Exploring the History and Benefits of Patchouli: From Ancient Medicine to Modern Aromatherapy

Shannon Smyth
Patchouli is a fragrant plant that has been used for centuries for its medicinal and aromatic properties. The plant, which is native to tropical regions of Asia, is a member of the mint family and is known for its strong, musky scent.

The history of patchouli dates back to ancient times. It is mentioned in ancient Chinese and Indian texts as a medicinal herb, and was used to treat a variety of ailments, including skin irritations, infections, and anxiety. Patchouli was also used as a natural insect repellent, and was believed to have spiritual and aphrodisiac properties.

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Behind the Scenes: Known Rollerball Perfume

Shannon Smyth
Known Roll On Perfume

A Girl's Gotta Spa! roll on perfumes have become increasingly popular since we expanded our bath and body line two years ago to include them.

Our latest fragrance, Known, is coming at a time when things really feel mostly... unknown.

We began crowdsourcing last Fall to find out which scents people were loving lately, and rose overwhelmingly topped the list.

If you're a customer of our lovely products, you know we usually like to keep the citrus tie-in throughout each product. However, as with our Synergy Himalayan Salt Scrub, we decided to forgo that with this perfume.

Known Rollerball Perfume

Top note: Wild Rose
Heart notes: Black Currant, Tea Rose
Base notes: Green Angelica, Papyrus

A Girl’s Gotta Spa! uses only pure essential oils, phthalate-free oils and grapeseed oil to bring you a roll on perfume that is vegan, clean and Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free. No parabens, no alcohol, no petrochemicals.

Naming the Perfume

It's always fun to explain to you my stream of thought when naming A Girl's Gotta Spa! products. This one stumped me for a while, though!

First, if you are familiar with Arise and Soar roll on perfumes, then you know that they are complementary words - you have to first arise in order to soar.

Second, I like to choose names that inspire, encourage and uplift. So as you may have guessed, the names don't typically describe the notes in the scent.

It took me about 2 months to finally land on Known.

What Does Known Mean?

Since our launch point is a rose fragrance, I thought about all aspects of this flower. I finally asked myself - what does a rose represent to most people?


What does it mean to be loved? To me, it means to care for someone so deeply and unconditionally, irregardless of their flaws.

To Be Loved is to be Known

Here's the thing - to be loved doesn't always have to mean someone loving you. It can absolutely also include YOU loving YOU. It's a self-love party up in here!

I hope you will love Known as much as I do. Find it on our webstore: Known Rollerball Perfume

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A Girl's Gotta Spa! Joins Second Annual Women-Led Wednesday

Shannon Smyth
The united shopping day designed to create a gender-balanced economy set for November 27th, 2019

November 4, 2019 (Sun Valley, ID) — A Girl's Gotta Spa!, a brand dedicated to encouraging and empowering women through self-care beauty products, is thrilled to announce its participation in the second annual Women-Led Wednesday on November 27, 2019.

Women-Led Wednesday is...

a collective brand campaign designed to spotlight and encourage holiday shoppers to support women-founded and -led brands.

Similar to purpose-driven shopping holidays like Small Business Saturday, Women-Led Wednesday is dedicated to supporting a specific business group – women, women-identified, and non-binary/genderqueer brand leaders – in efforts to create a more gender-balanced economy.

Beyond the November 27 Women-Led Wednesday holiday, the initiative is dedicated to promoting and uniting women-led brands year-round.

The newly launched Women-Led Wednesday website and directory allow visitors to explore, search for and learn more about women-led brands.

I strongly believe in community over competition and have always, and will continue, to support female-led companies. Women investing in women with their dollars, their words and their actions, shows future generations the importance of standing behind female-led brands," said Shannon Smyth, A Girl's Gotta Spa! Chief Pampering Officer.

Shannon Smyth in 2014 when she launched her product line.

Not Enough Women in C-Level Positions

Today, women are 50.8% of the population and 52% of the professional-level work force in the U.S. but only 25% of executives and senior management officials, 20% of board seats, and 6% of CEOs among S&P 500 companies.

As of 2018 there were more CEOs named James than women of any name running Fortune 500 companies according to a study published by the New York Times.

“There’s no shortage of discussion and a lot of viable paths to get more women in the C-suite and on Fortune 500 executive boards,” said Women-Led Wednesday Creator and Wild Rye Co-Founder Cassie Abel.

“I believe that one of the best and fastest paths to create a more gender-balanced economy; however, is to shine a light on and encourage everyone to vote with their dollars for brands that are already led by women.

Visible female leadership is so important to the health of our global economy long-term, the collaborative initiative aims to encourage holiday shoppers to shop women-led brands on November 27, 2019 and the other 364 days a year.

