Deep Midnight Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

I love that I can either select my free sample(s) or have it selected for me from Deep Midnight Perfumes.  I, not being super familiar with the catalog, let Cat over there select my samples for me!  So far I’ve been super impressed with this company!

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photo by smellallthethings

Dome of Stars sounds fascinating as someone who loves looking up at the night sky.  Its notes include Sandalwood, orris root, lavender, myrrh, amber, soft evergreen, and light nuances of cinnamon and citron.  Bonus this was inspired by Elrond!  In the vial this is softly green and fragrant woods with just a light hint of lavender.  On my skin you can almost smell the moonlit night.  The evergreens are not overpowering but they lend a grand stillness to the scent – things come and go, but evergreens seem eternal.  The cinnamon and citron, like the notes describe, are not prominent, but I can smell where they are adding their little touches to the blend.  The sandalwood, orris, and myrrh mix together to give this a lovely bed of wood for the scent to lay upon while the lavender and amber seem to float around.  This is simply stunning, unisex leaning feminine, and would be a perfect (for me) scent to wear at night.  There is a bit of a throw to this, not a big one mind you but enough of one that I can smell it coming up to greet me.

Black Wings  – and now for something completely different –Black leather, decayed black roses, dark aged patchouli, guggal incense, dark woods, and musk.  I’m very picky about my leather notes.  As of right now there are only two companies that make a leather note I like and can wear.  In the vial this is straight up dirty hippy patchouli (I mean that in the best possible way!).  On my skin this is super dark yet almost floaty.  I’m not actually getting that sharp almost acidic scent from the black leather (sometimes it comes across as that pleather – fake leather – grossness) so that’s a bonus.  But this is very dark, very dirty, very hippy-like.  So if you’re into that sort of thing, then this is right up your alley!  There is no sweetness to this scent – it’s dark and it wants you to know.

Ishtar Gate has notes of deep rose, oud, myrrh, lotus blossoms, and frankincense combine with other sacred attars and subtle spices. In the vial this is a deeply red rose scent, full in bloom and heady.  On my skin this rose then mixes with lotus to enhance the sweetness and add a touch of dewiness to the rose.  The oud, myrrh, and frankincense give a nice woody base, as though you are smelling the plant as a whole and not just the flower itself.  This has a really good through and is a strong feminine scent (not strong like overpowering, but strong as in a emotionally/personality strong).  Overall this is a beautiful heady perfume that takes full advantage of the largest, deepest, reddest rose around and highlights everything about it that makes it a rose.

Aloysius will round out these scents with notes of decadent old wood, rum, rich dark leather, and soft touches of sugar, citrus and mint.  Another leather blend!  Just initial sniff from the vial and my mind was filled with visions of Captain Jack Sparrow and musings about why the rum is gone.  My husband is a lover of spiced rum so I know the smell very well.  It’s in here and this very much smells like barrels and barrels in a wooden storage barn attached to their holdings by leather straps, each one filled with rum (though the rum note itself isn’t prominent, but it’s there and noticeable).    This is a super masculine blend and I’m on my way to wanting to sing sea shantys!  The citrus and mint are in there and I can detect them and they do so much to uplift this blend and really make it stand out without allowing all the other notes to overpower one another.  Yeah, this is totally what Jack Sparrow would smell like (after a bath, mind you).

Villianess – Scent Samples

After years of looking, reading, and stalking the Villainess site, I have finally purchased a set of samples from them.  I love their site, their theme, all of it – so I’m excited to delve into these samples.  They’ve had plenty of time to relax from their travels and they got some rest if they needed a bit of aging.

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photo by smellallthethings

Might as well start this off with a scent from their namesake, Villainess.  Its notes are listed as: Our signature scent – all ball gowns and combat boots. Raw, smokey leather and sweet vanilla musk engulfed in a sheer haze of exotic florals – ylang, neroli, jasmine, lilac and tuberose.  Sleek black leather jumps out from the vial as I take a sniff.  Thankfully that backs off almost the moment it touches my skin.  I get the smoky part of the leather along with a light touch of vanilla musk.  The florals are soft and ylang, jasmine, and lilac seem to be the most prominent.  This is strong, assertive, unisex almost verging on masculine.  This kind of morphs between strong leather and soft florals.  Finally it begins to settle down into this rough, raw leather scent with just a hint of those white florals.  It’s strong and the throw is mighty.

Vale has notes of Musky warmed saddle leather, rich notes of espresso and clove, and a coconut-sweetened masala.  Seems Villainess likes the leather.  Who can blame them?  This is espresso with a shot of chocolate – I think it’s a cocoa note I’m smelling.  The coconut is more like a milk.  Horchata I believe is the drink this is reminding me of, but with a hint of leather.  This is certainly a blend all its own!

