News & Reminders re. Shipping/Handling and Policies

Here’s my latest attempt to make this as clear as possible and stave off reading comprehension problems.

International Shipping

*Due to importation laws that place an undue administrative and financial burden on very small e-commerce businesses, I can no longer ship to Poland, Slovakia, Germany, France, Greece, Spain, or Lithuania.*

Handling Times

If your order contains:Handling time is:
0 custom items14 days
1 custom item25 days
2 custom items40 days
3 custom items55 days
etc.

Please note:

  • I do custom work. This is not Amazon.
  • I handle every aspect of your order myself. I do not have employees.
  • These handling times are estimates, not guarantees.
  • Plants, insects, wildlife, and the weather don’t work for me, don’t do things to spec, and don’t follow orders.
  • I’m a rootworker – literally. That means most of my day is spent outdoors tending to and harvesting plants or in my altar and work rooms doing work for clients and making things for customers. I am not on the computer or at a desk all day.
  • You will be notified when your order is ready to ship and sent a tracking number.
  • If you haven’t gotten a tracking number, your order is still processing.
  • Labels can be printed in batches several days in advance of the actual ship date.
  • Tracking is not real time.
  • There are probably orders ahead of yours in the queue.
  • There are probably emails ahead of yours in the queue.
  • COVID, war, and other global events have disrupted supply lines and availability of inventory and packaging materials all over the planet. Everything takes longer and costs more. This is not the same world we were living in three years ago. Please don’t take it personally or be a jerk about it.
  • Sonia does not live here. In order for us to stay on the same page, share the same inbox, keep all these systems and platforms and apps playing nice with each other, and make sure nothing falls between the cracks, we need you to follow directions for orders and communication.
  • All sales are final.

Custom Work

Prices on customized items like mojo bags, pakets, and custom oils are about to go up. People who don’t read item details and policies and don’t follow directions are creating too much extra work and giving me too many headaches.

But established clients and customers and generally reasonable people will be provided with ways to offset many of these increases, for instance through the loyalty/rewards program and subscriber-only discounts. I want you to know how much I value your business and your understanding of how all of this works and what this job entails. Y’all are who I’m working for and I appreciate you so much.

Shipping Rates

  • 95% of domestic orders will ship for a flat rate of $5.
  • 4% will ship for $10 max.
  • Expedited shipping options are available (but they do not account for or change handling times – just shipping method/carrier/speed).
  • Free shipping on domestic orders of $100 or more.
  • International shipping rates are quite competitive; more details here.

How to Get Banned/Suspended

  • Nagging, harassing, shouting, getting rude or hysterical
  • Repeatedly failing to read or follow instructions, item listing details, and/or policies
  • Filing a dispute or chargeback without talking to us first
  • Filing an “item not received” claim on a custom item, especially when that item
    • is completely custom-made from scratch for you based on your petition and situation
    • requires and takes into account the casting of your natal chart and calculation of ongoing/upcoming astrological transits
    • includes herbs, oils, essences, minerals, and curios which are rare, expensive, and/or not always frequently used in conjure
    • may involve further divination/spirit work and/or the creation of talismans/sigils
    • was ordered two weeks ago, for the love of freakin’ God

If you are blocked and you feel there’s been some error or misunderstanding, or if you have since located and read our Terms of Service and now understand the issue and our policies, we are open to discussing the reestablishment of your customer account.

Mailing List/Newsletter

I have begun the process of revalidating the subscriber list, and newsletter emails should resume in July. You will probably get an email asking you to confirm your interest in receiving the newsletters by resubscribing to the list. These should go out over the next week or so.

Newsletter subscriptions are now double opt-in, so new subscribers will get an email asking them to confirm that they do indeed want to subscribe. I’m really sorry for the extra step, but it’s just too crazy with the spambots and people forgetting they signed up or whatever.

If you don’t often open my newsletters or make purchases at my website, you may have gotten scrubbed, particularly if your name did not seem to match your email address in any way, if you signed up with an email address only and no name, or if you have an extremely unusual/unlikely name. Please don’t take it personally, but these are often features of fraudulent and spambot signups, and they’ve been a big problem lately. If you don’t get an email asking you to confirm your interest in the next week or so but you do still want to get mailings, you are more than welcome to resubscribe.

website forms broken – here’s a workaround

Wow, today is glitch city. I’m working on fixing this thing now too. Just hang on to your petitions until I figure this out. Or if you want to be away from the computer for the rest of the week, and/or other worst case scenario, just email to services@seraphinstation.com.

