Shop for the Cure Event October 29-31, 2010 Benefits KAM Cancer Connection + You’ll Receive a Bonus Gift with Purchase

October 29th, 2010

Awareness Ribbon Car FreshenerOur Online Shop for the Cure Event running October 29-31, 2010 Benefits KAM Cancer Connection + You’ll Receive a Bonus Gift with Purchase: Limited Edition Vanilla Lavender Awareness Ribbon Car Freshener!

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re including a beautiful limited edition Awareness Ribbon Sachet Ornaments with all $25+ orders placed at from October 29-31, 2010. The fragrance is Vanilla Lavender and they’re amazing car fresheners – a must have for carpoolers and commuters. And they’re great for closets and gym bags too. Set the Mood For Your Life!

As you’re shopping for your home fragrance and soap needs, we’ll be donating a portion of our profits from these orders to a non-profit near and dear to our hearts: KAM Cancer Connection~Because Cancer Affects Us All. Their mission is to provide information and support to cancer survivors and their friends, family, and caregivers. Like you, my heart and thoughts turn to the amazing, courageous women in my life who have fought and are fighting this battle~this is for them.

Mooditude™: Set a balanced mood for safer, less-stressful driving

August 26th, 2010

According to the Idaho Transportation Department, “Driver error causes more than 90% of highway crashes. Your ability to drive safely depends not only on what you know, but how you feel and what you were doing before you climbed behind the wheel. Your mood affects your driving.”

I’ve often thought, “I could have handled that stressful situation better if I’d only been in a better mood to begin with.” Here are a few strategies I use to create a balanced mood on the go:
  • Be intentional~hang a Sachet or Sachet Ornament on the rear view mirror or under the seat; all five Barcelona Bath & Body fragrances were formulated to create a mood of balance using the principles of aromachology. Every time you see or smell it, take a deep breath and review your intention~it’s a great day to be alive, to be free to get in your car and go where you want/need to to and no one can steal your joy unless you let them.
  • Follow the golden rule~be considerate and generous as you drive.
  • When someone is inconsiderate or aggressive on the road, take a deep breath and (in a spirit of love and peace) send their energy back to them. It’s empowering to choose not to accept or hang onto the residue of their negative energy.

Here’s to safe travels, less stress and a balanced mood!

Mooditude™: Color Counts When It Comes To Mood!

August 18th, 2010

Changing the color of your surroundings is one easy way to change your mood:

Yellow–Loss of temper in adults/crying in babies; hard on eyes

Blue–Reduces appetite; tranquilizing

Pink–Energy zapper; sedating

Green–Easy on the eyes; relaxing

Red–Energizing; stimulates appetite

Orange–Welcoming; similar to red but less intense effect

Set the Mood for Your Life: 5 Foods That Impact Your Mood

August 9th, 2010

At Barcelona Bath & Body, we’re all about empowering you to set the mood for your life through aromachology. Food is another powerful mood influencer because what you eat makes adjustments to your body’s dopamine, norepinephrine (energy and alertness) and serotonin (calm and relaxation) levels. Results usually last a few hours.

Choose a mood of…
+ Calm = Pasta
+ Focus = Tuna
+ Optimism = Bananas
+ Romance = Chocolate
+ Energy = Oranges

Though “you are what you eat” has become a cliche, you may want to choose your food as if your mood depends on it. While there are plenty of things that we may not be able to control in life, aromachology and good mood food choices are two powerful tools that empower you to choose the mood for your life. Make it a great one!

Cosmetics Industry Under Fire: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 Part 2

July 29th, 2010

Oppose H.R.5786 - Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010A really fair question about this issue is “Why should I care?”  You might be thinking, “I’m not in the cosmetics industry.  Too bad for them, but there’s nothing I can do.” OR “I don’t even wear cosmetics. This won’t impact my life.”

Bad policy sets a bad precedent for all industries.  Whether you’re a business owner or employee, imagine a scenario where the regulatory agency that governs your industry gains the power to require you to report gross sales figures, names and addresses of all your suppliers, your trade secrets/formulations/recipes (or your industry’s equivalent)  AND deems all of this information to be public information and nonconfidential.  Then imagine a fee structure the agency imposes so that your industry can pay for this level of regulation.  I think you’d agree with me that you have enough challenges in the current economic climate without this additional burden.

We’re all consumers of the “cosmetics” industry.  If you use soap, deodorant, lip balm, shampoo, toothpaste, lotion, bubble bath, shower gel or a myriad of other daily-use personal care items, you’re a consumer of the “cosmetics” industry. It’s a big umbrella that covers many products we enjoy safely in this country with a wide range of choices at every pricepoint. The effect of the proposed legislation on the end consumer (that’s you) would be higher prices, fewer natural ingredients,  fewer product choices, labels that are more difficult to understand and less money flowing into your local economy.

3 quick and easy action steps anyone can take today:

  • Sign this petition: “We, the nation’s small cosmetics manufacturers, their customers, vendors, suppliers and other supporters, urge you to vote against HR 5786.”
  • Vote “opposed” in the bill sponsor’s poll:  At the time of this writing, 53 votes have been cast, only 7% in favor of the bill.  Please help us grow the number of votes cast and continue the landslide opposition.
  • Share this post with a friend.

