Deep Midnight Perfumes – Game of Thrones Inspired Samples

Another review for the lovely shop Deep Midnight Perfumes!  This time I am reviewing the Game of Thrones Inspired set of samples.  I have to preface this by saying I’ve only read 2 of the books and watched the first episode of the show.  In my defense, I have small children and some things are not appropriate for their eyes to see and their ears to hear.  I do, however, hear regular updates from my husband who has both read the books and watched the show, so I have some idea of these concepts.

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photo by smellallthethings

Raven Boy was inspired by Bran Stark and has notes of Oakmoss, earthy musk, tobacco leaf, sage, dark vanilla sugar, amber, aged oak and background florals notes of iris and damask rose.  Ooh, this is deep and dark, beautifully done.  On my skin the dark vanilla sugar and the aged oak have melded into one.  The sage is not very noticeable – I only get a hint here and there.  Tobacco leaf and oakmoss and that beautiful earthy musk is giving this a greenish-brown feel.  The iris and damask rose are not prominent and only serve to lift a little and give a hint of sweetness that’s been rounded out.  This is dark, like a dream where the edges are fuzzy and the only thing in sharp relief is what you have your inner eye turned upon.  This blend is unisex, but with a slight masculine lean.  Overall the scent stays close to the skin, like a dream fog.

Little Dove is a olfactory representation of Sansa Stark with notes of linden blossoms, lilac, and lily, are mixed with delicious arctic berries, and nuances of violet, apple, and soft, creamy musk then wrapped up in sweet green notes of willow and bamboo.  You don’t see bamboo too often in notes but it’s one I love and I am drawn to it when I find it.  Doesn’t always work out, but it’s fun in the mean time!  In the vial you get that wet and green bamboo, some of the apple, and a lot of floral.  On my skin this is softly sweet, slightly green, and a touch dewy.  There is something that keeps wanting to go a bit “sex” on my skin.  Ahh, it’s mellowed in the last 5 minutes.  The arctic berries have a touch of frost on them, but are otherwise red and juicy.  This is a beautiful fragile yet fragrant scent – soft, beguiling, sweet, and innocent.

Faceless Girl is inspired by Arya Stark with notes of cedarwood, black amber, lavender, cassis, olive leaf, cassia bark, and patchouli are softened up with notes of tonka bean, sandalwood, ylang ylang, rose otto and violet.  In the vial this is a deep dark lavender with some gorgeous patchouli.  On my skin the cedarwood and cassis/cassia bark come out with a touch of sandalwood and ylang ylang.  The rose otto is fighting for attention but that calms down after a bit thankfully.  There is a definite oriental vibe about this blend with a hint of something reminding me of a darker fougère.  The notes are so well blended now that I’m having a hard time picking them out.  Overall I get a very shadowed vibe, strong yet feminine, only slightly floral and this is reminding more of early Arya when she was still being forced into being proper and feminine and her life hadn’t been touched by so much death.

Snow Wolf is meant as a representation of Jon Snow with notes of Cedarwood, leather, rosemary, dark woods, black amber, and a touch of cool, frosty mint.  In the vial this is leather and mint.  On my skin I still get some of that cool and crisp peppermint, but it isn’t strong or overpowering.  It takes a little bit but the woods come out with a hint of leather.  I’m not really getting any rosemary.  This is masculine and almost gritty in feel.  I know there’s no steel or metal in the blend, but the combination of the mint and the leather is giving off that feeling.  You can almost feel the heavy leather on your back keeping you warm in the bitter cold.

Stormborn has the pleasure of being inspired by Daenerys Targaryen (yes I copy/pasted because I would’ve butchered the spelling) whose notes include Dragons blood, oud wood, patchouli, jasmine, desert earth, cardamom, and moss.  The dragon’s blood is very strong and is unlike any dragon’s blood from any company I’ve ever tried before.  Instead of being either floral, or super spicy floral, this is a soft and gentle floral with just a touch of spice, which could actually be coming from the cardamom.  You get the jasmine and the oudh.  The patchouli is mixing with the desert earth to give a golden yet dry feel to the blend.  Overall this is powerful and comanding – more unisex than feminine, and keeps trying to tip to something kind of boozy.

Sixteen92 – Heliophobia Limited Edition

Sixteen92 is doing something awesome where they are releasing scents for Friday the 13th’s.  And each consecutive Friday the 13th all previous releases will be available.  Heliophobia is the first one which is the fear of sunlight.  Unfortunately (?) 2016 has seen it’s last Friday the 13th and the next one won’t be until January 2017.

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photo by smellallthethings

Notes are: Climbing ivy, faded magnolia blooms, moonlit vines, cracked solarium glass, splintered wood, peeling wallpaper, humid air, fog & shadow, feral musk

In the vial this reminds me of the house from Doctor Who’s Blink.  On my skin it is much of the same.  An old house long ago taken back by the vegetation and wilderness around it.

This picture perfectly encapsulates the feeling of this blend.

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photo from doctorwholocations.net

The magnolia is heady and blooming, white and fresh and clean yet somehow melancholy as only magnolia can be.  There is so much greenness to this scent, but it’s not like fresh cut grass or anything quite so in-your-face, instead it is calm, unassuming, but you know it’s there from the first breath.  The wallpaper is on the verge of crumbling under your fingertips as you run your hand across it.  Both the wallpaper and the wood have seen many years of neglect and abuse at the hands of nature and so mold and other fungi have taken hold and add to the overall moldering scent that permeates the blend.  It’s not offensive, but it adds to the atmospheric nature of this blend.

