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.
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.