I’ll post an update or a workaround as soon as I can.

update 7:30 p.m. Central:

I’m waiting on a help desk ticket. In the meantime, please use the following older intake forms as a backup until I get this sorted out.

Community spiritual services (e.g. community honey jars, St. Joseph service)

Private light setting services

Spiritual First Aid sessions

Contact form/general queries

Customization info form

Shipping hiccups continued (and explained)

I posted the other day about shipping hiccups, but I think I need to spell this out in plainer English, ’cause some folks aren’t getting it. I wrote that there’d been a pretty significant monkey wrench thrown into the works with our shipping workflow, and I elaborated:

When I say it involves a “monkey wrench,” I really mean it involves dog teeth. And a Houdini pit bull. And lots of growling. And a very frightened postal service worker. And some reports that she made to her supervisor. And the fact that nobody living on this property currently has a car that is safe to operate.

The post office folks *will not pick up packages at this address anymore.* In fact, they will no longer get out of the vehicle for any reason. When we have packages coming here that won’t fit in the mailbox (which is almost a mile away), they will sometimes deign to drive up here and honk the horn, and we can hope we’re in earshot and able to drop everything at that exact second in order to get out the door and into their field of vision before they leave. But we aren’t always able to do that, and they don’t even always deign to drive up here and honk the horn. And our packages have this kind of thing written on them:

And that’s just not even what things are like around here, and that postal service employee knows it, but it doesn’t matter – she reported Scary Dog Incident to her supervisor and her supervisor did his thing, and this is probably all just SOP.

But it has turned all my shit upside down and created a big old stress-fest and logistical nightmare.

When will I receive a package containing the materials I need to fulfill current in-house orders and booked services? Who knows.

When will the order I packed up and printed a shipping label for actually get onto a USPS truck/get scanned? Who knows.

To say I’m feeling the frustration as well is a massive understatement, ’cause if I have 30 packages in a bin by the door right now, odds are great that one of those customers is going to freak out, decide the policies/TOS don’t apply to them, and start making demands that I couldn’t fulfill if I wanted to. Meanwhile, another will decide that I never had any intention of sending their stuff and I set up all this whole elaborate and expensive website and social media facade just to fuck with them personally and steal their $40 from them.

Meanwhile, I’m busting my butt trying to get everything in place so that I can resolve all of this crap for good by once again owning a car that I can drive to the post office and anywhere else. And that would definitely go more smoothly and more quickly if people would stop freaking out, start reading policies/TOS and following directions, stop blowing up my inbox, and for the love of all that’s holy, stop putting in freakin’ disputes and chargebacks.

And those of you who *are* being reasonable and calm, I appreciate you so much! I assure you, nobody will be happier than I will be to see the ass-end of this mess. Ugh.

USPS rates, delivery times, and holiday season shipping

Shipping Rates and Delivery Speed

First, the USPS raised its rates effective October 3rd until December 26th, 2021 for the 2021 holiday season, and it has adjusted its expected delivery times.

  • First class package postage went up 30 cents; Priority Mail went up 75 cents; Priority Mail Express is up by $1.50-$5.00 depending on weight and zone.
  • First Class Package and Priority Mail services will take at least 4-5 days to be delivered within the U.S. and will probably take longer than that, getting worse the closer we get to Christmas.
  • Limited air transportation has resulted in most international shipments being transported by boat, which can extend your shipment’s expected delivery by several weeks.

What this means for you:

You need to expect delays and weirdness and you’ll need to be patient, because your packages will almost certainly take longer than you expect the closer we get to Christmas.

I don’t want to take away the flat rate shipping I’m able to offer at my website. I haven’t even temporarily raised my site shipping rates to recoup the postage increase. I am absorbing the extra cost at Seraphin Station (Etsy shipping has always been and still is calculated based on USPS-provided current rates).

And I don’t want to take my business elsewhere when the USPS needs it. But the high weirdness at the USPS last year cost me hundreds of dollars and a ton of stress.