You can almost feel the shade and shadows creeping around this blend, as though it is purposefully hiding the light.  This is creepy, but only if you’ve been to places like this, where you can feel the history in the house and it almost speaks to you.

It takes about an hour, but it becomes a super masculine blend and it is reminding me of some cologne that I can’t quite remember.  But whatever it is, I love it!

Overall this is the perfect blend for those who enjoy old, possibly haunted, buildings, green scents, or atmospheric scents.

Arcana Soaps – Flowers & Stars Samples

So excited for more Arcana scents!  Julia’s been doing some wonderful things over there lately, so if you’re curious, check out the Arcana Addicts facebook page to get sneak peeks at some exciting things!  Once again, these decants were courtesy of the wonderful Ajevie!  Now, on to the real reason you’re here …

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photo by smellallthethings

Adhara has notes that include, Vanilla cream, tangerine, clementine, Nagami peel, black coconut, and a touch of sweet violet.  In the vial this is super citus-y and almost creamsicle-like!  On my skin this is a lot of citrus peel with a dark coconut meat.  The violet and vanilla cream add some much needed sweetness to the blend.  I’m trying to wrap my head around this scent as it’s so completely different from anything I normally go for (that was actually on purpose for this group) that I can’t seem to pull together the right words to describe this.  Eventually the sharp acidic peel-like scent smooths out and I get more of the creaminess from the coconut and vanilla with a touch of that purple violet.  The citrus takes a chill pill and calms down and starts playing nicely with everyone.  This is a bright and sweet scent, yellow-ish orange in feel and scent (and apparently oil now that I look at it).  Unfortunately this is fading rather fast on my skin, though that could be an issue of the heat today rather than the blend itself.

Oh man, 10 minutes later and that faded feeling goes away and I get the full force of the beautiful creamy citrusy scent!  It’s like an orange dreamsicle, but only if it took on a more tropical vibe.  The coconut has come out more, but not overwhelmingly so.  This has turned out absolutely beautiful and this girl who used to be iffy on citrus notes before has been converted to a citrus lover!

Belatrix is up next touting notes of Sweet, jammy fir absolute with 3 honeys, honeysuckle, tiny strawberries, and blood orange.  Jammy fir sounds like my kind of jam!  Oh man this smells like heaven in the vial!  On my skin that jammy fir certainly is sweet with those honeys and bright honeysuckle.  The strawberries are tart and the blood orange is deep and red.  Man, I kind of thought I would like this – I did not expect to love it!  This does lean a tad masculine but can teeter on that unisex border.  And if you amp anything other than the fir, then it would likely be leaning feminine.  But, lucky me, I amp conifer scents!  Oh wow, I just keep huffing!  This is just full of sweet woods, beautifully fragrant and unmistakably addicting.  I need this in my life.

Betelgeuse boasts notes of Atlas cedarwood and blood cedar with smoldering oudh, osmanthus, brown musk, bacon, and vetiver.  Bacon?  Yes, bacon.  Crispy fried bacon.  No, it’s not super prominent, but it’s in there mixing with the brown musk and the vetiver.  You bet it’s odd too.  I think my chemistry is amping the brown musk as it’s almost overwhelming right now.  Ya’ll, I want to keep this on and review it but I can’t.  I just … I can’t.  I do hope someone finds this and loves it.  It’s unique and different, salty and brown to the extreme, but just too much for this girl to handle.

Electra is up next to relieve my palate of the aforementioned bacon with its notes of Pink carnation petal ice cream, Mexican bakery vanilla, eggnog, sweet cinnamon, and nutmeg.  In the vial this is all vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg – almost holiday-like.  On my skin it’s much of the same, except now I get that pink carnation petal ice cream (who knew?!) coming out and it’s delicious!  There’s even a hint of “coolness” to it to really give it that ice cream feel.  This is soft, pink, and frilly.  The holiday-likeness goes away after a while and instead everything seems to be in support of that unique pink carnation petal ice cream (I may need to find some).  For some reason this is just bringing memories of Jem and the Holograms to mind.  Rockin’!

Miaplacidus may be hard to say, but it’s notes of Sea air, spring water, cucumber, juniper, hyacinth, lavender, China musk, and 1 drop of hyssop aren’t.  In the vial this is very watery and lavendery (that’s totally a word, okay?).  On my skin the sea air thankfully isn’t coming across as super salty (like the bacon was … wtf bacon … yes I’m still hung up on it), and the cucumber is giving a nice refreshing and clean aspect.  The juniper is soft, but the lavender isn’t, at least not on me.  On me it is almost screaming along with the china musk.  Very odd.  It’s almost as though everything in the blend is vying for attention at once.  Okay, it took a few minutes but the screaming and fighting stopped (listens better than my kids) and now it’s soft and watery and flowing.  This blend becomes gentle and beautiful despite the beginning oddness.  Very pretty, clear blue in color and feel.

