Archive - February 2018

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Ilsa Fragrances- A Perfume that Encourages Limitless Possibilities
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Hotel Valencia Riverwalk – San Antonio

Ilsa Fragrances- A Perfume that Encourages Limitless Possibilities

The main reason why I started this blog was that I wanted to give a voice to small brands. I love hearing the maker’s story, especially if there’s a specific do-good purpose behind their product. I first heard about Ilsa Fragrances through an Instagram group that I belong to. As time progressed, I got to know the perfume brand through the posts, and I found that they not only promoted the product, but did so in a heartfelt and encouraging manner.

Ilsa Fragrances founder- Ilsa Manning, was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. She is a self-proclaimed Francophile, as she studied French in high school and minored in it in college. After graduation, she landed a job as a nanny in a suburb outside of Paris. “While I enjoyed fragrance and used my time in Paris to indulge in scent, it was just another product in my toiletry bag. Years later, when I was living in England, I got a job at the largest fragrance manufacturer in the world. One of the main reasons I got the role was because I was American and I had the French background, and the role consisted of working with the company’s French and American locations. Really, I had no experience other than those two things! But it was in this role, and at this company, that I learned about the perfumery world, and that is when I fell in love with fragrance and the impact of scent on our lives,” Manning explained.

On starting her company…” I was inspired to take action and create Ilsa Fragrances after the birth of my first daughter. I had had a winding career up until that point and I never felt I was getting anywhere (progressing professionally or monetarily). I also never really believed in myself or my capabilities, and I never saw or believed in my own self-worth, self-love, self-belief – I lacked all of these things. With the birth of my daughter, I realized I wanted to be the best person I could be for her, and I most definitely wanted her to grow up believing in herself, believing she has incredible worth, and believing that she can do and be anything she dreams. Her birth actually showed me that I have done incredible things in my life and things that I thought were failures had always been successes and had been integral to my life journey. To getting to here. To have the strength and belief in myself, and to pass that on to my daughters and to other women – through Ilsa Fragrances. That is why the first collection is the Infinite Collection – because your dreams, potential, and capabilities are infinite! I established the company in 2015 and launched No 1, the first fragrance in the Infinite Collection, in September 2016.”

Infinite No 1 is an oriental fragrance, which consists of spice, amber, and musk notes. Those notes are some of Ilsa’s favorite scents. She goes on to explain, “I wanted women to feel beautiful when they sprayed it on, that they had a boost of confidence empowering them to tackle their day!”

“Everything with Ilsa Fragrances is about empowering women. Empowering women to feel good, confident, and beautiful (the fragrance); to believe in themselves (quotes and other empowering posts on social media and our blog), and to follow their dreams (Facebook Live- Coffee & Conversations- where I interview women and they share how they achieved their dream/goal so that others can be inspired to do the same/learn from them). Also equally as important, we donate 5% of the net proceeds from sales to Girls on the Run, a non-profit organization that aims to create ‘a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential, and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.’ We are, integrally, #perfumewithapurpose!”

Stay tuned folks, she is currently in development on the second fragrance!

Ilsa Fragrances, Infinite No 1

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk – San Antonio

In the heart of downtown San Antonio (or SA, as I like to call it), and conveniently located on one of the city’s most prized attractions- the Riverwalk; sits the Hotel Valencia. The 213-room boutique hotel actually got quite the renovation during the early part of 2017. Architect and designer Lauren Rottet chose to pay homage to San Antonio rich Spanish Colonial heritage, which dates back to when the missions were built, which was around the 1700s. Rottet also infused Modern Mediterranean influence into the building, as a nod to the Tuscan-style architecture to the hotel’s namesake- Valencia, Spain. The hotel offers numerous cozy lounges, a business center, a large event space, a beautiful open-air courtyard, in-room spa services, and a fitness center. Guests also have the option of dining at the only Argentinian-inspired restaurant in the city- Dorrego’s, or cafe/bar- Naranja.

The Mr and I stayed in one of their deluxe balcony king rooms with a lovely terrace that faces the Riverwalk. The Spanish Colonial theme can also be seen throughout the room, with the curved iron headboard that serves as the focal point. I feel that the dark plantation shutters hint at the city’s southern roots, but also offer a nice contrast that leads out onto the quaint terrace. A good night’s rest was had on their custom designed Valencia bed. The Mr is actually still raving about how well he slept on it. You can actually shop the bedding and more on the Shop Valencia portion of the website. We didn’t have the chance to check out Dorrego’s during this trip, but we did have the complimentary European-style continental FIT breakfast. It was located in the main lobby, and featured a variety of pastries, yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, and a coffee/tea bar. You can also get fresh squeezed orange juice from the DIY OJ machine at Naranja’s. That OJ was literally the best we’ve ever tasted (as of this posting)! I also enjoyed checking out the rustic features, elegant ironwork, exquisitely handcrafted tilework, and the textiles that also gave the impression of Texas’ western culture.

I recommend signing up to be a Valencia VIP, as you’ll be asked several questions regarding what your preferences are in regards to welcome amenities, room type preference, etc.

Scroll down for a virtual tour of the hotel!

NOTE: I was given a complimentary night’s stay in exchange for my honest review. 

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

Hotel Valencia Riverwalk, San Antonio, hotel

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