What makes the stress worse is people who bug me about where their packages are when not enough time has elapsed for me to put in a trace request. The Terms of Service are still the same and you are agreeing to them when you place an order. The FAQ is still the same. There’s a convenient link to them in your order confirmation email as well. So please read the TOS and Shipping/Handling info you’re provided and please follow the directions. If I have to run around pulling my hair out staring at an email inbox full of shipping freakouts, I will just have to switch to UPS and $5 domestic shipping will be a thing of the past. (UPS pretty much starts at twice that amount.)

If you are prone to anxiety about where your package is and what the tracking page is saying, you might consider upgrading to UPS when you check out, because USPS is only going to frustrate you. Tracking is NOT real time. Updates are NOT always immediate. And in the holiday season, your package could take the scenic route – really, really scenic. I’m not even kidding – I was flabbergasted by some of what I saw last Christmas. It was *weird.*

I expect — and I encourage you to be prepared for — any or all of the following:

  • delivery delays
  • slow tracking updates
  • unreliable tracking updates
  • packages kicked back or marked “refused” for no reason
  • packages taking the scenic route and going to weird hubs along the way
  • random rejection of refund requests when packages are not delivered
  • adjustments forced onto my account for errors on their part, accompanied by bizarre tracking updates
  • carriers who can’t tell you jack or squat about what is going on
  • Priority mail will NOT be any better/safer than first class mail and it will NOT get there much more quickly

If you shop at Etsy:

Etsy shipping rates are currently calculated automatically by the Etsy platform itself based on real-time info from the USPS, so you are already seeing the postage increase when you check out.

Alternatives: No other shipping carrier is “plug and play” on Etsy. So I’m happy to ship your item UPS instead, but you’ll have to ask for a custom listing unless I find some other workaround.

If you shop at SeraphinStation.com:

U.S. orders: Flat rate postage for the default of first class mail is still live and the cost has not gone up. I’ll absorb the temporary increase. But you need to expect delays and weirdness and you’ll need to be patient, because your packages will almost certainly take longer than you expect the closer we get to Christmas.

Alternatives: I have contracted with my shipping platform to get a “bulk shipments” discount on UPS shipping. I believe it’s the lowest possible negotiated rate for bulk UPS discounts; it’s certainly the lowest one I can get right now, not being exactly the world’s biggest business. While the lowest rate for UPS will be several dollars more than the flat rate for USPS, I’d encourage you to invest a couple of extra bucks for the peace of mind if your items are gifts, are fragile or perishable, are worth more than $100, are custom or otherwise not replaceable, or if you would be seriously upset if the package spent a month in transit. (That last would be quite rare, but it did happen more than once last year.)

No matter where you shop:

Extended shipping times and weirdness affect the handling times for orders, too, because the materials I need to make your stuff are shipped to me by my suppliers. So this affects everything, and handling times will almost certainly get longer the closer we get to Christmas.

And just for your convenience, here is an excerpt from the order confirmation email you get when you check out:

Questions/additional info: If you have any questions about your order that are not covered in the FAQTOS, or Shipping/Handling sections of the website, please reply to this email to ask them without changing the subject line. (Questions like “when will my order ship” are covered in the TOS that you indicated you’d read and agreed to before the system would let you check out.)

And here’s an excerpt from the Shipping/Handling page at the shop:

Trace Requests, Claims, and Orders in Transit

Accidents in transit are actually very rare. Most significant delays are due to customs or address inconsistencies and thus are not within the control of either your seller or the postal service. But if you have not received your domestic package within 20 business days of the shipping date on the label (30 for international), I’ll be happy to put in a trace request and/or claim so that I can reship, if possible, or refund, if that’s the best option. See your order acknowledgment email for instructions on how to request this. Be aware that international orders that have left the US cannot always be traced (see International Buyers section above).

I have to put in a claim before I can reship/refund, and I can’t do that before 20 business days from the label ship date have elapsed. But after 20 days, I’m happy to pursue the matter if your package has still not arrived and get your order refunded or reshipped if the USPS cannot deliver it.