“Participating brands are thinking bigger than themselves and understand that a rising tide lifts all ships,” Abel continued. “After over 100 brands committed to the initiative in a two-week period the first year, I knew the idea resonated with women business leaders.

Women are eager to support each other in a way that’s really special. Year two is shaping up to be much bigger with more brands, bigger brands and a more coordinated effort. I can’t wait to see what we can accomplish—we truly are stronger together.”

WomenLedWednesday.com serves as the campaign’s primary discovery hub and directory of women-led businesses. Established female-led consumer products brands and retailers can join for the 2nd annual through the “join us” tab on the website.

Website: www.womenledwednesday.com
Instagram: @womenledwednesday
Twitter: @womenledwed

#WomenLedWednesday #ShopWomenLed

About Women-Led Wednesday
Women-Led Wednesday is a nationwide campaign designed to encourage consumers to support by voting with their dollars for women-led brands during the holiday shopping season and beyond. The second annual Women-Led Wednesday will take place on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. The campaign supports women in leadership and empowers female entrepreneurs in efforts to create a more gender-balanced economic landscape. Our mission is simple: support women. Visit WomenLedWednesday.com for more information.

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A Girl's Gotta Spa! Now Available at Purple Aardvark

Shannon Smyth
Purple Aardvark now sells A Girl's Gotta Spa! rollerball perfumes in their cozy boutique in Chatham, New Jersey.

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A Girl's Gotta Spa! Joins Amazon Indie Beauty

Shannon Smyth
Amazon Indie Beauty There's big news here at A Girl's Gotta Spa! Our brand recently joined Amazon Indie Beauty and I am stoked! The beauty space is vast and it is so hard to compete for eyeballs when you don't have the big marketing budgets that large brands do. Being a small business means having to find creative ways to get the word out about our super fab, cruelty free products. So the opportunity to be featured on Amazon's curated Indie Beauty page is a big deal! I'm still rubbing my eyes expecting to wake up from this dream. If you are an indie beauty supporter - thank you! Brands like us know who each of our customers are by name and we are so grateful for you. So if you're shopping Amazon, please pop over to Amazon's Indie Beauty featured brands and click through to see all of the brands, including ours, ready to offer you top notch beauty products! P.s. While our rollerball perfume is waiting to also be included, you can find it here: https://amzn.to/2vOFzNp To stay in the loop regarding our bath and body line and perfume, please subscribe to our mailing list. Please also see our list of retailers.

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Skin Benefits of Lemon

Shannon Smyth

That sour little fruit has a lot of amazing skin care benefits. Bright and colorful, lemons will do wonders if you are prone to blemishes, is great to detox and is refreshing and brightening to your skin.

The thing is, I hadn’t really known all of the benefits (with the exception of lightening my hair in the summer) until a few years ago I made the switch from flavored water to spring water with fresh lemon in it.

While switching up how I was eating, it was suggested to me that my favorite Pure Life flavored water may be preventing my weight loss (preservatives, etc.) It was recommended that I opt for regular spring water and add fresh, sliced lemons to it.

I’ve always drank a lot of water, with my only downfall being 2 cups of ice coffee in the morning, but never added fresh fruit simply due to the wait time for it to diffuse. (I am a want-it-now kind of girl.) About 3 months into drinking strictly fresh lemon in my water I noticed that I hadn’t gotten a blemish the entire time.

This is highly unusual, especially since I am prone to them at least once a month (if you know what I mean!) Also, because sometimes I don’t follow my own advice and end up forgetting to wash my face before bed forever clogging my pores.

I’m very good about a daily skin care routine (exfoliate, serum, moisturize, etc.), but not so good around 10pm when I’m tired (especially on weekends.)

So now 6 months into doing my usual skin care routine and drinking a lot of fresh lemon water, I have been blemish-free the entire time. In fact, when I just had a facial at The Lodge at Woodloch, the esthetician told me that I didn’t really have much congestion in my pores. Score! Lemon essential oil is amazing as an ingredient in skin and body care products too. It serves as an antiseptic, is cooling to the skin and is also quite a way to wake up your senses with its invigorating fragrance.

In fact, it’s part of A Girl’s Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus body wash, body lotion and salt scrub. With antioxidants and minerals like calcium, magnesium, Vitamin C and potassium, your skin will reap the benefits when applied topically as part of a skin care product (I never recommend applying the essential oil alone to your skin as it can cause photodermatitis.) Of course, it also has wonderful health benefits when consumed via a healthy diet.

When applying products that contain lemon in it, just be sure to wear a good broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen, as you may burn a little more easier than others when exposed to direct sun light.

