holiday fragrance

Champagne and Rose Petals.

The key to a woman’s heart is to always remind her how beautiful she really is, not just by telling her but also showing her. Nobody is perfect and even the prettiest women can oftentimes feel insecure about her flaws. In many instances, it is not enough to just praise a girl with compliments, she deserves to be showered with all the love and affection that one can offer. The smallest, romantic notions can reassure a woman of her value and how much she is treasured.

Justin’s Point of View.

Taking one step back I inhaled a deep breath, letting the fresh air fill my lungs before exhaling through my mouth. I smiled to myself in relief that after almost an hour of shuffling around the en suite, trying to make everything look perfect it finally appeared to be just as I planned. I was proud of my accomplishment.

A sweet aroma of lilac filled the room as a candlelight glimmer illuminated my surroundings. Several small battery operated candles lined the edge of the bath with one floral in the center, giving off a sweet scent of lavender silk. I placed two more on the vanity, one in each corner to light up the room a little more; the magenta colored candle in the farthest corner was a briar rose scent while the blue was holiday frost.

The combined fragrance of wild flowers that grew in the summer and a cooling outdoor accord with cedar wood and Siberian fir needles with a hint of jasmine and vanilla was so fresh and alluring, I can see that I made a smart choice when picking them out.

I filled the bath with warm steaming water and added a handful of raspberry sorbet bath salts. Grabbing a few red rose petals, I scattered them all around the en suite. I spread an insufficient amount across the vanity and a few more around the bath before throwing the last couple down into the water.

Taking one final glance around, I felt satisfied by how everything looked. It was important that everything looked absolutely perfect and nothing short of it because tonight is going to be special. I could not erase the smile off of my face when I thought about seeing the look on (Your Name)’s face when she sees this. My baby deserves a quiet and romantic night, it’s the least I can do to put a smile on her face again.

Lately, (Your Name) hasn’t been herself. Though she hasn’t said anything to me I know that something has been bothering her. I can tell by the sudden change in her demeanor over the past week; every time I try to hold her or even touch her she hesitantly pushes me away, it breaks my heart every time because she had never been one to object to my affection.

She’s become very silent as well; I come home every night to find her in the sitting room laying on the couch. I always ask about her day but (Your Name) invariably greets me with a smile that is never genuine and one-word answers like “good” or “fine.”

As desperately as I try to get her to talk to me she remains silent and distant from me. It’s heartbreaking.

But I can see it in her eyes that something is holding her back from opening up to me like she’s afraid of what I may think. If that’s the case then I hope to God she knows that she can tell me anything. There is nothing more distressing than seeing the woman you love slowly break down in front of your eyes every day without any knowledge of what’s wrong because she doesn’t feel confident enough to confide in you.

I miss (Your Name)’s gorgeous smile and her overall delighted self and I wanted to do something to bring back that radiant and confident woman that I fell in love with so I figured that I would surprise her with a romantic bath for two. It’ll give us some alone time and it’ll give her a little reassurance to let her know how beautiful she is and how much she means to me.

After scattering the remaining rose petals into the bath I exited the en suite and headed downstairs to the den where (Your Name) has been all evening, diverting all of her attention to one of her books. I inwardly thanked God that she found something to keep herself occupied for awhile, otherwise she would have gone to bed over an hour ago.

Standing in the archway that separates the den from the kitchen I see (Your Name) sitting on the couch in the exact same position as she’s been all night; her legs were tucked comfortably underneath her while her back was resting up against the back of the sofa. She was leaning on her left side with her elbow laying on the armrest. I smile to myself at the sight of her; she always seems to look so relaxed when wrapped up into one of her books. I wish she can stay that way.

As I enter the sitting room I assume she saw me at the corner of her eye; she lifted her head and turned to face me. The smile she gave me was not the genuine, endearing smile she always had; it was forced and had little to no emotion. I hope that’ll soon change.

“Hey, baby girl,” I greet her with a warm smile, trying to conceal my sympathy for her. Standing over her behind the couch I lean down and press my lips against the top of her head, taking in the enticing vanilla scent of her hair. (Your Name) replied with a simple “Hi” — her voice is so low and brittle I almost didn’t hear her — before closing her book and laying it on the coffee table that was in front of her.