Fortunately, this practically never happens, though – excluding the absolutely unprecedented Christmas season of 2020 when all bets were officially off, domestic packages have always turned up by the 20 day mark, either at the customer’s mailbox or back in mine for being undeliverable due to address problems, with one exception when a customer had a neighbor stealing mail. (If you have a mail thief, you are going to have to handle that on your end by putting in a search request and filing a report with the postal inspector. Let me know, though, so I can help you hex the thief, if you like.)
 
We do not have any further information about your package or any way to track your package other than the USPS link which you get as well, so we can’t tell you anything more than that website is telling you.

If you have not received the shipping notification email, then your order is still processing, and we will send it as soon as it’s ready. 

Please note that due to COVID and the USPS being especially beleaguered right now, delivery times in transit can be longer than usual and updates to online tracking can be slower than usual. USPS is still incredibly reliable, though, so don’t panic if you don’t see your package “moving” in the system – updates are really not real-time, but the USPS is really pretty great about not losing packages.

Now having said all that, the USPS is still a good and affordable option – at least 10 months out of the year, for the most part. So don’t be afraid to use them. Just remember you do have to be patient. 🙂

Shipping Updates

International rates: I’ve contracted with a third-party platform in order to get the absolute lowest possible shipping rates via bulk/volume discounts. Transit time is 1-4 weeks depending on your location/local service, and packages are fully trackable from my door to yours if you live in one of the 55 participating countries. [1]

These are the best international shipping rates I’ve ever seen, and I’m really excited to have finally negotiated them for my overseas customers.

Just for an example:

CanadaRest of World
2 half-ounce bottles of oil$9.00$11.00
3.5 pounds worth of stuff$24.00$36.00

See the Shipping Rates page at SeraphinStation.com for more info and options.

U.S. Customers: Don’t forget that flat rate shipping is an ongoing deal for domestic shipments, to make this as painless and predictable as possible for y’all. Just about everything ships for $5.00, regardless of weight. A few larger/more fragile items ship for $10. That’s it, that’s how shipping works. Here’s an example:

if you order…your shipping cost will be…
1 bottle of oil$5.00
12 bottles of oil$5.00
1 pillar candle$10.00
12 pillar candles$10.00

See the Shipping Rates page at SeraphinStation.com for more info and options.

Magical Packages

Check *this* shit out. The USPS has Santa on the crew or something doing some kinda crazy North Pole time-and-space bending magic:

The tracking says refused. Customer didn’t refuse it. It was returned to *me.* In Alabama.

They’re just freakin’ making shit up at this point. I don’t even know how it’s possible that the scan for delivery shows what it does – I don’t know enough about their computers. But obviously it’s not a seamless, foolproof tracking system :/

I’m really lucky that the overwhelming majority of my customers are being really super cool about this insanity and aren’t taking it out on me. I’m really grateful, y’all, and I’m hating this real hard. I can’t wait to see the end of this BS. It has been taking up an inordinate amount of resources: my time, my money, my attention, the hair on my head that wasn’t yet gray…

Since I don’t know what caused all of this or if it could still happen, I am currently handling shipping this way:

I make sure I generate shipping labels for dates when one of us can either go stand in line and physically hand packages to an employee inside the post office, or when we can get a confirmed appointment for pickup by our carrier as part of her regular route.

Sometimes this means I cannot ship every day. While this has the potential to increase your handling time by a few days, I’m hoping it also drastically increases the chances of your actually getting your package (and ideally before an entire calendar month has passed).

If you’re shopping at SeraphinStation.com, I’ve made a UPS option available for domestic shipping, as well, if you’d rather go that route. If you’re on Etsy and want a different option, just let me know and I’ll be happy to set something up.

If you’ve been waiting longer than usual for a package but it is slowly making its way in the right direction and hasn’t turned completely around or had some truly weird tracking status info attached, then I’d urge you to just please keep on being patient. The mail just plain takes longer these days, and tracking is not really a granular, real-time thing like with a tracking chip keyed into a GPS and shit, you know? They can obviously get a computer to say a box has been delivered in Ohio when it’s actually in Alabama, as I discovered for myself this week :/

And keep in mind that your sellers don’t have any secret knowledge about your package status – they have exactly the same info you have, that tracking number and that info on the tracking website. Pestering or blaming your sellers about this whole mess is sort of pointless – it just creates more work and stress for your sellers without creating more clarity or speed around your item delivery. I can just about guarantee you that if this stresses you out, it has stressed your seller out exponentially worse, ’cause they’re worrying over your package but also the packages of all their *other* customers.