Mira is taking me out of my comfort zone again with notes of Tiare blossoms dipped in milk chocolate with coconut, sugared rum, French cocoa absolute, marshmallows, and white chocolate.  So rum and I don’t get a long every since my husband decided that while I was pregnant with my first to get me to eat Häagen Dazs Rum Raisin Ice Cream and that begun my decent into morning sickness – or every time I smelled rum sickness.  There are definite bits of cocoa in the vial so if you do get this, remember to shake gently or roll gently before applying to get it to mix in with the rest of the blend.  This is pure chocolate in the vial.  That creamy and rich milk chocolate that the rest of the world swears isn’t actually chocolate but us American’s just don’t care – we’re addicted to it.  (Unless you’re not, in which case … SHAME ON YOU!  Kidding.)  On my skin it’s chocolate and rum and chocolate and some cocoa.  And it’s way too overwhelming.  I can’t – it’s too much for me.  Some chocolate wearing lover is going to go gaga for this blend, I know it, but that person is not me.

Sirius rounds these scents out with its notes of Bright white grapefruit, golden amber, linden flowers, tart red currant, cassis, and pomegranate.  Lots of favorite notes in here!  I almost bought Sirius blindly without testing, but I wanted to try them all so here we are. In the vial this is bright grapefruit, tart and tangy and super juicy.  On my skin that stays very true but now the linden flowers come out with a touch of cassis.  The pomegranate is red as are the currants, but the grapefruit is making them really work to be smelled.  I think I amp citrus notes in the beginning so I’ll stop sniffing it for a few minutes and see what it does when it settles.  Hmm, even after a few minutes the grapefruit is still super strong and almost over powering the blend.  It takes about 30 minutes but eventually the grapefruit stops overwhelming the blend and the rest gets to showcase themselves.  I enjoy the bit of spiciness cassis brings to the group.  This is only slightly sweet, completely juicy and tart, and a hint of spice.

And thus concludes the Arcana Flowers & Stars collection reviews.  Hope it was helpful!

Valhalla Soap Co. – Sample Sets

With my last order, I nabbed two more pixie packs full of more wonderful scents!  Valhalla Soap Co. has also recently released their Spring scents and a new cocoa body butter lotion that can be shipping during those pesky summer months, and Sif’s leave-in conditioner and de-tangling spray.

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photo by smellallthethings

I’m kicking this off with one of the scents that soooo many have raved about on the facebook page – Oak, Ash & Thorne.  Its notes include barrel aged Bourbon Vanilla, embodied by ancient cedarwood resin and dark Indonesian patchouli, softened by rich, warm amber and a touch of exotic sandalwood. Warm, golden, and resinous describes this perfectly.  The patchouli isn’t overwhelming as it sits in the back giving some support.  Amber and the barrel aged bourbon vanilla are the stars of this blend with the sandalwood and cedarwood rounding it out nicely.  This almost has an ancient feel to it, as though this scent has weathered the ages and stood the test of time.  There is the barest hint of sweetness but this is all about the amber and woods.  After a while, this is still very true to the initial impressions I had.  This has very little morphing as it dries.

Pendragon’s Passion has some passionate followers and its notes comprise of deep, sultry and fiery notes of dragon’s blood slither around warm amber and sweet blood orange while resting on an earthen floor of dark patchouli.  This magical blend opens with a sweet blast of blood orange, freshly peeled and just being squeezed as you inhale.  Dragon’s blood is a note that some people love or hate or even love to hate.  Personally, I enjoy the floral version, but not so much the spicy version.  This blend uses the more floral version – but it’s that deeply red floral that almost feels resinous along with that amber.  The patchouli is the same from Hedonistic – the non-hippy slightly orange feeling patchouli and by far my favorite patchouli I’ve had the pleasure of smelling.  The longer this sits on my skin the more it warms up into this slinky and almost seductive scent.  Blood orange is still apparent, but it’s more the after effects and less the super fresh and juicy bit like it was in the beginning.

Norseman has notes that include Balsam Fir, Juniper, Cedar, Clove and Blood Orange.  From my first order I’d received a small soap sample and my kids and I all enjoyed the scent and the soap so I had to get the oil too!  First sniff I get lots of fir and juniper with a touch of cedar.  The fir has a huge throw and I can smell it just typing this out.  As it dries I get a touch of the clove with its signature spice scent and just a hint of blood orange, but it seems it’s more of a dried orange scent than fresh.  The juniper gives that antique scent I associate with it.  Overall this is a very masculine coniferous forest – strong and lasting.  In the soap I got more of the cedar, clove, and blood orange whereas the oil has more fir and juniper.

Rain Dance (also known as Ice Giant) lists notes of an earthy all natural blend of citrus and mint. Peppermint comes to the fore front of the blend – but not the sharp kind – that good peppermint that is equal parts melty vanilla and minty peppermint.  This blend is cool and it really does have an hint of something earthy in it.  Unfortunately I’m not a fan of mints in general unless they are not the star of a blend, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t an awesome blend in its own right.

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photo by smellallthethings

7 Sins From Sunday is another (there’s a lot) fan favorite over at Valhalla with notes of jasmine and lavender tangled around exotic amber,vanilla and sandalwood with a whisper of earthy patchouli. Finishing with sweet lingering notes of dark cocoa bean.  Not sure if I’m having a bad skin chemistry day or what, but in the vial I got some nice jasmine and lavender with a touch of vanilla but on my skin … dryer sheets.  And it’s not strong or anything, more of a used dryer sheet where there’s barely any smell left.  And now it’s gone.  Either I have a blind spot or my skin eats it.  So weird.  I’m sure it’s quite lovely though from the hint I got from the vial!  I think I need to see about getting this in a wax melt or soap or something.

