Smelling Like The Sweetest Summer Air With Body Shop Vanilla Body Mist

Back in 2014 I resided briefly in Oslo. It was mid-summer when I ran out of anti-antiperspirant spray which I’d tagged along with me from England. While you might be thinking to yourself ‘Yeah, so? What’s the big deal?’ I was, at the time, blissfully unaware that I wouldn’t be able to purchase spray deodorant in my new homeland.

I skipped into town, expecting to be smelling divine again within the hour…but instead ended up scaling the walls in my search for some Nivea or Sure. The only deodorant I was able to get my hands on were roll-ons.

As a last resort, I ended up in The Body Shop. I entered with some trepidation, as my meagre budget didn’t really stretch to account for anything too nice. In my world, purchases from The Body Shop had always been reserved for special occasions and almost always consisted of animal shaped soaps.

But I was about to have my beliefs turned inside out…


As is tradition in The Body Shop, a member of staff immediately approached me, and promptly introduced to their range of Body Mists. I spritzed every tester available, going back to numerous ones several times.

Noticing that the Body Mists were actually affordable – I think I paid £8 then or about 80 kroner for one bottle of Body Mist  – I was committed and went home with a bottle of Shea Body Mist. I’d been seduced by its sweet – but not overpowering – nuttiness.


I’ve been using The Body Shop Body Mist range ever since, and since 2014 have used only 5 100ml bottles. Whereas before I was getting through one bottle of spray deodorant a month, one bottle of Body Shop Body Mist can last me over 6 months. I generally use 6 spritzes a day, maybe 10-12 if I’m going out or doing something special.

This time I opted for the vanilla scent – it makes the man weak at the knees – as it’s the perfect fragrance for these lengthy summer days.


The Pros

  • The glass packaging – most reviews speak negatively about the glass bottle packaging, but I feel the need to defend it. I don’t really ‘do’ classy… but something in me wants to show off this gorgeous bottle, plus, the transparency enables me to see how much product I have left, something you’re usually left guessing with. I’ve taken my bottles with me on dozens of flights and so long as you aren’t throwing your bag around, it can survive without shattering.
  • The ingredients – The man and I are trying for a baby, so I feel more responsible for what I’m using on my body. In the not so distant future I’d like to be using only all-natural products. So I’m chuffed all round that the Body Mist contains natural ingredients, including Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract.
  • The fragrance – As I mentioned before, I bought vanilla because the man loves it and I sort of wanted to treat him, but I too have a weakness for vanilla scented everything. The Body Mist has quite a strong scent of pure vanilla, so you really only need half a dozen spritzes to last you for up to six hours. Any more than that and you might be slightly overpowered by the scent, and feel the mad urge to devour your own skin. It’s an uplifting fragrance that leaves you feeling prepared to face the day.
  • It doesn’t stain – One of the main problems I have had with spray deodorants is they stains they can leave behind on my black threads. When I started using the Bod Mist that problem became one of the past.
  • It lasts ages – If you are using it like I’ve advised, you’ll only need to buy two bottles maximum a year. That’s £16 (or 160 krona). Can’t go wrong really. I’ve actually been thinking of investing in another scent so I can have a sensual vanilla one day and a more jubilant strawberry on another.
  • The amount you get – With each bottle you get 100ml which is just perfect if you’re a frequent flyer as 100ml is the maximum amount of liquid you can have in a single container in your carry on luggage.
  • The shelf life – you get 3 years with one bottle!
  • No animal testing – The Body Shop are forever against animal testing. (They were actually the first global beauty brand to fight against animal testing in cosmetics.)

The Cons

  • The lid – The lid is quite treacherously loose. Don’t do as I have done before I picked it up by the lid alone…
  • It can burn – If you have spots or slightly damaged skin, avoid, like you would with other deodorants, putting the Body Mist on those areas.

Now that I’ve had the Vanilla Body Mist a couple of times, I’ve made a vow to myself to be more experimental…I’m eying up you Black Musk ,and you Strawberry, and you Moringa.