If your package is returned to me, I’ll email you and let you know. Otherwise, I don’t know anything more than you know. Yes, the USPS will still search for missing items and answer messages, but this wasn’t done at lightning speed before COVID, so I’m sure you can imagine how this is not a magic fix now :/

And if you know something that the package status isn’t showing/explaining, by all means do let me know. I will absolutely work with you on the best solution to getting your package in your hands as quickly and efficiently as possible, but this whole mess definitely requires both ends of the transaction to do a lot of “hurrying up and waiting” lately.

this isn’t just the USPS being overwhelmed – this is some kind of shady shit

This item was a shrine/ornament – no prep work involved. No extended handling time or anything. I took it off its altar, blessed it, wrapped it up in tissue paper, boxed it, paid the $35-something for the shipping label because the customer paid for Priority Mail Express, and sent it out that same day for Mike to drop off at the post office. *Which he did, before C.O.B.*

Here’s what the tracking says:

December 13, 2020, 3:58 pm
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 

December 23, 2020, 5:09 am
Arrived at Post Office
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 

December 23, 2020, 7:42 am
Refused
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 

December 23, 2020, 1:33 pm
Refused
GRAND BAY, AL 36541 
Your item was refused by the addressee at 1:33 pm on December 23, 2020 in GRAND BAY, AL 36541 and is being returned to the sender.

Ok, for starters, it was not refused by the addressee. The addressee never saw it ’cause it never left this town of Grand Bay. That’s my town. It was refused by some employee at the local post office, AFTER IT SAT IN A BIN IN SAID POST OFFICE FOR TEN DAYS.

The 10 days is one thing. I don’t live under a rock (anymore). I know what’s going on and I wouldn’t be furious about a package sitting somewhere for days given everything going on around the country.

But the packages being refused by the USPS – that’s something else entirely.

The fact that they may or may not approve a refund request depending on somebody’s whim in a system that’s totally opaque to me is yet another.

Now I’m thinking they’re sitting on these packages for however long because they’re overwhelmed, and by the time the package gets scanned, it’s days or even a week or more past the label ship date, and they’re refusing them for that, maybe.

Except that doesn’t have anything to do with me, so they have no business refusing my packages. If it wasn’t scanned on the label ship date, that’s not my fault. But they’ve got it looking to the customer like I sat on my ass for 10 days and didn’t take their package to the post office for over a week, which is just totally fucked up.

Now that tracking showing refusal isn’t counting as the label being “used” in the system, so it did let me file for a refund. But there’s no guarantee they’ll approve the refund. They didn’t approve one the other day. And it might be 30 days before I know if it’s approved or not. But I have to solve the problem for the customer today, refund or no refund.

So what happens if I schedule a pickup on a business day and they don’t show to pick it up? When they finally pick up the package, will they refuse it at the local desk because I printed the label for the date they were supposed to show? WTF am I supposed to do? I cannot trust them in this scenario *at all.* And while I can do something like reship most of these via Fedex or UPS and just pay the difference out of pocket, 1. it will hobble me severely, and 2. I can’t do that with $30 and $40 international and express shipments. I mean, this bullshit could put me out of business – AGAIN – in a matter of days.

I’ve been rebuilding and reinvesting carefully and gradually and trying to stay on top of every cent going in and out way in advance so I have a buffer for random crazy shit. I’ve got spreadsheets out the (ahem). Every day I look at my balances, check what expenses are coming up, make a decision whether my next non-shipping cash outlay will be to refund a 2015 customer or order that next batch of packaging or essential oils or whatever. I have only paid myself for mission-critical stuff like being able to turn around and pay the ISP and power bill so I can stay in business.

Aside from that, aside from me paying myself only when I absolutely have to in order to make this thing go and putting back money for self-employment tax, every other cent that has come through my hands has gone right back into this. But considering the hole I started in, I don’t have comfortable margins and buffers here yet. Regardless of how careful I’ve been, I can’t absorb that many international or express shipment SNAFUs before I’m *screwed.*

So to say I’m upset is the understatement of the decade. It’s taking just about everything I’ve got to stave off an epic freakout – whether what’s percolating is straight-up panic or something more akin to road rage I can’t even clearly discern right now. But I have to talk myself off this ledge here ’cause I have to write this customer and ask him what he wants me to do and not sound like a crazy person in my email to him. (And he’s not the only one I have to write.)