Okay, so that was weird.  It took about 15 minutes (and me walking outside in the warm sun) for any real scent to show up.  But now … wow!  7 Sins is soft, snuggly, and warm.  It’s close to the skin and the florals aren’t overwhelming at all, but are rather like their scent is floating in the window on a warm breeze.  The sandalwood and vanilla are soft and sweet and I wouldn’t have guessed there was patchouli in there either.  I’m not getting any cocoa, thankfully, as I’m not a chocolate scent lover.

Battle Kry is comprised of sea spray, the familiar smell of leather breast guards and polished steel. In the vial this is soft and worn leather while on my skin that salty sea spray takes over.  It is a briny scent, oceanic to the extreme, with hints of leather and that metallic tang of steel.  All the notes ebb and flow so that not one takes the lead for long, just like the waves of an ocean.  Eventually the super saltiness melts away and you’re left with the memory of the sea clinging to your blade and clothes.

Sandalwood has no notes listed, but it’s been in a lot of blends I’ve loved from Valhalla so I’m excited to have this to use alone or layer.  I love how simple yet complex this scent is.  It is golden and warm, woody yet it has a sweet undertone to it that is unique.  This is raw and untouched sandalwood, freshly harvested, still a little moist, but it dries as the oil dries on your skin so that you’re left with the beautiful fragrant wood.  Definitely a must and one I could wear all by itself or it would layer very well with other blends.

Shieldmaiden has notes of citrus and florals on a woody background. Top notes of orange, and watery greens with a middle of jasmine and rose on a bed of juniper, patchouli and vanilla.  This is a very fresh and clean scent in the vial however my skin chemistry is turning this into fabric softener (and actually the exact scent of the brand I use … so that’s good?  at least I like it?) and I’m not sure what is doing it.  It might be the rose.   Rose and I have had quite a few years to work with each other and only a few types of rose work on my skin and if a company changes where they source their rose EO I can usually tell because my skin will react different.  Yeah I think the rose is doing it – it’s screaming at me and it’s only getting louder the longer I wear it.  Oh well, can’t have them all I suppose.

Sixteen92 – Summer 2016 Mix Tape

There are times in your life when you’re the only one of your friends with a car, high school is close to being over, and you just need that one perfect mix tape to blast.  The windows are rolled down, the sun is shinning, and you’re just driving with no particular destination.  Maybe you’re singing along, maybe you’re thumping the steering wheel, maybe you’re just letting it flow over you as you contemplate the life, much like the road, in front of you.

This new collection by Sixteen92 – without even sniffing it – is nostalgia in a pretty box for me.  Lots of good and bad things happened during the time this is reminding me of – but I’ve survived and now I get to look back on it with rose-tinted glasses and a heavy dollop of knowledge and just shake my head at my younger self.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bells For Her (sweet basil, dandelion, star jasmine, green vines, mandarin, ozone, green tea, crushed mint) is a song by Tori Amos that came out in 1994.  Here’s a link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is green, both in color and in scent.  On my skin this is almost bitter sweet, like the song.  Basil is prominent – I loved my herb garden and the smell I would get on my hands when I would pick what I needed for dinner.  The dandelion is yellow and glowing while the jasmine is fragrant and sweet drifting on the summer wind.  Mint isn’t very noticeable other than to give a slight cool breeze-like feeling to the scent.  The mandarin adds a touch of sweetness and rounds out with the green tea, as though the two are mixed like a cool drink.  The ozone is simply the wind and the sky and the sun all combining to add their unique scent to the mix.  This is the height of summer when you are awkward – not quite a teenager – yet you’re almost too old to go out and simply enjoy yourself in your back yard.  Closing your eyes, walking aimlessly, headphones on and cares brushed off, this is like walking to walk.  Walking to get away.  Walking to find yourself.  The route nor the destination mean much, just the journey itself is what you crave.

Bruise Violet (red lipstick accord, dusting powder, white iris, violet leaf, damascus & bulgarian rose, red grapefruit zest) is a song by Babes in Toyland, released in 1992.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing this scent.  In the vial this is powder and lipstick.  On my skin the iris and rose come blasting out ready to rock.  This is like getting your first bit of makeup and playing dress-up in front of your mirror with adult clothes.  After a while all the scents of the make up, the perfume your Mom let you take (or maybe you snuck) and those high heels that your friend let you borrow … it all mixes together while you blast your music.  Got the house to yourself because the siblings had a soccer game and you convinced your ‘rents to let you stay home alone.  This is a scent for red lipstick and stuffing your training bra with socks – ya know, just to see.  Man this scent stays strong – like you sprayed too much of your Mom’s favorite perfume and you just know she will find out because there’s no amount of scrubbing in the next 10 minutes that’s going to take that scent away.

Shadowboxer (jasmine fleur, may rose, blond sandalwood, mango flower, praline) is a song by Fiona Apple which was released in 1996.  Fiona Apple was a guilty pleasure of mine since I was into the grunge/goth scene in high school and she was so very not grunge or goth.  This is the video I listened to while reviewing.  In the vial it’s all sandalwood and praline – strong and almost overpowering.  On my skin the jasmine comes out.  I’m not entirely sure what mango flower smells like but there is something almost tropical about this scent.  This is floaty and flowing – moving and changing and shifting with each scent.  The praline isn’t nutty, at least not that I can tell – and my skin tends to do weird things to almond scents, so maybe it’s only almond and not all nuts.  It is very hard to describe this scent  it’s at once dark and bright. After a while the sandalwood takes the lead, the flowers sit back and relax, and the praline just adds a touch of sweetness.  This is a beautiful scent and one I hope they release in EDP format.