Thank you for your time, interest and participation!  Together we can make the voice of reason heard before this proposed legislation becomes law.  Stay tuned for Part 3 where I’ll outline how FDA regulation of the cosmetic industry currently works.  As always, I welcome your comments on this post.

Cosmetics Industry Under Fire: Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 Part 1

July 23rd, 2010

My American Dream ThreatenedThe introduction of proposed bill H.R.5786 – Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 has resulted in an eventful week for my industry.  On the positive side, it’s uniting my community of colleagues.  On the negative side, responsible hard-working micro- and small-business owners are faced with our livelihoods, our American Dreams being needlessly threatened.

I’m reminded of words from the quintessentially American, chills-inducing 2011 Jeep Grand Cherokee Manifesto commercial: “The things that make us American are the things we make. We are a nation of builders, craftsmen—men and women for whom straight stitches and clean welds are matters of personal pride.”  It is with this same passion and painstakingly meticulous reverence for our craft that my colleagues and I approach our small-batch manufacture of premium quality personal care and cosmetic products.

The trouble starts with the fact that on the surface, this bill sounds like a positive move for consumers.  The FDA has been in the news with egg on its face a few times in recent memory in the food and drug arenas.  As such, it’s become an easy target for proposed “change.”  Part 3 in my series will address how the FDA regulation of the cosmetic industry currently works.

Indie Beauty Network Founder and award-winning small business legislative advocate Donna Maria Coles Johnson summed it up well: “Of course it sounds good, but it doesn’t take long to scratch beneath the surface and see that it is onerous, unnecessary and not based on good science.”

If you’re on Twitter, you may have noticed the hashtag #opposesca bouncing around.  If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve seen it for sure!

I’m a proud member of two prestigious trade organizations who have published their official positions opposing the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.  I agree with their positions and invite you to read more here:

Indie Beauty Network  “It is the official position, and intention, of the Indie Beauty Network to oppose the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.”

Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild Great synopsis of the proposed bill’s impact on HSMG members’ micro- and small-businesses.

This is a complex issue, but those who value the opportunity we currently have in America to choose from a vast array of cosmetics, skin care, body care, perfume and toiletries from handcrafters, artisans, micro- and small-businesses at local boutiques and farmers markets on up to big corporations sold at fine department stores and big box mass merchandisers will want to understand and follow this closely.  The small business owners who would be burdened and forced out of the cosmetics industry are predominately women who create jobs and keep dollars flowing into local communities all over this country. In the current economic climate, it astounds me that legislators would even put this on the table for discussion.  We must band together and make our voices heard—as American manufacturers, American dreamers and American consumers of these amazing products.

My Top 5 Earth-Friendly Cleaning Tips

July 14th, 2010

~ Sweet Orange Essential Oil is an awesome adhesive remover. My husband gave it the ultimate test recently by using it on a soft cloth to remove the residue from all the dealership stickers he’d taken off his new car. Passed with flying colors!

~ Hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle has taken the place of bleach sprays for kitchen surfaces. I even clean my cutting boards with it before running them through the dishwasher.

~ Vinegar is my glass, surface and faucet cleaner of choice. It works well in the dishwasher additive reservoir to leave your glasses sparkling. It also makes a great tile floor cleaner that leaves no sticky residue behind to attract dirt. My husband hates the smell, so I just finish up with a spritz of Room Refresh!

~ Baking soda and salt take the place of scouring powder. For example, if there’s still discoloration on my cutting board after I use hydrogen peroxide on it, I use baking soda and salt to scour out any remaining residue food may have left behind. Then I put it in the dishwasher and give it a final spritz of hydrogen peroxide.

~ Water in a spray bottle and a soft rag have taken the place of aerosol dusting sprays and dusting wipes. Let’s face it. Dry dusting doesn’t work! But spritzing a soft rag with a little water works well and is safe to breathe.

~~Bonus tip: Conventional wisdom tells us to sort laundry first by color, then by soil level. Washing heavily soiled items with lightly soiled items causes unwanted soil transfer. I save my rags for a separate load from my regular laundry. When my husband comes in from mowing the yard, I take the dirty yardwork laundry and toss it in the wash with my rags to make a fuller load. This would also work great for sports uniforms or work uniforms if you happen to have those in your household.

How to Choose Home Fragrance for Yourself or for a Gift

July 7th, 2010

The great news is that home fragrance is much easier to buy than personal fragrance because you don’t have to contend with body chemistry changing the scent as it contacts the skin. This makes giving gifts of home fragrance highly desirable and more foolproof.