Decadence comes with notes of: an indulgent vanilla – alcoholic, buttery and bittersweet with delightful undertones of tonka and coconut. Our favourite vice.  I’ve been dying for more vanilla scents so I’m super excited about this!  In the vial I get the boozy vanilla with a hint of coconut.  The coconut comes out more on my skin and it’s that juicy, watery coconut milk and not the flesh.  The tonka also gives this a beautiful brown fuzzy feel and keeps the vanilla from going too boozy.  This certainly is decadent and oh my goodness I want to bathe in this … and I can!!!

Jai Mahal is another vanilla blend (woot!) with notes of: 4 rich vanillas and tonka, Mysore sandalwood, bourbon and coconut. Expensive woods, incense and imported spices – cedar, amber, myrrh, cardamom and nutmeg.  Woods, incense, nutmeg, and vanilla is wafting so deliciously around me.  There isn’t as much vanilla in this one as there was in Decadence, and it’s different despite it sharing notes.  This warms on the skin and gives a sun soaking, spicy feeling.  It’s soft and beautiful and alluring.

Morpho contains notes of: Sheer blue musk and a breath of old books, delicate touches of blackberry and juniper, and a whisper of plumeria. In the vial I get the softest bluest musk that smells powdery.  On my skin I get the blackberry and the plumeria is more than just a whisper.  After a minute the juniper comes out with that worn and antique feeling it gives me.  In the beginning this can be slightly overwhelming, after about 10 minutes this has a huge throw and is almost candy-like.  Something along the lines of SweetTarts or that powdered candy.  It’s making my jaw hurt (you know that sensation when you taste something sour) and my mouth water!  It takes about 30 minutes or so before that sour sweettart like scent morphs into this blue, soft, and powdery scent.  Very feminine and soft.

Byzantium will round this review series out with notes of: Precious woods and resins – cedar, pine and sandalwood, frankincense, amber and myrrh – at play against a sheer base of Egyptian musk, barely spiked with imported spices, and lightly veiled in smoke.  This is very soft when it first goes on with soft, golden Egyptian musk and a soft smattering of spices. As this dries and warms on my skin the woods and resins come out and this is just so beautiful.  Golden and warm, this is standing out in the sun, sand beneath your feet, and a lean-to for when you’re in need of some shade.

 

 

 

Cocoa Pink – Scent Reviews Part 1

I have somehow (yeah, like it happened on accident) amassed quite the collection of Cocoa Pink drams!  I’ve been letting them sit in a cool dark box for a while and I decided now would be the perfect time while I have my mini-no-buy period to explore all. the. things. in my rather large, and rather full samples box.

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photo by smellallthethings

Bendel Vanilla Bean (type) begins this round of Cocoa Pink madness!  I believe the (type) refers to this scent being a dupe for a mainstream brand.  The notes for this blend are listed as aromatic vanilla bean sensually blended with warm patchouli and sweet jasmine.  In the vial is it this soft floral-like patchouli.  On my skin, however, the jasmine comes to the front with support of a beautiful vanilla bean scent.  It’s not that bakery vanilla, but a subtle, softly sweet, and almost ethereal vanilla scent.  The patchouli is, as promised, warm and golden in feel.  This is not a dirty, gritty patchouli – instead this is smooth, light in feel, and has an almost orange-y citrus like edge to it.  As this melds with my skin chemistry this is becoming an antique-like scent.  Something aged, beautiful, and precious.  Almost luxuriously antique.  I’m kind of in love with this scent something fierce.  After a few hours it’s just so soft and comforting.

Exotic Fig has notes of ripe fig, white tea, bamboo, olive leaves, lemon, peppermint leaf, violet, thyme, champaca and vetiver.  In the dram I get that beautiful watery bamboo note with a touch of violet.  On my skin there is now a touch of that white tea, soft and soothing.  Not really getting much of the other notes.  It takes a few minutes but that bright lemon comes out.  This is soft, sweet, bright and uplifting.  However I am getting no fig, no peppermint, no champaca or vetiver, and just the barest hints of thyme (I love the smell freshly crushed from the garden).  Not quite what I was expecting out of this blend but it’s very beautiful in its own right and seems like it would pair very well with their other scent, Country Picnic.  After about a half hour I start getting some of that golden champaca and earthy vetiver.  The scent deepens overall.  It verges on being almost too perfume-y (funny when talking about perfume, eh?) but that bamboo and white tea seem to keep it from tipping over the department store feeling.  The fig has finally come out as well and is sweet and juicy.  This would be good for lotion or a hair/body spray.

Black Orchid & Vanilla lists its notes as exotic orchids with hints of fresh floral greens mingled with a sweet vanilla base.  In the vial it is this softly sweet orchid, but on my skin it just blooms!  I love orchids.  I love how they look, how they smell, and just everything about them … and this scent just highlights all that beatiful-ness.  The vanilla is sweet, almost candy-like which gives the orchids a candied feel.  Yet there’s just this barest hint of greenery to keep this from being too sickly sweet.  And that gorgeous musky orchid scent permeates everything and it’s just everything I could want from an orchid scent, yet so different than other orchid scents I own.  I think I need to own this in everything Cocoa Pink makes!  I feel so pretty wearing this!