New Radio (vanilla milkshake accord, maraschino cherry, pink lemonade, grass clippings, waffle cone) is by Bikini Kill released in 1993.  The video I listened to while reviewing can be found here.   In the vial this is all vanilla milkshake.  Oh wow, this scent is like the first time your Mom let you go to a festival with your friends.  No parents, no rules, all fun!  You ate yourself silly, spent all your money and had so little to show for it but you had a freakin’ blast!  The waffle cone is soft from the vanilla ice cream while the cherry is eaten first.  The pink lemonade is such a contrast to the vanilla but it just makes it that much better.  Somehow this blend is not foodie at all, despite all the notes and even my description mentioning food over and over again.  This is just the aftermath of a summer festival spent with your friends.

Doll Parts (rhubarb, white cake, white peach, cassis, osmanthus, ginger flower) by Hole was released in 1994 and is such an iconic song from my teenage years.  Here is the link to the YouTube video I listened to while reviewing.  I am, doll eyes, doll mouth, doll legs.  This is all peach in the vial while on my skin the cake, cassis, and ginger come out to smooth that out.  This is so different.  Juicy, fruity, almost like bubble gum this scent is almost innocent to an extreme.  I want to take Doll Parts and New Radio and rub them all over. This keeps from going too innocent, or rather, it backs that innocent bus up a bit and realizes it’s supposed to be heading in a different direction.  Another one that just gets better as it sits.  The bubble gum association never completely goes away, but it’s more like a memory.

Finally, to round out this mix tape, we have Rid of Me (magnolia, sambac jasmine, ylang, white pepper, grapefruit blossom, ambrette, satin musk, oudh) by PJ Harvey which was released in 1993.  This is the video I watched while reviewing this scent.  PJ Harvey was my best friend’s favorite singer.  I only ever listened to PJ Harvey while I was at her house so it has a strong association to her.  In the vial I get a bit of pepper, some of the oudh and a touch of musk.  On my skin the musk comes out more as does the magnolia.  The ylang and the jasmine give this a heady and southern feel to the blend.  The oudh (love oudh) is a wonderful woody and sweet base to this scent.  There’s almost an incense quality to the blend.  It’s light flowing skin scent that quietly sneaks up on you to steal your heart.

This is a wonderful collection and I’m so glad I was able to get samples and try them out!  They should be released on Sixteen92’s site soon!  Now to decide what I can’t live without …

 

Alkemia Samples

More lovely samples from Alkemia!  I’m really enjoying exploring their catalog.  There’s so many to choose from.  I’m getting curious about their pheromone blends too, but that’s for another day.

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photo by smellallthethings

Who doesn’t enjoy vanilla?  (I know there are some out there that don’t, and don’t worry, the rest of us don’t really hold it against you … much.)  L’Encens à la Vanille has notes of madagascar vanilla, golden amber, and resinous incense swirled together with a selection of beautifully aged incense woods and a dusting of aphrodisiac Silk Road spices.  It is also suggested to layer this with Smoke & Mirrors (which I have!) so I’ll do that as well wen I get to Smoke & Mirrors.  In the vial it’s this beautiful incensy-vanilla scent.  On my skin it just amplifies that while adding a touch of spices.  This is gorgeous!  Sweet, slinky, sexy … just beautiful … wow. This reminds me of sand and sun and a spice market.  Exotic is a good descriptor.

Smoke & Mirrors is of course next.  It has notes of a smokey blend of burning wood, Madagascar Vanilla, and Tonka.  Simple, but I’m sure glorious.  In the vial it’s a softly burning wood scent, but not that acrid burning scent.  On my skin it’s smokey, slightly sweet, and just a touch fuzzy.  Don’t let the idea of smoke and burning wood turn you away – this is not an active and wild fire … instead this is just a smoldering scent.  It’s like those charcoal burners used to just smolder pieces of fragrant wood and release their scent into the air.  Under that is a touch of sweet and smooth vanilla with a hint of that fuzzy tonka.

I get it now why they suggest layering L’Encens à la Vanille with Smoke & Mirrors.  Together is it the perfect outdoor spice market next to a textile and goods market at the height of the day.  Soft, sweet, and sexy these are, and together it just amplifies it.  Oh yeah, I need these two.

Amour Conjure with notes that include an erotic, exotic blend of amber aged with Bourbon vanilla pods, Ceylon cinnamon infused flirtatious aldehydes, Bulgarian roses, rose geranium and vetivert roots, copper distilled patchouli, and a scattering of incense resins.  The Bulgarian rose is front and foremost in this blend on initial application.  The cinnamon is very, very slight, yet the bourbon vanilla is boozy.  There’s a touch of incense with a bit of vetiver.  There’s a lot going on, and it swirls and twists around itself.  Unfortunately my chemistry isn’t enjoying this and it’s really trying to give me a headache.