There are 6 popular scent families and almost all fragrances fit into one or more of these families. We’ve cross-referenced the fragrance families with popular colognes and recommended Barcelona Bath & Body scents for each family:

Floral~The largest, most popular fragrance family makes up more than half of all cologne sold

  • Cologne: Beautiful, Miracle, D&G Pour Femme, Joy, Pleasures, Island Michael Kors, Ungaro
  • Personality/Lifestyle Traits: Light-hearted, romantic, youthful, playful
  • Time/Season: Round the Clock, Spring/Summer to Year Round
  • Barcelona Bath & Body: Vanilla Lavender, Grapefruit Ylang Ylang

Woodsy-Mossy/Chypre (sounds like SHIP-ruh)~Dry fragrance with minimal sweetness

  • Cologne: Lovely, Cashmere Mist, Pure Turquoise, Fendi for Him, Envy, Romance, Narciso Rodriguez, Prada, Green Irish Tweed, Aramis
  • Personality/Lifestyle Traits: Classicly elegant with a twist, sophisticated, unconventional, uninhibited, natural
  • Time/Season: Round the Clock, Fall/Winter
  • Barcelona Bath & Body: Cinnamon Sandalwood

Oriental/Spicy~The heaviest of the scent families includes cloves, amber and musk

  • Cologne: Le Feu D’Issey, Escada, Gucci, Bijan, Shalimar, Obsession, Opium, Youth Dew, Princess, Paco Rabanne for Men, Joop! Homme
  • Personality/Lifestyle Traits: Sensuous, decadent, exotic, daring, independent
  • Time/Season: Evening, Fall/Winter
  • Barcelona Bath & Body: Cinnamon Sandalwood, Coconut Bay Rum

Citrus/Fruity~Tangy, refreshing and gender neutral—these are among the oldest known scents

  • Cologne: Happy, Burberry Brit, Acqua di Parma, D&G Light Blue, DKNY Red Delicious, Acqua Di Gio, D&G, Armani, Drakkar Noir
  • Personality/Lifestyle Traits: Creative, decisive, honorable, irresistible, tantalizing
  • Time/Season: Round the Clock, Spring/Summer
  • Barcelona Bath & Body: Grapefruit Ylang Ylang, Lemongrass Fennel

Food~Eat dessert first! Research has shown that men are particularly drawn to food scents

  • Cologne: Angel, Pink Sugar, Hanae Mori Butterfly, Chocolovers, Serendipitous, Angel Men
  • Personality/Lifestyle Traits: hedonistic, adventurous, alluring, innocent, sweet, sassy, welcoming
  • Time/Season: After Dark, Year Round
  • Barcelona Bath & Body: Cinnamon Sandalwood, Vanilla Lavender, Coconut Bay Rum

Green~Clean herbal, grassy, leafy scents

  • Cologne: Green Tea, Jess, Escape, Sung, Safari, Chanel No. 19
  • Personality/Lifestyle Traits: Energetic, sporty, outdoorsy, down to earth, fresh
  • Time/Season: Daytime, Spring/Summer
  • Barcelona Bath & Body: Lemongrass Fennel

Fragrance blending notes: I often get comments from customers that they usually don’t like vanilla, but in our combination with lavender, they love it. Frequently, I get the same type of comment about lavender, fennel, coconut and ylang ylang. This is no accident, and therefore one of my favorite compliments to receive. The sweetness of vanilla knocks the sharp edge off lavender and vice versa. I did the first round of scent blending based on the principles of aromachology, but took it the next step further working with a master perfumer until the scents exactly matched my vision—mood balancing scents with wide appeal.

Home Fragrance—A Makeover for Your Mood

June 30th, 2010

Home fragrance industry trend-spotters say home fragrance is no longer only for special occasions, but for everyday use. Home fragrance is arguably the fastest, least expensive and most available room makeover, but the same case could be made for home fragrance as a mood makeover. Why is that, you ask?

Scientific research has proven that the sense of smell affects mood—easy to understand since aromas are processed by the brain’s limbic center, also responsible for memory and emotions. This phenomenon called aromachology*, as defined by The Fragrance Foundation, is the scientifically observable influence of smell on emotions and moods.

The average person has 10,000 “scent memories” stored in the brain. The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2004 was awarded jointly to Richard Axel and Linda B. Buck who proved this with their discovery of “odorant receptors and the organization of the olfactory system.”

“[The sense of smell] helps us to respond to those we meet, can influence our mood, how long we stay in a room, who we talk to and who we want to see again,” according to, the organization that founded National Sense of Smell Day.

When we talk about “home fragrance,” we often think of kitchens, baths and living spaces that we like to keep smelling fresh. It’s important to remember that we spend the majority of our time in our workplaces (if we work outside the home) and in our bedrooms. Many of us spend time traveling for work or leisure and many spend hours commuting each week. So as we venture further afield, so must our “home” fragrance.

Fragrance adds a rich, luxurious dimension to life and is an important aspect of the spa lifestyle. Instead of just letting smells happen, it’s empowering to put a personal stamp on indoor environments by choosing fragrances that soothe the spirit, sharpen creativity or lend excitement to a time or place. In light of what we’ve learned from aromachology, there’s never been a better time to adopt the Barcelona Bath & Body home fragrance philosophy of scent layering—moisturizing soaps, soy candles, sachets and Room Refresh® sprays—into all these environments where we spend our time.

Your mood will thank you—and most likely so will your friends, family and co-workers!

*Similar to aromatherapy but without the therapeutic claims

In or near Frisco, TX this Saturday 6/26/10? Please join us

June 22nd, 2010