Also, in case you were wondering if lemon juice can fade acne scars, this is a great post to read: Does Lemon Juice Fade Acne Scars?

The one downside is that citric acid is very harsh on your tooth enamel. Definitely make sure you brush your teeth with a flouride toothpaste twice per day. Wait at least 30 minutes after drinking or eating fruit, as this is when your teeth are most vulnerable.

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Behind the Scenes: Arise Rollerball Perfume

Shannon Smyth16 comments

There comes a time in every woman's life where you have a revelation, an epiphany, something life-changing that it creates a pivot in your life that you can only "go up from here." While the events leading to it may, or may not have been positive, the upswing absolutely is.

Have you experienced this yet? If you haven't, I promise you, you will.

When deciding what to launch as the next product in the A Girl's Gotta Spa! bath and body line, I tossed around a few ideas in my head, but kept coming back to roll-on perfume.

Perfume is a personal thing. The fragrance you choose to wear is usually representative of your mood or how you want to feel. It's a confidence booster, a mood-lifter, a mark of your identity.

Like many other women in their 40's and beyond, I'm also at that reflective point in my life. You can look back and see turning points. You can point out which stepping stone lead to a rock, which led to a boulder which led to its own mountain. Sometimes the climb up that mountain wasn't always easy, but once you crest the summit, you feel a sense of accomplishment and pride. All of these events mold and shape you and move you up.

Right now the atmosphere is changing for women. There is so much energy it's palpable. It seemed the timing was right to launch something reflective of this.

With both of the above in mind, and the coming of Spring and Summer, a floral fruity fragrance was born. The floral is jasmine sambuc - it's feminine, denotes strength and is oh so pretty. The fruits are grapefruit and orange - a nod to our Energizing Citrus bath and body products, but also a way to brighten and open up this scent. Vanilla bean is the last component to it all, softening it, creating a smoothness and bringing it all together.

Naming this fragrance was pretty simple - I asked all of the women on my personal Facebook to tell me in one word how to describe this combination of notes. Surprisingly, or not, quite a few repeated the same word: Arise.

It stuck and from there the vision of the design began to form in my mind. Movement upward, a blush color, ombre, and soft. The gradient hues of this pink-peach watercolor exhibit rising strength. The font - OMG I LOVE this font - that A is what captured my heart. It's strong, it rises above and its flare represents how sometimes a set back can propel you forward.

Arise feels like an evolution. It comes from such a personal space in my heart to you. I cannot wait for you to try it.

Arise rollerball perfume is vegan and cruelty free and is available now.

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Unicorn Bubble Spa Pedicure

Shannon Smyth
While unicorn hair may not be your thing, you can still get in on the unicorn life trend at The 411 Studio Salon & Boutique in Olyphant, PA. They serve up a Unicorn Bubble Spa Pedicure that is equally as magical for an 11 year old girl, as it is for any adult. Sidenote: This is the salon I go to on a regular basis that has the most talented team of nail techs delivering gorgeous custom nail art designs. You can see some of my manicures on my Instagram or check out their Facebook gallery for both hair and nail photo amazingness! I recently had a spa day with my niece and decided to add on the unicorn bubble to her Express Spa Pedicure. I watched my niece's eyes light up as they added a bag of orbeez along with 24K gold dust to her foot bath. As she kicked around the unicorn bubbles, it made this cool sparkle look in the water. For adults who get this add on, you are treated to cotton candy wine or their seasonal homemade sangria, as well. Yum! With the Express Spa Pedicure you get a salt soak, cleanser, scrub and herbal lotion. All of the products are unscented and you get to choose the essential oil you want used to create your custom blend; my niece chose coconut.  
My niece went with a beautiful gold polish as a way to remember this mystical experience. ? If you are local here in Northeast PA or will be visiting the area, I highly recommend booking this pedicure or even their jelly pedicure (I haven't tried it yet, but it looks so fun!) Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Or check out our natural bath and body line!