Lettre d’Amour because who doesn’t enjoy a good love letter?  It’s notes include a billet–doux of night blooming Star Jasmine, Neroli blossoms, white roses, aged parchment paper, white amber, and perfumed ink.  Jasmine and white amber are most apparent in the vial and on my skin it is much of the same.  It takes a minute but the neroli comes out with a hint of an almost powdery rose.  The paper is soft and spritzed with perfume and the ink is deep and fragrant.  This is soft and gentle, innocent yet not at the same time.  Beautiful and luxurious.

Finally we have Miel de Sauvage et Tabac who has a note list of sweet, spicy pipe tobacco flecked with wild honey, freshly crushed honeycomb, the pollen of forest blossoms, and smoked black amber.  In the vial this is all honeyed tobacco!  On my skin the tobacco is still prominent.  There’s a good dollop of honey with just a touch of honeycomb.  The amber is dark and dusky.  The tobacco smells like it’s still drying and is chewy and malleable to the touch.  Tobacco and honey lovers (and this is a honey I can wear that doesn’t go all weird on me!) would enjoy this one!  This perfume is thick and gloriously golden.

Sixteen92 – EDP and oils

Another wonderful order from the fabulous Sixteen92!  They had something of a flash sale for the oils, a return of past favorites, and having only recently begun dipping my toes in the proverbial water and being smitten, I had to grab them!

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photo by smellallthethings

You may also notice that EDP is from their Spring 2016 Collection that I reviewed here.  I couldn’t pass it up!  The Primrose Path is just like spring and the earth in a bottle it’s so lovely.  The notes are Soaked earth, lichen, ancient oak roots, grass, water lily, heavy stone, a tangled garland of faded spring blooms.  Not much of a difference between the oil and the EDP.  I get so much of that lovely moist earth on initial spray.  And stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  It’s all greenery, soft and warm, with the earth underneath and the breeze gently blowing.  The longer this sits the more you get the old oak tree and the lichen.  It’s almost like being in an ancient forest surrounded by plants and trees that you just know have been around for centuries.  For some reason the EDP feels older than the oil, whereas the oil is more fresh.

And of course I have to follow that beauty up with The Orchard Keeper whose notes include night blooming jasmine, peach, apricot, pink pepper, sandalwood.  This scent opens with a beautiful jasmine and peach combination that is sweet and almost sultry.  It doesn’t take long for that sandalwood to come into the picture.  The apricot adds a bright, but not juicy, sweetness to the blend and the pink pepper gives a touch of perky spice.  I could see this being the perfect scent for a peach orchard.  Beautifully soft, slightly decadent, and sinfully sweet.

Finally I grabbed a 6ml of The Sound and the Fury and its notes include southern sweet tea, Carolina jessamine, balsam, fern, warm skin musk, loam.  Oh wow, now I wish I hadn’t chickened out of the big bottle.  The jessamine is soft and velvety, perfect for those relaxing days.  The tea isn’t strong, like I had feared it would be.  The balsam, fern, and loam give a wonderful greenness to the blend that isn’t overdone.  I have quite a few ferns growing in my front garden and I recognized the scent!  The skin musk gives that warm glow you can only get from sun warmed skin.

Overall I am super pleased with my blind purchases!  It means I’m finally learning how Sixteen92 works for me and my skin chemistry!

Deconstructing Eden – Spring 2016 Collection

Yipee my Deconstructing Eden Spring scents are here!  I just love the beautiful blue of Jardin Botanique and I’m so excited to try all the scents.

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photo by smellallthethings

Sun in Splendor describes today perfectly!  Beautiful and sunny.  This has notes of dark amber, agarwood CO2, calendula blooms, a drop of honey, clover, rich wood and bergamot.  Oh wow this is a beautiful and bright scent!  The agarwood and amber are deep and fragrant giving the most golden of glows to the blend.  Honey keeps it sweet nad the clover gives it a nice greenness.  There’s a touch of floral in the blend that doesn’t overwhelm but gives it that lovely out door feeling.  It’s crisp, clean, golden and gleaming – just a perfect blend for that perfect Spring day.

Dans Le Jardin has notes of freshly turned earth, hyacinths, tulips, lily of the valley, tender green leaves, ivy, unripe strawberries and the very first buds of lavender not yet bloomed.  Oh nice – this is a fresh blast of beautiful moist earth with a lovely dew covered greenness surrounding it.  The florals are new and soft, just starting to release their scent.  This scent is the perfect scent for Spring and that week or two where you are planting your garden at the beginning of the season (which in Ohio is just after Mother’s Day) and you get the lovely scents of the earth and plants.  You can really feel the sun and the earth and the life flowing around you.

June Jardin  is next and it boasts notes of Gardenia, Orange blossoms, white wisteria, osmanthus, muguet and moonflower.  This blend opens with a blast of muget and orange blossoms.  There’s something almost spicy about this and the moonflower gives a beautiful sweet and dewy scent.  After it’s sat for a while the florals float and shift in the breeze.  It remains with a touch of spice and heady florals.

Le Verger has notes that include old growth trees, a field of clover, peaches, pears, nectarines, citrus blossoms, ripe apples, apple blossoms, unripe figs and fig leaves.  Oh wow this is fruity and juicy!  There’s just a hint of greenness to cut through the fruit so it isn’t too overwhelming.  I love the way this makes me think of picnics with fruit salads!  Also, there’s a touch of wood from those old growth trees.  Very pretty, sweet, and uplifting!