Zombie fans, here’s your scent: Zombie Apocalypse with notes of dark empty musk infected with lashes of black vanilla, petitgrain essential oil, magnolia flowers, jasmine sambac with the empty remains of vanilla sandalwood.  This smells … abandoned, deserted, and almost moldering.  Very eerie, slightly woody, and beginning to be overtaken by nature.  This is post war when most of the zombie’s have died off for whatever reason and there are only pockets of humans left and the rest of the world has been left to its own devices.  It started off a little rotted – or rather on the verge of rotting … but over time it has grown on me and now I can’t stop sniffing it!

Finally I have a suggestive little dram called Come Hither with notes of intoxicating vanillas with a hint of myrrh.  Sounds like my kind of scent!  In the vial this is a very buttery vanilla, despite the site saying this is not a gourmand scent.  As it warms and dries on my skin that buttery aspect smooths out and that sweet, yet woody myrrh comes out tempering what could’ve gone into foodie territory.  This is a beautiful, golden, soft and sweet vanilla with a touch of myrrh giving it a beautiful bit of darkness.  I was craving vanillas exactly like this last week (and still am to some extent) so this is a need for sure!  Perfect way to round out this set of reviews, on a sweet note.

On average I noticed I get roughly 2-4 hours worth of wear out of these scents.  That might be a turn off to some, but, as someone who sometimes has scent commitment issues, this kind of works out perfectly for me.

 

Alkemia Perfumes – General Catalog Samples

More goodies from Alkemia Perfumes!  This is the last of the samples I currently have, though make no mistake, I’ll be getting more just as soon as I get over this small issue of moving states.  Always something hindering the perfume buying.

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photo by smellallthethings

De La Forêt contains notes of dry amber, golden musk, orris root, tonka, bergamot, rosewood, oud, sandalwood, paper, oakmoss, birch tar, and vetivert.  Oooh a paper note!  In the vial I get a nice amber and musk scent rounded out with lots of beautiful and fragrant woods.  On my skin this is so golden and soft.  The tonka is that beautiful brown fuzzy scent with a hint of the floral bergamot.  Some people have issues with orris root and/or vetiver … I am so happy I’m not one of those people (though it did take a few years for me to fully appreciate vetiver).  The birch tar gives this an almost sticky like feeling … you know when you get tree sap on your hand and it just never. goes. away.  In this case this is a good thing.  Oh wow, I get the paper too.  It’s soft, freshly pressed and almost papyrus like.  It’s homemade paper which was lovingly made by hand, not the college ruled paper from the store.   The oakmoss is soft and slightly green.  Overall I’m in love with this blend.  It’s perfect for a beautiful soft forest-like scent.  I could totally see this representing someone in the middle of a forest of tall trees looking up and soaking up the filtered sunlight.

Caveau des Innocents is all about the underground Parisian nightlife with notes of Tabac, dark coffee, piquant cloves, rum soaked pears, candied citron, dark caramel, and star anise bathed in intoxicating swirls of opoponax, labdanum, hashish, benzoin resinoid, vanilla incense, and guaiac wood.  In the vial this was mostly candied citron and a touch of vanilla incense.  Very soft and subdued – not at all what I was expecting.  On my skin this is still soft, but it’s got that slinky feel, as though softly traveling just above the skin.  There is almost a masculine quality about the blend, but it’s unisex too in a way.  No one note is really jumping out.  It’s all so very well blended and very intoxicating.  As this dries and warms on my skin it becomes almost overtly sexy – there’s no come hither finger wave but more of a grab them by their shirt and yank them to you.  Carnal is a good word to describe this scent.

Fumé Oud à la Vanille boasts notes of crushed tonka beans, woodsmoked amber, and bourbon vanilla aged with oud wood.  The woodsmoke is prominent both in the vial and on my skin.  There’s that wonderfully fuzzy tonka again and the oud is very fragrant.  Overall this isn’t heavy vanilla, but it’s not a bad woodsmoke scent either.  I would love it if the vanilla had come out more.  This is very masculine in my opinion, woody, a little smoky (not enough to overwhelm) and slightly resinous.

Aphrodesia will round out this set with notes of deep eastern spices warmed with creamy vanilla and a few drops of golden frankincense.  I have to confess I put this on yesterday when I was craving vanilla scents and fell completely and utterly in love with this.  In the vial there are these beautiful warm spices from an eastern market.  On my skin the frankincense comes out and you can smell those fragrant large resins being slowly and expertly burned in an incense burner.  Their fragrant cloud wafts up to caress your skin and that vanilla with those spices just makes for this intoxicating scent.  Sweet, a little spicy, and that lovely incense wafting in and out.  This is a very unisex blend – not overtly one scent or another, but all the scents melding in together.  It stays close to the skin and makes it a very personal scent.  Oh man, I still can’t stop huffing.  This is what I wanted another scent from another brand to smell like but it just never did for me.  Beautiful!