Saturday, December 7, 2013

Winter 2013 Fortune Cookie Soap Soap Box - The Nightmare Before Christmas! - Unboxing and First Impressions

Hello! ...I know I shouldn't even say it, I shouldn't draw attention to it. I know this is how I start 80% of my blog posts now...I just don't know why I can't do these in a timely manner! Making videos should be harder than just typing things out but for some reason I get them filmed and uploaded so much faster. But I won't talk about it anymore and we can all pretend that this is all happening efficiently and promptly. Besides, now that everything's up for sale on Fortune Cookie Soap's website, you don't have to wait to buy any of these products (if I posted this as soon as I got, you'd have to wait about a week and a half)!

Yes, this is all about the Winter 2013 Fortune Cookie Soap Soap Box! This time, it was The Nightmare Before Christmas themed! This was a very popular box and it sold out quite fast. Not sure if FCS is going to open subscriptions for the spring box, but I assume that a lot of people subscribed only for this box and that they'll unsubscribe before the next box (or that they already have). A quick refresher on what the FCS Soap Box is: it is a quarterly box that's $20 (shipping included) that showcases the new scents FCS has come up with for the season. You also get a special code to get $10 off any order from FCS, so the box technically only costs $10. Most things are deluxe sample sized, though you do get a full sized fortune cookie soap (FCS's namesake) and some other full sized things like maybe an OCD hand sanitizer. This is my third FCS Soap Box and I absolutely love them, so if you're interested, I highly recommend subscribing to it if you're able to.

Without further ado, let's get into this seasons box!
It's both Halloweeny and Christmasy!
Obviously, the biggest draw to this seasons box is that it is Nightmare Before Christmas themed. TNBC has become a cult favorite and I feel like it's exploded in popularity within the last few years. It came out in 1993 and was one of my favorite movies when I was little (I think The Lion King was my all time favorite). I still really love this movie, and it has a special place in my heart, but I feel like the fanbase has kind of turned me away from it. I know that's lame and kind of sad, but seriously, there are some people who love this movie that are incredibly obnoxious and who I don't particularly want to associate with. ...this seems to happen with a lot of things I like, the next best example being My Little Pony. I hate bronies. Hate them. They give adults who enjoy My Little Pony a bad name. I just think they're cute and colorful and addicting to collect. I actually saw a set of Rainbow Dash themed boxer-briefs at Target yesterday and it made me die a little inside. Nothing like a bad fanbase to ruin a good thing. Also, I realize that that sounds snobby to say and I do apologize; for all I know, I could one of the annoying people in the fanbase. It's just how I feel.

I'm also kind of surprised that FCS was able to make a Nightmare Before Christmas themed set. Usually Disney is pretty up and up on squashing anyone who tries to use one of their properties. Then again, FCS has also made a Harry Potter and two Hunger Games sets, so they likely know what they're doing.

That aside, this was a fun box! It's full of smells that aren't traditionally and boringly wintery (like peppermint. I'm so over peppermint), but that still invoke the spirit of the season.
Here's this month's info card. Sorry about the glaring oval of light, my camera hates shiny things. There were eight different products in this seasons box, with eight new and exciting scents! FCS put the $10 off coupon code on the info cards this time, so that's why the right edge is cut off. I already used my code on their Black Friday sale and I can't wait to get my order!

As always, I'm going to go in the order of the info card, so I'll start with the "Jack" bath fizzy.
How cute is that? It's Jack's face! This is like a small version of their bath bomb (at least I'm assuming it is; I've never gotten one of their bath bombs since I don't really have a bath). I like to throw these in my shower; I don't get the benefits of the fizziness or anything, but it does make my shower smell nice! The scent "Jack" has "notes of iced lemon and airy menthol, warmed by woodland moss and smashed cranberries". Like I said, it smells very wintery, but it's not a "traditional" winter scent. If anything, this collection has a more masculine spin, scent-wise. This scent is very clean and bright; the woodland moss gives it depth, while the lemon keeps it bright and light. You get just a breath of the menthol and cranberries, but they're definitely there.