I walked around to the front of the sofa and grabbed both of her hands, pulling her up to stand. I brought her closer to my chest and rested my forehead on hers. “I have a surprise for you,” I mutter out.

(Your Name) looked up at me with her eyes narrowed in confusion, but deep within her hazel emerald orbs, I could also see a hint of wonder and of anticipation. Without saying another word and still holding onto her hands I began leading her towards the staircase.

***

We reached the top of the stairs and sauntered down the hallway; (Your Name)’s soft and delicate hand is still enfolded in mine as our fingers entwined jointly. Finally, I came to a stop in front of the closed door to the en suite, I felt (Your Name)’s body collide into my back, indicating that she was most likely not paying attention to where we were going.

Before I opened the door I turned around to face her, giving a quick and gentle peck to her forehead.

“Close your eyes.”

(Your Name) did as I asked and let her eyes flutter shut. I opened the bathroom door before pulling her body in front of mine and wrapping my arms around her waist from behind. I guided her into the room and closed the door behind us. “Open your eyes,” I spoke in a whisper, holding my lips against her ear.

As her eyes slowly opened a gasp emitted from her lips. I watched her eyes move from the bath and all around the room, admiring the candles and flowers petals on the floor and across the vanity.

For the first time in a long time, I saw a smile on her face that was pure and permeated with endearment.

“Justin…” she muttered, stunned. Her left hand rested against her chest, over her heart. “This is beautiful.”

“I’m glad you like it, baby. I know you’ve been having a hard time and I want you to just ease your mind and let me treat you like the queen that you are,” I press my lips against the base of her neck, giving her skin a gentle kiss. Rotating her in my arms I pulled her close to me so that her chest was tight to mine. (Your Name)’s hazed eyes lock onto mine, her innocence begins to show as her teeth bite hard into her bottom lip. My hands begin to slowly move down the length of her arms, feeling her soft skin tingle with goosebumps.

Grabbing the hem of her shirt I began tugging it up. I discarded it to the floor, off to the side and moved to her back where I found the clip that held her bra together. I was about to unhook it when (Your Name) suddenly stopped me, she became timid and refused to look at me. It was almost like she was afraid and didn’t want me to see her and it hurt.

She has nothing to be nervous about and doesn’t have to be insecure around me; in my eyes, she is everything I could ever want in a woman and more.

“It’s okay, baby,” I mumble huskily, trying to give her some reassurance. She finally allows me to continue and I unclip her bra, sliding it down her arms before throwing it onto the bathroom floor. My hands engulf around her face, caressing each of her cheeks with my thumbs. I solemnly admire every inch of her with nothing but amazement. Even after three years she never fails to leave me speechless by how gorgeous she is. “So beautiful,” I smile, releasing her face from my hands as they move gently down the curves of her figure, brushing her smooth skin with my fingers.

After discarding the remainder of her clothes, leaving her completely bare to my eyes I grabbed a hold of her hand, leading her over to the bath. She stepped over the edge of the tub and sat down, sinking down to the bottom underneath the water fuzzed over by raspberry-scented bubbles. (Your Name) closed her eyes while a look of relaxation washed over her face, I smile in relief at how much she seemed to enjoy it.

After disrobing I got in as well, (Your Name) moved closer to me and sat cross-legged in front of me with her head resting comfortably against my naked chest.

“This feels really nice,” (Your Name) giggled as she snuggled further into my embrace. She was slowly coming back to her same carefree and sparkling self. I immediately felt glad I decided to do this.

She looked up at me with a smile of gratitude. “Thank you for this,” she whispered. “You don’t have to thank me, you deserve it.” Kissing the top of her head I ran my hand across her cheek down to her neck.

“You have such soft skin,” breathing against the lining of her jaw. I leave feather-like kisses down her chin to her neck while my hands move in a soft massage-like matter along her shoulders and her arms. I held her tighter with her back compressed against my chest.

