GIFT | Stress Free Medicinal Tincture

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Dr. JJ Pursell, founder of The Herb Shoppe franchise, sat down with us this week and made a soothing Stress-Free Tincture! She combined a selection of herbs classified as nervines  (herbs that help relax the central nervous system) as well as some Rose (known for it’s ability to calm and heal the heart) with alcohol to create this concentrated blend of herbs! Tinctures are quickly absorbed into the blood stream, they’re easy to consume and convenient to carry. Just a few drops of this will help your mind and body unwind: before bed, during a busy work day or even during travel!

Skullcap 

Oat Straw

Passion Flower

Rose

Vodka

The rule of thumb with dried herbs is a 1 : 5, herbs : alcohol. With fresh herbs, you’ll want 1 : 2. 

Blend your dried herbs together and fill your container 1/5th of the way.  

Pour vodka (must be 80 proof alcohol) into the container until it is full. 

Shake vigorously.

Place the container in a cool dry place.

Wait 2-4 weeks (longer does not equal stronger), shaking your container daily for a minute or so. 

Strain the mixture and bottle it up.

Enjoy, relax, unwind!

GIFT | The Good Witch

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There is something undeniably powerful about a women who is grounded in her truth and her purpose. When you meet  Dr. JJ Pursell, owner of the growing Herb Shoppe franchise (with a location right here in Brooklyn), she radiates a timeless wisdom. 

Her relationships to the earth and the natural cycles of life are strong and striking. 

She is a healer, a fierce entrepreneur, a mother, and a mentor.  She has pursued a life guided by instinct and her connection to her inner voice is something we can all learn from.

In this episode, Dr. JJ teaches us how to make a stress-free medicinal tincture (it’s way easier than it sounds) and discusses the healing power of herbs, what it meant to have people believe in her dream, and how she created her very personal path to success. 

We are so excited to share her story with you today. Enjoy, share and definitely visit the Herb Shoppe and her blog when you have a chance!

GIFT | finding your fragrance

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When we visited Anne Serrano McClain, founder of MCMC Fragrances at her studio in Greenpoint, we were enamored by all the romantic and heady scents! How could we choose just one?

She gave us a few tips on finding the right fragrance and a little education on the world of perfume!

  • On your first venture into the world of perfumes and oils, skip testing the scents on yourself. Instead, spray the fragrances onto the paper sticks they hand out. You can test more scents this way.
  • Cleanse your nose by stepping outside – it’s the only way to refresh.
  • Once you’ve found a selection of fragrances you like, choose one and give your chest area a good spritz – be generous about it! 
  • Wear the scent all day long. in fact, go back the next day and do it again, or request a sample. Scent changes with your body temperature, your moisture level and many other internal factors. Make sure the scent truly works with your body chemistry before you invest.
  • Ever wondered about the difference between a spray and a roll onSome think it’s simply a matter of convenience but, there’s actually a little more to it.
  • A perfume oil (or roll on) is diluted in oils, such as Jojoba or Coconut (at MCMC, they’re all organic). Anne feels that a roll on is a more intimate and personal experience. People who get close to you will be able to enjoy it, but it is most definitely more subtle. Because it is diluted in oils, it only lasts a few hours at a time. Wear it on your wrists and reapply throughout the day (thankfully it’s small enough to carry in your purse). 
  • An Eau de Parfum (or spray) is diluted in alcohol. Spritz it on your chest and neck area and it will enter a room with you. The nice thing about a spray is that it will last most, if not all, day. Spritz a little in your hair or on your scarf and the scent will linger even longer. 
  • It seems that one of the most important things to keep in mind when finding your scent is patience. When you enter a perfumery or a department store it can be a bit overwhelming. Take your time. Spend a few weeks trying out scents. Then when you’re confident that you’ve found The One, purchase it, wear it, revel in it! 

GIFT | Anne Serrano McClain

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The perfume that you wear is so much more than a utilitarian aspect of your beauty routine; it is an intimate sensual, experience that becomes a part of who you are in a way that fashion fads and hair lengths never could. There is longevity in scent: the smell of your parents’ home, the perfume your Grandmother wore, your boyfriend’s Old Spice. You are hit with a memory, instantly transported to another time and place. 

We discussed all this and more when we visited Anne Serrano-McClain, founder of MCMC Fragrances at her charming Greenpoint studio. In the last five years, Anne has gone from blending scents in her kitchen to being written up in Town & CountryVogue ParisThe New York Times, and having her fragrances sold at some of the hippest places in the country.

Meeting her, it’s easy to understand how she’s garnered such success. She shares her unbridled passion for her craft, the chemistry and complexities of creating a fragrance, and the meditative way she builds each of her signature perfumes.

“It’s such a deep process, I do it in silence… it’s not a visual process, it’s not a social experience. It’s just you and the smell so you really go into the interior”

Check out our beautiful episode below and prepare to expand your experience of fragrance in the most enriching way!