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Try These 3 Sulfate Free Body Washes That Still Lather

Shannon Smyth
Looking for a sulfate free body wash but still want the bubbles? Take a look at these body washes from @agirlsgottaspa @nurturemybody and Lancer. It's a common beauty myth - switch to a sulfate free body wash and you have to give up that luxurious lather that makes pampering so much fun. But it's not true. Sure, you won't be able to bury yourself under a mountain of bubbles, but you don't have to sacrifice the suds if you go sulfate free. Here are our favorite sulfate-free body washes that will still make you want to hasthag with #treatyoself @agirlsgottaspa sulfate free body wash lathers A Girl's Gotta Spa! Energizing Citrus Body Wash: If you're in need of something uplifting for your pamper session, this is the body wash to go with. It's foamy goodness that will still keep your skin feeling soft and not dried out. Aloe and other plant-based ingredients moisturize the skin. 3 sulfate free body washes that still lather via @agirlsgottaspa Lancer The Method Body Cleanse: An anti-aging body wash intended to do to the body what Dr. Lancer's system does for the face. Bubbles immerse your skin in exfoliating acids to give you a glow.3 sulfate free body washes that still lather via @agirlsgottaspa Nurture My Body Wild Eucalyptus Body Wash: This is my favorite fragrance when I have a cold or allergies that are making it difficult to breathe. This scent is exhilirating to the senses and lathers just enough to satiate your pampering needs. What's your favorite sulfate free body wash? Let me know in the comments! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! *Disclosure, affiliate link, owned brand

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Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe

Shannon Smyth5 comments
Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe from @willcook4smiles using ingredients inspired by @agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus scent What a way to treat yourself! Delicious, soft cookie bars topped with citrus marmalade, made with orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit essences, and of course, topped with sweet, crispy crumble. Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe from @willcook4smiles using ingredients inspired by @agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus scent Hello everyone! It’s so nice to meet all of you, friends of A Girl’s Gotta Spa! I'm Lyuba and I am from Will Cook For Smiles. I am taking over today to show you another sweet way to treat yourself. You already know about spa days, wonderful skin and hair products, but you can’t forget to treat your taste buds and your tummy once in a while too. I'm sure you already know about Shannon's bath and body line intended to pamper you. A Girl's Gotta Spa! products are made with all-natural ingredients, they are purely honest, simple, effective, and made in small batches to ensure the best results. In addition to being perfect for your skin, they are also engaging to your senses. Making your skin beautiful and luscious to the touch, it also engages you with an aromatic citrus scent. Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe from @willcook4smiles using ingredients inspired by @agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus scent This scent is exactly what inspired me to engage more than my senses of touch and smell, but also my sense of taste. Since I didn’t want to bite my arm after applying the Energizing Citrus Body Lotion (good thing my instinct stopped me because I was about to,) I decided to create something inspired by the wonderful scent of these products. After reading the short (and delicious) list of the natural ingredients in these products, I created my own ingredient list, combining all of my favorite citrus fruit. And what a better way to treat yourself than with some simple, soft, and aromatic cookies. We do love some cookies, don't we? So this one is for you, ladies! Immerge yourself in some "delicious" body products after a nice, revitalizing shower and help yourself to some sweet cookie bars! Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe from @willcook4smiles using ingredients inspired by @agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus scent Ingredients: Cookie Layer: ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature ¾ cup brown sugar 1 egg 1 tsp vanilla extract 1¼ cups flour ½ tsp baking soda ¼ tsp salt Citrus Marmalade Layer: 1 – 18 oz. jar of marmalade 3 Tbsp. grapefruit juice Zest from 1 lemon Zest from 1 lime Crumble Layer: ½ cup brown sugar 2 Tbsp. white granulated sugar ¾ cup flour 5 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a 9x9 baking dish. (8x8 will work too if you have to use that size.) Cookie: In the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand held mixer), cream together butter and sugar for a couple of minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until mixed. Lower the speed to low, sift in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix the ingredients on low speed until just combined. Spread cookie batter in the baking dish, evenly. Marmalade (can be prepared before starting the cookie layer): Add marmalade into a sauce pot and heat it up over medium heat. Add grapefruit juice, lemon zest, and lime zest. Mix well and simmer, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Spread citrus marmalade over the cookie layer. Crumble: In a mixing bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, brown and white sugar until evenly incorporated. Pour in melted butter and mix (cut in, not mush) it with a fork, forming coarse crumbles. Spread crumble all over the marmalade, evenly. Bake for 37-40 minutes. Let it cool completely before cutting. Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe from @willcook4smiles using ingredients inspired by @agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus scent Citrus Crumble Cookie Bars Recipe from @willcook4smiles using ingredients inspired by @agirlsgottaspa Energizing Citrus scent Let me know if you try it! Subscribe to A Girl’s Gotta Spa! beauty blog. Watch our reviews on YouTube, see our pins on Pinterest and check us out on Instagram. Got a Kindle? We’re on Kindle too! Here are more delicious recipes to try from Will Cook for Smiles: Chewy Key Lime Coconut Cookies

Chewy Key Lime Coconut Cookies

Layered Double Chocolate Smores Crumble Cookie Bars

Layered Double Chocolate Smores Crumble Cookie Bars

Gooey Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies

Gooey Loaded Peanut Butter Cookies

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