***

Grabbing (Your Name)’s shampoo bottle from the vanity I poured a good amount into my hand, taking in its sweet scent of almonds and coconut and began rubbing it into her hair. She leaned back so that her head laid against my shoulder and closed her eyes, letting out a soft groan. “Mhm,” I couldn’t resist laughing at how cute she was as I continued to lather her hair, massaging her scalp with my fingers.

Once I had rinsed the soap suds out of (Your Name)’s hair she began lathering her skin with her preferred sweet cream and peony scrub. As she was doing this I reached behind the bath, taking out the bottle of Perrier-Jouët Blason Rosé that I had hidden there earlier and poured out two glasses. “Here you go, sweetheart,” I handed her a glass of pink champagne while keeping the other for myself. I clicked my glass with hers before taking a sip. (Your Name) did the same and rested her head back against my shoulder.

***

The warmth of the bath was beginning to grow cold, I pulled the plug, letting the water drain. (Your Name) and I got out of the bath and dried ourselves off. I wrapped (Your Name) up with a white crisp towel and grabbed another to cover my waist.

“Babe, can I dry your hair?” I asked, turning around to face her. She had her wet hair wrapped up in a gray towel. “What?” She chuckled.

I wrapped my arms around her waist, lifting her up onto the counter. I slowly pushed the towel back until it slid off of her head. “I want to dry your hair, can I?” (Your Name)’s sweet little giggle filled the room as she nodded her head, granting me permission.

Grabbing the hair dryer and (Your Name)’s brush I began combing through her damp knotted locks as I proceeded to blow dry it. I have never done this ever in my life; in fact, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing but after watching (Your Name) style her hair multiple times I assume it isn’t too difficult.

After I successfully finished drying (Your Name)’s hair she suggested that I also straighten it and of course, I complied. While she remained propped up on the counter I used her hair straightener to iron out each strand at a time, cautiously as I had never used one of these before and I didn’t want to burn her.

“You should become a part-time hairstylist, babe,” she said while watching me. I looked at her and gave her a flirtatious wink and replied with a quick “thank you, babe” and continued to straighten her hair.

***

Finishing off on the final strand, I combed my fingers through (Your Name)’s summer gold locks that were now free of any tangles. She hopped off of the vanity, still sporting her white towel around her body and looked at herself in the mirror, she smiled at her reflection and turned to face me. “Thank you, Justin.”

Grabbing both of her hands, I press my lips against each of her palms before wrapping her arms around my neck and enfolding my own around her waist.

“I love you so much, (Your Name),” I began, keeping my eyes locked onto hers. “I don’t think I could ever describe just how much I love you but what I know is that words will never be enough to show you; I want to spend each and every day making sure you feel beautiful and loved because you are… Gosh, you are so loved, baby girl. That smile I saw on your face this evening, that angelic and delighted smile that I adore so much, I want to see that smile every single day.”

As (Your Name)’s eyes began to swell up with tears, I knew I was getting my point across. “I love you, Justin, I love you so much, thank you for tonight,” she grinned as tears trickled down her cheek, I quickly brushed them away with my thumb.

“Don’t assume that we won’t have another night like this, the next time will be even better,” I whispered huskily and gave her a wink.

Her cheeks flushed into a bright shade of red as she shyly nuzzled her face into my bare chest. “I can’t wait till then,” she mumbled with a faint chuckle, her lips sweeping along my right collarbone. “Come on, let’s go and get ready for bed,” I quickly kissed the top of her head before releasing her from my grasp.

I followed (Your Name) into our bedroom, flicking the bathroom lights off on my way out the door. I threw on a pair of gray sweat pants, (Your Name) changed into a pink lace silk nightgown that came to her mid-thigh. I watched her crawl into bed, my face all aglow. “What?” she asked. I smiled while shaking my head and climbed into bed beside her. “Nothing, I just love you so much,” my arms enveloped around her from behind. I towered over her and kissed her temple.

“I love you too, Justin, thank you again for tonight,” she held my hand against her stomach, interlocking our fingers together. “Anything for you, my angel.”

Burying my face into (Your Name)’s hair that was sprawled across her pillow behind her I closed my eyes, letting myself slowly fall into darkness.