Collaboration With Cult Of Slaves


So I have been writing poetry since the early 90’s, yet I’ve never seriously attempted to write song lyrics. So, it came as something of a shock when Folk Noire group Cult of Slaves sent a nudge my way, asking if I’d be interested in collaborating on their upcoming EP ‘She Wouldn’t Die.’

Holy Friday! Cult of Slaves announces collaboration with author and photographer Katie Metcalfe and partner Hravn Decmiester, songwriter and vocalist in the Borås, Sweden-based black metal band RIMFROST. Cult of Slaves‘ forthcoming EP “She Wouldn’t Die” (Sep/Oct 2017) will come with jointly written lyrics, poetry and artwork. – Cult Of Slaves

I agreed so long as I could have my partner in love and crime by my side. The difference with me and my man is that he’s actually been writing songs – and getting paid for them – for over a dozen years. I felt I’d be better equipped to face the task with him by my side. Thank fuck he agreed, and I’m going into this collaboration less scared shitless, and more eager about what storms we are going to conjure.



A Thrifty Witch Haul : Little Witch On The Prarie

As a young un of about seven, I used to pretend that I was Laura Ingalls Wilder. We had The Little House On The Prairie series read to us in school and I was besotted. I mean, if I happened to miss one story time for whatever reason, I’d cry. Literally. It was the best part of going to school and was always the last thing we did before the day came to a close.

We had four channels on the TV and when we quit for school at noon, I’d go home and eat my lunch – usually beans on toast – while watching The Little House on the Prairie adaptation. I loved, and still do love, the wholesomeness of the show, but even at the tender age of seven, I was infatuated with the fashion, and felt I needed one of those floral pioneer dresses to make my life complete. I never did end up with one, until the other day.


I have only just started to feel comfortable with wearing floral stuff. When I was deep into Goth, the overuse of roses in Gothic fashion made me feel nauseous. So I turned by back on pretty much every floral decoration I encountered.

But yesterday, while out thrifting in Erikshjälpen in Borås, I found this staggeringly gorgeous pioneer dress for 65 krona or just under £6. Needless to say I flung myself into the nearest changing room.

While I was admiring the little blue buttons and the fluted collar, the full sleeves and the sweet floral design, a little voice took a swipe at my joy, saying ‘really Katie? What the hell do you think you’re doing with this, are you crazy? Look at how not black it is?’ But I didn’t listen. I bought the dress and was finally able to fulfill my pioneer dream…now I just need to find a field to run though.

I Have Been Wearing The Same Boots Since 2010

I say the same boots, what I really mean is the same style. I’ve gone through 3 pairs of black French Military Ranger boots in 7 years, wearing them almost constantly.

I always keep my boots until the soles are so thin they let in water, and the leather is cracked enough that pieces of my socks end up peeking out through the cracks.  I’m not one of these women who will wear a pair of shoes and get bored of them within a few weeks.


If I buy shoes, boots, whatever – I need to love the shit out of them. I need to love them forever. I don’t like to buy needlessly. Anyway, I stuck with these boots because they became a big part of my character. Plus, they’re outrageously comfortable when they’ve been worn in.

My current boots are getting to the point where they’re going to need to be replaced, and I’ve been wondering when I should put in an order for them, but then something happened…

A little pair of red shoes from Office came along my way for free. Slipping them on…well, you’d have thought I was fucking Cinderella. There was very little of that self pitying whine of ‘oh, but they’re not black.’ I got over that pretty bloody quickly. I love this Oxford Style too much to be depressed about the fact they’re oxblood not black. I haven’t worn them outside yet, but when I will, I’ll be a proud woman walking.


Today’s Poem : When I Am With Child

When I Am With Child

When I am with child,
there’s a chance I’ll suckle icicles,
binge on beach combed glass,
chew the ends of my hair.

My uterus will wax from
the size of a snowball to a pumpkin.

The egg my child will form from
will be the same size as what sits
in a rabbit’s or a whale’s body
at the beginning.

I may lactate
if I hear the rattling sound
of a baby crying.

By the 20th week
my body will be warm
with 50% more blood
than before conception.

My heart will swell
to accommodate
the increase.