Up next is the product included in every box (from what I've seen),  a fortune cookie soap! This one is in the scent "Sally".
Again, adorable! If you don't know (though I'm pretty sure everyone ever knows about TNBC), Sally is a bluish colored rag doll (she's more blue in the book, but she's a bluish-grey in the movie, very similar to the color of this soap), making the little patchwork details on this soap very appropriate. This scent is described by FCS as "fresh breezes, fluttering white cotton, dry cracking leaves, held together by twine". I'm not a big fan of clean, cottony scents like this for use on the body (I don't mind them in things like detergents and linen fresheners for obvious reasons), but if I was going to make a scent that was inspired by Sally, this is it! What I get most from it is the traditional cotton scent with just a hint of some breeziness to tone it down. I don't really get any leaves or twine, which is kind of sad because I feel like that would have really made this something unique.

 Next is the Oogie Boogie OCD Hand Sanitzer!
FCS did a great job with the design of the "Oogie Boogie" scented products; they're all this off-putting florescent, translucent green color (with the exception of the bar and fortune cookie soaps which are a disgusting brown) and they include bugs! Spoiler alert, but Oogie Boogie, the boogie man, is a big burlap sack filled with bugs. Also the inside of his mouth is absolutely horrifying. You can't quite see it in this photo, but there's a bug in my OCD hand sanitizer, which is deliciously ironic. "Oogie Boogie" is described by FCS as a "mix of smushed winter berries against a backdrop of sweet muted cinnamon". With the OCD hand sanitzers, it can be a little difficult to get an accurate idea of what the scent is like since it can get overpowered by the alcohol (and you don't really want to be taking big inhales of it; I don't think it will harm you but it's not comfortable). I feel like the cinnamon is the easiest to recognize at first, but there are definitely berries there. It kind of reminds me of how a "Holiday" candle would smell. Not a bad thing, but maybe a little boring, especially for a scent called "Oogie Boogie".

Almost halfway through! Next is the "Lock, Shock, and Barrel" bath melt.
It's Shock's witch mask! In the full size, you get a set of three, one in each mask. FCS soap says you get "one of each adorable boy in every order", but I'm like...99% sure Shock is supposed to be a girl. I'm not sure if people got different masks in their boxes, but the other unboxing I watched got Shock's mask, too. The info card seems to imply that people got different ones because it says "Which will land on your doorstep?'. They all smell the same, so it's kind of a moot point, but still nice attention to detail! This another product I can't use the way it's supposed to (you plop it in your bath, let it melt, and enjoy the scent and skin softening and soothing benefits), but I do like to throw these (or parts of these) into foot baths. This scent is supposed to be "frosted woods of pine and spruce, warmed with hints of spice". This another more masculine scent due to the heavy wood and pine. The warm spice notes go really well with the cooler notes of pine and spruce, making this a very balanced scent.
This next scent is my favorite one out of this whole box. I love it so much, I bought a full sized body butter in it! This is the "Sandy Claws" Exfoliating Body Butter.
This functions in the same way that FCSs Hydrate Me!s do. I'm just going to copy and paste the directions FCS has on their website out of laziness: "Under running water, rub the conditioning bar all over. For a deep exfoliation press harder. Massage into skin. Do not wash off. After you step out of the shower, air dry and allow a few minutes to let the butters to sink into the skin. Experience the softest skin you've ever felt after just one use." I got one of their Hydrate Me!s on sale to try them out and I'm still on the fence about them; I found it to be overly hydrating and it left me feeling pretty greasy and gross, but that might have been out of user error. But the scent of this is amazing. "Sandy Claws" is a chocolate and chai scent and it is delicious! At first sniff, you mostly just get chocolate, but there's a sweet, milky, spicy undertone to it that stops it from being too chocolatey. If this was edible, I would need a whole box of it. More than one box. A lot of boxes.