“If you cannot inspire a woman with love of you, fill her above the brim with love of herself; all that runs over will be yours.” — Audrey Hepburn

The End 


PS - Here’s a little message to anyone who feels like or has ever felt like they are not good enough or they will never find someone who will treat them right… 

Your happiness matters and you are worthy of love and affection. You deserve someone who knows how to remind you how beautiful and amazing you are each and every day. 

Sometimes words are not enough and when you find someone who shows you how much they genuinely love you, rather than just tell you, hold onto them and remember that you deserve to be happy 💖

PPS - Today is my birthday 😄🎉🍷

Halloween

Fall was a beautiful time in Konoha. The leaves turned mesmerizing shades of orange and red, the sunsets came earlier, and most importantly Halloween. The Uzumaki family always took a very special liking to the fall holiday. Hinata enjoyed the fragrances and change of colors. Naruto liked the cooler weather. Himawari liked the fun costumes and candy, while Boruto enjoyed the horror movies.

Boruto was now 12, so this would most likely be his last Halloween trick or treating. Since that was the case Naruto made sure he was able to miss work that night so he could accompany his family on the voyage for candy.

“Hima honey what do you want to be for Halloween?” Hinata asked one morning days before the holiday. Himawari had been particularly indecisive about her choice of costume this year.

She shined her bright smile that looked so much like her fathers. “Don’t worry momma, me and bolt have something special planned.”

Hinata shot her son a playful look, he was always a big sucker when it came to his baby sister. He refused to make eye contact with either of them, attempting to hide his obvious blush. He quickly excused himself from breakfast, claiming he had to train with his teammates, and was gone in a flash.

Himawari let out a delightful laugh at her brothers expense. He was terribly cute when he was embarrassed and everybody knew it. Hinata on the other hand was very intrigued, just what could her children be planning?

The evening of Halloween arrived just a few days later. Naruto and Hinata decided to take part in the festivities by dressing up along with their children. Hinata decided to be a witch, wearing a long black dress and big pointed hat she still looked stunning. Naruto on the other hand decided to be a zombie. Still wanting to be a bit goofy, he tore up an old set of civilian clothes and placed fake blood and wounds on himself, but took extra caution to make sure no child would be too scared of him.


Neither parent was sure of what the kids were planning until right before dinner that night. “Okay mama! Daddy! Are you ready?” Himawari yelled from the top of the stairs.

Her parents giggled signaling that they were ready, and their little girl practically ran down the stairs. There she stood at the bottom of the stairs in an all brown outfit of boots, a button down shirt, shorts, and Hinata’s large gardening hat, with Mr. Panda in hand. “I’m a zoo keeper!”

Naruto picked her up and hugged her tight. “You did a great job Hima, we’re so proud of you.” The little girl beamed At her daddy. “Where’s Bolt?” He asked her.

At the sound of his name the young boy cautiously walked down the stairs to face his parents. He looked as if he would die of embarrassment as he stood before his entire family in a lion costume.

“See momma and daddy! Bolt is the Lion and I’m the zoo keeper!” She cheered. Boruto looked towards the floor, his puffed cheeks were red and had black whiskers painted over his own.

Hinata went over and hugged her son. “You look great Boruto.” She gave him a smile as to silently say that he was doing something really wonderful. He nodded silently and made his way to the kitchen.

The family ate dinner quickly so their festivities could begin. Himawari talked very quickly about all the candy she was hoping to get for the night, putting extra emphasis on stopping by the Akimichi house since they always gave out big candy bars. Boruto picked at his food silently, occasionally nodding or grunting.

Just before leaving the house Naruto pulled his son to the side. “Bolt it was very nice of you to do this.” Boruto looked at him, curiously. “Your sister is still kind of little, so you have no idea just how much this means to her.”

Boruto smiled slightly, Naruto knew why he’d done this, and he knew his father was right. “Thanks dad.” He said.

He ruffled the mane and ears of the costume, “Come on king of the jungle, let’s go get some candy.”

