, MY! How absolutely magnificent. I feel like I had a snippet of a visit myself after your marvelous description. Now can’t wait for you to head south for Blunda!


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