I mean, I can’t take this personally – it’s some cosmic shit that doesn’t have my personal name on it and people all over the place are getting hit with crap they didn’t expect that makes them anxious, or worse. But the boot-print, man, it feels really familiar :/

So I just have to keep taking deep breaths and one of them is bound to work here in a minute :/

This *sucks.*

having some major and weird shipping problems

I’ve pretty much spent the last two days that I wasn’t doing chores or sleeping trying desperately to figure out what is going on with these packages the USPS has returned to me. Turns out you cannot just call somebody at the USPS and ask them lol, and my local carrier has no idea.

One of them was scanned, made it to the East Coast, and then came back to me with nothing in the system to indicate why. It was international. I cannot get a refund because it was scanned, so the label was “used.” Now I have to eat that cost and pay for a new label – but since I don’t know why it was sent back to me, I have no confidence that shipping it again will even work. So much of the last day has been spent investigating USPS alternatives, and it looks like my choices are either to roll the dice on shipping again and risk losing another $24 or to go with another shipper which will cost me at least $43 and that is with every commercial/volume discount I could finagle out of any company I could get hold of.

I can’t afford to do business like this. And I don’t want to fire the USPS as my carrier, esp. not right now. But they are not giving me a lot of choice. There have been several of these over the past month where *nothing hits the system for a week* and then it turns up back in my mailbox. In almost 15 years of shipping exclusively with USPS, hundreds of dollars worth of postage every month during most of those years, I have never, ever seen anything like this.

One of them said “refused” in the system. The customer said he didn’t refuse it. He called his local branch and they said it looked like it had been returned to me for postage due, that the system saying “refused” was an error. I have a digital scale here, but ok, maybe it’s messed up, so I’ll get new batteries and test it. So I waited for it to come back and in the meantime made him a replacement order and reshipped out of pocket.

It never came back to me. It came all the way back to my town, spent almost a week here, and then went BACK out to his town, where it was eventually delivered, over a month after the label ship date.

WTAF.

Yesterday, in desperation, I contacted the company that makes the software that I use to ship, that mediates between my website platform and USPS’s system. The person I talked to, looking at the international package, hazarded a guess that the USPS thought the oils I was shipping were flammable. I said, “Well, they aren’t. What can I do?” They said if it were domestic, I could choose ground shipping, but since it’s international, I have to pick a different carrier. I’m like, “What? But they aren’t flammable.” But there’s nothing the company can do about it and there’s nobody they can recommend I call.

I have no idea what the actual hell is going on. Or what I’m going to do about it yet. But that’s where my attention has been for the last two days.

If your package has come back to me, I will be in touch hopefully tonight with a new tracking number.

If it’s out there in the system but looks like it’s heading in the right general direction making progress towards you, however slowly, I’d ask that you be patient – the USPS is experiencing delays in delivery and system updates pretty much all over the country due to COVID and personnel issues on top of budgeting/funding issues on top of it being the holidays. They’re calling it “unprecedented volume.” If you’ve been living under a rock lately, just Google it – every major news source is talking about it.

If it is doing something weird or in a location it shouldn’t be in, I will know about it soon because i’m in the process of going through the records for every single package I’ve shipped in the last month to look for anomalies. I’ll be keeping an eye on them. Remember that shippers have no secret knowledge about package whereabouts – all they can do is look at the same tracking info online that you can look at. So writing to ask where your order is doesn’t actually do anything but slow your sellers down – your sellers know what you know, which is what the USPS is telling them via that tracking number. And right now, this is affecting everybody all over the country – well, I guess all over the world.

I’m really sorry about this, and if you’re upset, please know that it’s massively stressful for me, too, and I share your feelings. I’m working on solving these problems and I appreciate your patience. Trust me, I am NOT here to rip anybody off. I don’t want my customers to be upset. This sucks. But I’m going to figure something out.