The family was now on their way to collect their delicious treats all over Konoha. The family ran into Mitsuki dressed as a samurai. Himawari ran to him instantly, and wrapped him up in a big hug just like she would Boruto. “Hey Hima.” He smiled as he hugged her tight. He dropped to his knee and looked her over. “Wow, look at you princess.”

The little girl giggled in delight, Mitsuki had always been very kind to her, and treated her as if she were his own sister. “Look Mitsuki! Bolt dressed up with me!”

The pale boy looked over to his bright eyed friend and smiled. Boruto swallowed hard, preparing himself for whatever torment his best friend was about to put him through. He was scared until he heard “you should have told me, I would have been a tiger.”

Mitsuki joined the family as they continued to collect candy from door to door. Naruto even got them extra candy at Iruka, Ebisu, and Kakashi’s homes, threatening them with his sexy jutsu if they didn’t. It wasn’t long before all the children had a pillow case full of sweets. At that point it was growing late and it was time for the family to return home.

The three children rushed into the living room, eager to exchange their candies. “I’ll give you 3 of these for that” “no I don’t like those” and “if you trade me for these then you can trade them with him” could be hear for the next hour.

Naruto and Hinata sat in the kitchen drinking hot chocolate, keeping a curious eye on their children. Naruto let out a small chuckle, “we have some great kids, don’t we?”

“We really do.” Hinata smiled fondly as she rested her head on her husbands shoulder.

All three kids fell asleep on the living room floor shortly after making their exchanges. One by one Naruto carried them upstairs to their respective rooms, allowing them to wear their costumes as pajamas for the night.

He came back downstairs to see Hinata sitting on the floor by the piles of candy. One by one she examined each candy, checking for any sort of danger or toxin. She really worried too much, nobody in Konoha would dare poison young children, let alone their children. He tiptoed behind her, massaging her shoulders as he sat on the couch behind her. “You don’t have to do that you know.”

Hinata chuckled as she continued to check the candy. “I know, but I can’t help it, I’m a mom.”

Naruto quickly summoned three shadow clones. “Will you guys please check these piles? Make sure there’s no poison or anything in them.” The clones nodded, carrying away the sweets to the kitchen so the couple could be alone.

He picked his wife up off the floor, sitting her in his lap on the couch. She wrapped her arms around his neck, giving him a playful look. “Now that the kids are asleep and we’re alone, what should we do?”

“Hmmmm” he pondered. He kissed her cheek slowly “I want to eat your brains,” he mumbled into her skin. She laughed and tried to wriggle away as he brought her into a death grip, placing kisses all over her face and head.

They soon broke away, out of breath and sore from laughing so hard. Once they collected themselves Naruto wrapped his arm and a blanket around his wife. “How about a scary movie?” He suggested

Hinata smiled. “Sure, that sounds great.” The two cuddled close on the couch taking each other in. Less than 10 minutes into some movie about a haunted shrine the two fell asleep right there on the couch.

DON’T PANIC: LAST-MINUTE HOLIDAY GIFTS

Skip the rueful IOUs.

Haven’t gotten to everyone on your gift list yet? You’re in quite a pickle there, friend. Lucky you, Sephora is here to help. All you need to do is get yourself to your nearest store and follow the steps below. Pack a lunch and practice deep breathing—the parking lot might be a nightmare, but Sephora is every procrastinator’s holiday miracle. BECKY PEDERSON

CAST EXPERTISE
You don’t need to know a single thing about beauty to shop at Sephora. Our beauty experts will help you pick something out. Sit back, relax, and let the professionals do their job. 

IQ TECHNOLOGY
If you’re keen on picking out your own gift, utilize one of our IQ technologies, like Fragrance IQ. Fill out the questionnaire—which will help you narrow down scents using fragrance families, types of scents, and lifestyle questions—to find the perfect gift. 

COMPLIMENTARY GIFT PACKAGING
While you’re here, why not let someone else put a bow on it too? This year, Sephora partnered with famed fashion illustrator Jo Ratcliffe to create one-of-a-kind, limited-edition gift packaging. 

GIFT CARD
You know your favorite beauty junkie is very particular about her lipstick. Save yourself the potential look of disappointment on her face. Get a gift card and let her discover what she really wants. Don’t make things harder than they need to be. 