I will not be burned at the stake
if I ask for pain relief.

I will not be told
I need to feel the pain
for Eve’s actions
in the Garden of Eden.

When I deliver,
my pelvic bone will part
in the middle
and the cartilage
will never really go back together.

Today’s Poem : The Behaviour Of Ice

The Behaviour Of Ice

In the Arctic, Inuit elders
only drink water from icebergs.

Their taste buds are not adjusted
to chlorine.

The light in the north
is never simple.

The Aurora Borealis
are ancestors playing with a walrus skull.

Children not yet born.

A gift from the dead
to the living.

In the Arctic, ravens bark like dogs.

You remember the eyes
of every seal wounded,
every seal slaughtered.

You remember every smudge
of every baby whale
being swallowed up by the tide,

you remember every mothers final song.

You must know how ice behaves
in the Arctic, and speak cautiously of the cold,
for it is always listening.


Witch Toast

For someone who eat, sleeps, breathes black, I shouldn’t have, in theory, fallen madly, deeply in love with Mermaid Toast . But I did. The Insta-toast-artisans captured what looked like the Aurora Borealis in cream cheese. Of course I was going to be impressed.

But naturally, I needed to go against the grain, and I thought to myself ‘Witch Toast. Make some black as sin Witch Toast. It’ll be fucking brilliant. People will love it.’

While nobody has made said ‘Witch Toast’ before, somebody did make  Troll Toast. Peeved was I? Only slightly. It looked perfectly grim. My thunder had been dampened, but I went ahead and made my Witch Toast anyway.

The fantastical toasts I’d been enviously examining had all been crafted with natural colourants, and an ideal world I would love to have used charcoal like they did with the Troll Toast, but sadly today was not that day and I had to go with your basic food dye.

While I was expecting my cream cheese to go a glorious matte black – as the dye had promised – I ended up with a misanthropic looking storm cloud on one slice of toast and a choppy sea mid winter on the other.  Not all too terrible a result then.

Unlike the people who made the Mermaid Toast, I did eat mine. Philadelphia Cream Cheese isn’t cheap. It was bloody delicious and, interestingly, the first grey foodstuff I’ve ever consumed before.



If you want to give this a go…


  • About half a 200g tub of Philadelphia, maybe a bit more (I went for the Light version.)
  • Black food dye. I got it in a little tube. Probably about 5 grams. I used it all.
  • 2 slices of wholemeal bread. The thicker the better.


  • Toast your bread. Let it cool. Spread a thickish layer of Philadelphia on each slice as your base.
  • Divide the rest of the Philadelphia up into two bowls.
  • Use your best judgement as to how much dye to use. Be creative. I used a lot for the misanthropic storm cloud toast, and was more sparing with the choppy sea.
  • Apply your dyed cheese in dollops and smear it around as artistically as you can.
  • Photograph the shit out of your toast and spread the images like the plague. With any luck they’ll go viral.
  • Don’t forget to eat the stuff. There’s enough food waste in the world as it is.






Today’s Poem : The Terrible Warmth

The Terrible Warmth

Antarctica, the vast glacial continent,

is melting differently to the Arctic.


Warm sea water is hauled under the ice,

where it doesn’t drain back out.


The melting will, without mercy,

alter the maps of the world.


On the day we watched our environment

keel under the weight of one man’s word,

the growing crack in the Arctic shelf roared.


The sound is travelling to us

by way of the sea.


To die is said to be like

that you’re left with a field of whiteness,

before nothing.






Today’s Poem : Speak Your Hurts

Speak Your Hurts

Underneath the constellation
of the Great She-Bear, one of the largest
in the night sky, Ursus Maritimus is overheating.

The Ever Wandering One used to be
the most powerful helping spirits
for the shaman of the north lands.

Before missionaries.
Before shamans were accused
of being in league with Satan
out there on the ice.

When a cub is born,
he fits into his mother’s paw.

In the north, it’s so quiet you can hear
your internal sounds, the rivers of your blood
the trembling mountain of your heart.

The Inuit say you ought to speak your hurts,
before they’re iced in, before they’re frozen
to your soul.