Coffee at Midnight available again; shipping info

Several of you have asked about Coffee at Midnight, and I have made a batch. I had to tweak the recipe slightly because some of the ingredients have *quadrupled* in price (or worse) since I last made this in 2015, and I just plain cannot afford to use one of the absolutes I used to include in this formula. But I have tried to make up for it elsewhere in the formula so that’s nothing lost either in the overall scent or in the formula’s spiritual attributions. Y’all will have to let me know what you think.

Here’s the formula description from the Seraphin Station storefront:

This listing is for a half-ounce bottle of Coffee at Midnight, a specialty condition oil containing rare, precious, and fragrant essential oils, essential oil absolutes, and herbs, including coffee bean, vanilla, cocoa, and cardamom, among others.

I modeled this specialty love/lust/sex appeal oil on a really excellent chocolate-infused specialty tea that I loved and used to “prescribe” to clients who were going the “tea and bath” route (the “inside and outside” treatment, which is really good for spiritual cleansing, protection, and attraction work especially). It’s got love/affection elements, but definitely a strong lust element.

Redolent with vanilla and coffee absolutes (and thus rich and expensive), it does all the good attracting work of a “foodie” sort of oil (the whole “vanilla and cookies” thing) but with more depth, spice, and earth than those sticky-sweet blends, and it’s not soporific or sickly. It is, after all, caffeinated 🙂

This blend is a richer, earthier alternative to oils like Kaliprix that do the passion, attraction, glamour, and sex appeal thing, but without the strong floral notes that some folks (including me) are not looking for in an oil.

Don’t get me wrong – this is sweet – but it’s “expensive coffee” sweet and not “two pumps of cheap hazelnut syrup that kind of tastes like perfume” sweet.

Can be used by anyone of any gender or orientation. Herbal/oil correspondences are in line with conjure tradition even though no old-school conjure formulas that I ever encountered smelled anything like this.

I’ve had dozens and dozens of customers tell me this oil really does smell good enough to eat. It is not, however, intended for consumption or internal use. Do not eat or drink this oil!

Generally I make my oils as fresh as possible, but this one actually gets better as it sits in the bottle. So I am going to make it in tiny batches like I do all my oils, so it will last as long as possible when you get it, but it will only improve with age. One of the ingredients is patchouli, and the very best patchouli is older, aged patchouli. It gets deeper and more interesting with time.

This formula also contains benzoin, which smells wonderful but also has the side effect of acting as a preservative, so this oil could well have a longer shelf life than your typical hoodoo oil formula.

 

And I’ve updated the Shipping info page with a few little tidbits that might help you save a few dollars. The pertinent section of that page now reads as follows:

 

Shipping Costs

The cart is set to charge shipping based on item weight, zone, and selected service. USPS First Class is the default, and they’re the most cost-effective option for 85% of orders.

First Class is only available for packages under a pound, though.

Once you have four or five bottles of oil, the USPS options are going to shrink to Priority Mail because the package weighs more than a pound. I can’t get the system to offer a Flat Rate Priority option, so I’ve gone in an added it manually as one of my rates.

If you only have a few bottles of oil or a few bath crystals or glass vials and you are only seeing USPS Priority options for $8 and up, click the radio button for USPS Small Flat Rate Priority Mail box. It should show $7.65 for priority shipping.

Don’t pay more than $7.65 if your items will fit in a Small Flat Rate Priority Mail box. Small Flat Rate boxes are approximately 8x5x1. They will hold about 8 or 10 bottles of oil or combinations of oil bottles, small bath crystal packets, small packets of powder, and/or glass vials and still have room for packing material.

If you choose Small Flat Rate but everything in your order will NOT fit in a small flat rate box, we will send you an invoice for the difference. We may not be able to start prepping your order until we receive any balances due, so please do ask questions before checking out if you’re not sure what will fit in that flat rate box.

If it will all fit in a shoebox, roughly, and it weighs less than 20 pounds, I can use a third-party service to ship it anywhere in the Continental US for $10.00. This is in a 10x8x4 box. Just about anything except a couple of very large candles, or full-size glass altar pakets will fit in the 10x8x4 box.

Outside of Continental US, it will depend on a few factors. USPS First Class Mail International is available for packages up to four pounds and is the most economical option. But if you don’t like what you’re seeing with that option in the cart, please message me and I’ll be happy to find the best possible shipping rate for you. Just please message me before checking out and paying.