Next is the "Zero" dry shampoo.
This came in a convenient little bottle with one of those lids that has a bunch of little holes and you can twist open and closed; if you've ever used Gold Bond powder, it's like that (that was the first thing I thought of since my grandparents always have a big bottle of it sitting one their bathroom counter). This is the only scent in the collection that has peppermint. According to the info card, this is FCS's collective favorite scent in the box. "Zero" is supposed to be "ghostly billows of sweet peppermint, with just the faintest whisper of pumpkin" (Zero is Jack's dead ghost-dog. It's never explained if Zero was Jack's dog when they were alive, or if he's just a ghost dog that Jack adopted afterwards or whether the other dead pets in the Pet Cemetery can come back as ghosts or if even Jack and Zero were ever actually alive. ...there are a lot of unexplained things in TNBC. There are cats (at least, there's a cat) in Halloween Town, but since cats are basically magical animals and can do whatever they want, it makes sense. Also, Zero's nose is a light-up jack-o-lantern). Pumpkin with peppermint does sound unique, and I think it works pretty well. The dry shampoo is like any other non-aerosol kind; it's just a white powder you sprinkle on and rub in. Even though the description says there's just a whisper of pumpkin, I think it's the stronger note in this scent. I get a lot of pumpkin with just a touch of peppermint on the edges, which is good because I would like a pumpkin-centric scent better than a peppermint-centric one. It's more unique that way.

This next product is kind of special; in the world of TNBC, there are special realms for the different holidays, which can accessed through trees ( makes more sense in the movie). While we only get to visit Halloween Town and Christmas Town,we do get to see the doors for Thanksgiving Town, Easter Town, and St. Patrick's Day Town (which is probably overflowing with booze and every frat boy's dream come true). FCS made a scent inspired by four of the towns: Christmas Town, Halloween Town, Thanksgiving Town, and Easter Town, and included a sample of body butter in one of those scents! I got "Thanksgiving Town".
I'm not going to talk much about FCS's body butters since I have in the past, but they are awesome and you should try them because you won't be disappointed. "Thanksgiving Town" is "brown sugar dusted graham crackers, vanilla frosting, creamy caramel, and plump, juicy raisins" and it smells just heavenly. It smells like the dessert table at Thanksgiving, though I think the raisin scent might be a little too strong (I'm not a big fan of raisins in general so that's probably a personal thing). I'm really curious to smell that the other towns smell like; I did buy a full sized body butter in "Easter Town" though! I was torn between Halloween Town ("buttery cutout cookie with frosting sprinkles, powdered sugar and a thick smear of sticky bubblegum") and Easter Town ("an ooey gooey treat of pink sugar with a smear of black licorice"), but went with Easter Town because I already have a cookie-scented body butter and Easter Town sounded more unique. I am a little worried about the black licorice scent, though. I love black licorice, but I don't know if I want to smell like it, so I hope it's not too strong. Christmas Town sounded way too deep/dark for me; it's a "classic Holiday blend of mulled fruits, followed by a crisp, green Douglas Fir middle-note darkened by warm patchouli, and musk". 

Finally, we have the "What's This?" roll-on perfume.
I thought the name of this perfume was very apt; this is a mystery scent! FCS won't tell you what it is and you can e-mail them a guess; if you guess right (and I'm sure they're going to do a random pull since more than one person will probably get it right) you get a chance to win a $50 FCS gift certificate! FCS will announce the winner on their Facebook page on Dec. 19th and I can't wait! I'm pretty sure I know what the top notes are, but there are some subtleties to the scent that I'm a little unsure of. I'm not going to say what I think it is since that ruins the fun of the contest. Not sure if this a fragrance I'm going to get a lot of use out of since I actually don't like one of the top notes, so I might pass this on to a friend or family member.

And that's the Winter 2013 The Nightmare Before Christmas Fortune Cookie Soap Soap Box! Another great box with interesting and unique scents and fantastic products! Like I said, I have an order from Black Friday that will hopefully be shipping out to me soon (they said with the high volume and demand from the sale that orders could take as long as 2 weeks before they even ship, but I got some good deals so it's totally worth it) and, overall, I've been very pleased with FCS's products (especially their Cupcake Lip Balm and their body butters).
I'll leave you with one last image of my empty FCS Soap Box; they included a jingle bell as the little themed extra (for summer it was a paper parasol and for autumn it was a cinnamon stick!) and there are iridescent, snowflake shaped pieces of confetti!

Thanks for reading! <3

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