Jardin Botanique is the one with the pretty blue liquid!  It’s notes include Blue Cypress, blue yarrow, lavender maillette, juniper berries, petit grain, bergamot and clary sage, rosewood and just a bit of peppermint.  This is peppermint!  That fresh, sweet, and minty candy that is usually found during Christmas time!  After that initial blast of peppermint I get that nice blue cypress and some juniper with a touch of sage.  After the initial blast of peppermint it calms down and gives you the feeling of a deep conifer forest at the height of spring rains.

Legare has notes of mahogany, magnolias, spanish moss, gardenias, iced black tea, petit grain, and warm breezes from the ocean.  Oooh more mahogany!  I really enjoy it in Jaqueline.  I immediately get a blast of sea salt from the ocean.  The magnolia’s are heady and the spanish moss hangs from the trees like a soft and soothing blanket.  Black tea waits for you on the porch while the breeze flows.  This is deep and beautiful.

Deep Midnight Perfumes Samples

Found this gorgeous perfumer on Etsy and heard some great things about them from Indie Perfume Lovers facebook groupDeep Midnight Perfumes has a ton of sample options either singly or by collection.  I got sample packs of Steampunk Girls and Wicked Girls along with a free sample per collection set and one for being a new customer!  You can either choose your own, or let them choose.  I wanted to be surprised so I let them choose!

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photo by smellallthethings

First up is Seven Veils whose notes include madagascar vanilla, velvety orchids, white florals, the softest musk, sweet golden amber, spices and exotic resins.  In the vial I get orchids and a touch of those spices and resins!  On my skin this is so smooth.  The vanilla is beautiful and full, the musk is gentle, and the amber is glorious.  There is something exotic (oh yeah, resins) about this blend – gentle and sweet, alluring and mysterious, and just almost purple in feel.  I could see myself wearing this to bed, or on a sexy night out (yes, it works for both).  Despite how soft this scent is it does have a really good throw on it.  I keep getting beautiful whiffs of purple orchids and gentle musk with sweet vanilla.  This has some excellent lasting power to it, really amazing.

King Cake is described as: Based on the traditional and scrumptious Mardi Gras King Cake, which is made with a yeasty bread and Danish type dough, braided and filled with cinnamon and sometimes various fruits jams or nuts and then topped with sugary or cream cheese frosting.  I am almost ashamed to admit that I have never had a King Cake – but I’m not big into Mardi Gras either, so it shouldn’t be too surprising.  That being said this is CAKE and cream cheese frosting in the vial.  There’s a touch of cinnamon, a bit of a nutty quality, and something almost bready.  It’s this weird cake/bread mix.  Like a dense cake.  The more it sits the more the cinnamon comes out.  Unfortunately this kicks my gourmand button and I can’t stomach much more.  But cake lovers will definitely enjoy this!

Selene by Night has notes of black orchids, deep dark exotic woods, enigmatic cypress, dragon’s blood and the faintest kiss of spice.  Cypress is prominent in the vial as well as on my skin.  However as it touches my skin the woods and spice come out.  The orchids give a hot-house feel to the blend.  This is inky blackness, expansive and almost oppressive, yet stunning.  The dragon’s blood is commanding and rich.  This has a great throw, excellent longevity.  This might need a touch of aging because the dragon’s blood tries to go to soap with my chemistry.

Vixen Venom entices with its notes of a blend of rich amber, sweet musk, the sweetest vanilla, and a dash of patchouli for that extra bite!  This is a lovely patchouli vanilla in the vial.  On my skin that amber and musk come out.  Man I can’t believe the awesome.  This is seductive, tantalizing, and down right sexy.  The amber is darkly golden while the vanilla is sweet, but not foodie and with the barest touch of patchouli this blend just out does itself.

Next up is Ladies of London whose notes are sensual florals highlighted with lily of the Valley, spicy indulgent opium, a bowlful of the deepest sensual red berries, and caresses of frankincense and patchouli for added mystery.  In the vial this is all red berries and opium.  On my skin it is much of the same though it takes on a bit of a fizzy feeling, as though there is champagne in the blend.  The flowers are strong, the opium wafting, and the berries mashed into a delightful drink.  The frankincense and patchouli are more of the incense type instead of a resin and it’s like they are being burnt on opposite sides of the room and making their way towards you.  These ladies of London may look innocent at first, however, they are anything but.

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photo by smellallthethings

I decided to go on and combine these reviews instead of doing it in two parts.  So this is Clockwork Cutie!  YAY!  Its notes are fresh wild berries, concord grapes on the vine, a whisper of dark flowers from a secret Victorian garden, and a soft vanilla accord.  In the vial I get a beautiful juicy blast of berries and grapes, and that stays true on my skin, however there are now flowers wafting around.  It’s a very sweet blend, very juicy and fun!  The flowers are doing a good job at keeping the fruit from going too crazy and now as it dries the vanilla is coming out.  Oh wow, once this dries completely it’s a beautiful floral and fruit blend – fun and fancy free, yet somehow there’s a sophistication to this perfume!