MINI MAKEOVER
Now that you’ve gotten your holiday panic under control, reward yourself with a Mini Makeover. No one will ever know you were totally crazed until just a minute ago. 

SHOP SEPHORA>

HOW TO GIFT HER THE PERFECT PERFUME

Style clues for finding a fragrance she’ll love.

A perfume is pretty much the ideal present. It’s a transformative experience, it’s beautifully encased, and it’s a gift that keeps on giving.  Even if you don’t know your eau de parfums from your eau de toilettes, we can help you choose a scent we think your lady will like. Here’s the trick: When shopping for her fragrance wardrobe, just take into consideration what’s in her clothes wardrobe. Personal style can go a long way, and fragrance is essentially the final accessory to any outfit. Read on for pointers below. KELLEY HOFFMAN

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If her closet is full of designer labels:
We’re looking at a woman who loves her high fashion. Keep the chic coming with exquisite scents that channel the best of New York, London, Milan, and Paris Fashion Weeks. 

Tory Burch Tory Burch: with notes of neroli, grapefruit, and cassis.
Burberry My Burberry: with notes of sweat pea, bergamot, and geranium.
Dolce & Gabbana Dolce: with notes of papaya flower, white daffodil, and sandalwood.
Chloé Chloé: with notes of pink peony, freesia, and lychee.

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If her closet is full of florals:
This woman knows how to incorporate ladylike lace and feminine flower prints into her wardrobe, no matter the season. A floral perfume would be her foolproof finishing touch to any look.

TOM FORD Velvet Orchid: with notes of cool citrus, honey, and rum.
Marc Jacobs Fragrance Daisy Dream: with notes of blackberry, jasmine, and blue wisteria.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb: with notes of centifolia rose, cattleya orchid, and ballerina freesia.
Prada Candy Florale: with notes of sparkly cedrat, bouquet of cosmos, and caramel.

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If her closet is full of sensual fabrics:
Furs, silks, leathers, linens—there’s everything but polyblends in this woman’s wardrobe. Because for her, it’s all about the way her clothes make her feel—and her fragrance should match just that.

Dior J’adore: with notes of ylang-ylang essence, damascena rose essence, and sambac jasmine absolute.
Gucci Guilty: with notes of mandarin, pink pepper, and peach.
philosophy Amazing Grace: with notes of bergamot, muguet blossoms, and musk.
Elizabeth and James Nirvana Black: with notes of violet, sandalwood, and vanilla.
Elizabeth and James Nirvana White: with notes of peony, muguet, and tender musk.

SHOP FRAGRANCE AT SEPHORA>

9

Innisfree Green Christmas 2014: A quick look at some products I love!

Innisfree, Korea’s ultra popular eco-friendly budget-beauty brand is known for their skincare and makeup, but for Xmas this year, they’ve launched some products that had a fragrance freak like me cooing.

Candles (SGD25) and Reed Diffusers ($36), as well as special scented hand creams (a trio for $17)!

There are 3 main fragrance lines for Christmas:

Red Berry - sweet, tart berries and apple

Cream White - luxurious, soft musk and talcum powder

Mint Chocolate - yummy rich chocolate and mint

All 3 scents are available in soy candle, diffuser, and hand cream form. The products that I received for review were the Mint Chocolate candle and diffuser, and the hand cream trio.

I’m probably going to go grab some of the Cream White products as well as that smells really nice and clean, but not too generic.

Knit Sleeves

Yes you saw right! Each home fragrance product comes with a reusable knit sleeve (different designs for each scent) which you can pop onto your mugs and glasses. 

If you love a scent and buy quite a few of them, you can simply remove the sleeves after Xmas and they look just as sleek and beautiful sitting in your house.

Collaboration with Childrens’ Cancer Foundation

For the first time, Innisfree is working with CCF to raise funds during the holiday season. If you purchase any of the holiday products, you can also purchase a cute little knit kit for $2 that you can use to create cross-stiched discs as gifts or to hang up around your house as decor (see top image). 

Proceeds go to charity. If you aren’t buying any products but want to contribute as well, you can buy the knit kit alone for $10.