Flights of Fancy gives way to notes of mahogany wood, amber, lavender, brown sugar, oak, with faint and fresh background notes of peach and pear.  In the vial this is wood and sugar – sweet and warm.  There is a bit of lavender and it’s not making me cringe with pain!  The peach and pear are juicy but they are under everything else.  The woods are beautiful, golden, and fragrant.  I really like how wonderful this is – it’s like floaty and flowing – beautifully constructed and makes me want to close my eyes and inhale deeply.  Also, I’m so trilled to find another company whose lavender doesn’t make my sinus scream in pain!  The brown sugar is only adding a hint of sweetness and that beautiful touch of darkness from molasses.

Agent of Chaos!  Sounds like a good book eh?  No book, but it has notes that include an exotic Chypre accord, rich leather, bergamot, lemon, sweet sugars, cardamon and clove, followed up with softer backgrounds notes of mahogany, oakmoss, and a faint touch of jasmine.  In the vial it’s all sweet spices, like a good foodie fall scent.  On my skin it still has that association, but the leather and chypre pull it back from that foodie edge.  The clove is not overpowering at all, actually none of the spices are overpowering.  This is really well blended, dark and mysterious!  Perfect for an Agent of Chaos!  I’m really digging this blend!  It’s leaning a touch masculine but there’s enough jasmine to keep it on the feminine side.  Actually this reminds me a lot of what I think Zoë from Firefly would smell like (which is who I named my youngest after).  Oh man, any association Firefly means I need it!

Rounding this out is Chocolate Earth, one of the freebie’s, and it has notes of Dark Chocolate, Plump Fresh Raspberries, Dark Five Year Aged Patchouli, and a touch of Sweet Cream.  So … I typically dislike chocolate and cocoa scents – they just don’t sit well with me and that is a personal preference and nothing against any perfumer that uses chocolate in their blends because there are plenty of other people who crave it.  To each their own.  In the vial it is dark chocolate and patchouli – a bit different to be sure.  On my skin I … am not sure what I’m smelling.  I know there’s a patchouli but that’s about all I can smell.  It takes 5-10 minutes but eventually I get raspberries, soft and juicy, with a touch of cream.  There’s no discernible chocolate to my nose.  I double checked the vial to make sure there wasn’t any cocoa or something sitting and I needed to roll it and there’s nothing.  Maybe the chocolate and patchouli are so well intertwined that I just can’t pull it apart.  This is like leaning against a fragrant tree while eating raspberries and cream.

Alkemia Samples

I’ve got more samples from Alkemia to review!  So far I’ve been super impressed with all their scents, even the ones that don’t work on me.

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photo by smellallthethings

Gaea symbolizes Earth and Mother – so perfect for Mother’s Day (May 8th if you’ve forgotten!) and it has notes of sun-warmed loam, decaying leaves, moss, lichen, & wet stones.  First sniff in the vial is all earth and dampness.  On my skin however I get the sun-speckled loam, the decaying leaves of the forest floor, damp scent that is exclusive to forests, and I also get stone!  Who knew stones had a scent?  The moss and lichen add to the overall greenness and dampness of the blend.  This is a beautiful earthy scent – different from Hexennacht and entirely it’s own, but if you enjoy the earthiness of that blend, you’ll probably dig this one too!

Bohème is described on the site as an intoxicatingly free-spirited unisex blend of earthy patchouli and blood-red roses. Erotically radiant.  In the vial I get earthy red roses – just big ‘ole bunches of them.  On my skin is much of the same.  I’ve had a rather rocky history with roses – it’s taken nearly 8 years of my perfume wearing to actually wear them.  Initially on my skin the roses almost scream but that settles rather quickly.  It is a very earthy patchouli – almost dirt-like  (apparently I had a theme) with roses, deep and sultry, bringing up the top.  This has a rather large throw on me and I can smell this without really putting my nose to the skin at all.

So maybe there were two theme’s running through my scent choices that I was completely unaware of.  Next is Vanille Patchouli with a scent described as purest vanilla seduced and despoiled by wild, dirty patchouli.  Another simplistic yet well done blend.  This isn’t like any patchouli I’ve tried from Alkemia yet (amazing how that happens).  No, this is that dirty nitty-gritty patchouli that gets described as “hippy shop” or “head shop”.  But with it is this absolutely sweet, almost floral, and beautiful vanilla.  It cuts through the grit and smooths it out.  Again, another blend done best when done simply.

New Orleans Love Spell sounds like it’s in for a good time!  It’s notes include a lascivious blend of night-flowering New Orleans jasmine and fiery spices igniting a base of red sandalwood and skin musk.  Ooh, the vial has this nice soft spice scent about it.  On my skin I get the jasmine and sandalwood under that beautiful spicy scent!  I get something like cassia or cinnamon, but it’s more than just that – there’s other scents (most likely florals and a pepper) that round out that spicy note and make it complex.  This is a warm and sexy blend, one that would need to be used sparingly as it has a beautiful throw and a little goes a long way.  As time went on this definitely put a spell on me.  I couldn’t stop sniffing that spot and kept catching beautiful whiffs of it floating around me.

Desiderata looks like a wonderful spring to summer transition scent with notes of fresh honeysuckle blooming under a rising full moon, ivy vines, dew dampened grass, riverbed clay, old barnwood, and earthy vetivert root.  In the vial is a beautiful green scent – like crushes leaves or grass.  On my skin I actually get a moon-like scent – white and crystalline.  Oh wow, this is like sitting next to a babbling creek bed looking up at the full moon and checking out the Milky Way.  Somehow this is calming, soothing, and almost meditative.