Twisted Wonderland Perfumery – NEW

I am thrilled and delighted to get to sample some of Twisted Wonderland Perfumery’s items.  This company is brand spankin’ new but my goodness do they have a ton of charm!  The lovely owner, Rae, was kind enough to send me some samples that arrived just as the store had it’s grand opening!

(For full disclosure, I did not purchase these items.  The owner asked if bloggers were interested in testing/reviewing and I raised my hand.  Though, I’d planned on making a sample order anyway when they opened.)

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photo by smellallthethings

How gorgeous are the labels?!  I’m a huge Alice in Wonderland fan so this just makes my heart happy.

First I’m going to start with the lip scrub on the left.  I selected Cabernet Cotton Candy.  And let me tell you … it’s cotton candy!  I only have one complaint, and it’s not even about the product … I had to cut the beautiful label to open it!  I know it’s purely an aesthetic thing, but it made me sad to do it – especially since the inside had a seal over it.  The lip scrub seems a touch liquidy – but it’s freakin’ hot here in NC and to be fair, I have like ZERO experience with lip scrubs so it could just be how it is.  But, my lips need exfoliating after so much sun so this is a win-win!

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So you can see the process before, during, and after. (Sorry for the weird quality – my bathroom has horrible lighting.)  I have to admit, it was weird.  Not like bad weird but one of those “man I hope my husband doesn’t walk in on me and I have to explain why I have sugar on my lips” weird.  It tasted good, had more of a grape-like cotton candy flavor than any type of Cabernet (though to be fair I’ve not had Cabernet wine in a long, long time).  It was sweet, cleaning up was easy, and it left a touch of a waxy feel behind, but my lips are soft!  Mission accomplished I think!  It took off some of the chapped feeling from my lips as well.

Of course the lip scrub must be followed up with a lip balm, right?  For this I chose Green Apple Peach.  Smells only slightly like green apples.  The formula is softer than other lip balms I’ve tried and it almost melts on your lips.  It’s not really waxy and it’s very soft and smooth.  Just a hint of sweetness when I lick my lips, but the scent is not overpowering which I consider a good thing.  I always hate it when I put on lip balm or gloss and it’s scented like crazy and it’s the only thing I can smell because it’s under my nose.  I’m a chapstick girl, so this lip balm will be used frequently and with pleasure!  There is no tinting to the lip balm, which I like as well.

And now onto the Eau de Parfum’s!  I have to confess, I’m kind of an Indie EDP junkie.  I absolutely adore spritzing myself daily and have been known to change shirts just so I can wear a different EDP.

Man, talk about nostalgia … Stay Puft EDP – I’m sure you can guess the notes, but here they are just in case:  A whole lotta’ marshmallow! A combination of fresh marshmallow, marshmallow fluff, two vanillas, & a dab of patchouli.

What did you DO Ray?

*swallows*  It’s the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.

In the vial it’s a whole lotta marshmallow goodness.  Not the puft kind, though, oddly enough.  This is more the jar of marshmallow goo that, if you’re lucky, your mom let you lick after she was done making fudge.  (I was lucky!)  On my skin, however, this comes down to earth with a lovely patchouli.  It’s brown and kind of musky and a whole lotta earthy.  It does a lot to help tamp down the sweetness the blend could overwhelm with otherwise.  The vanilla’s are almost floral?  There’s something flowery in here, but it’s just gorgeous.  Sweet with a touch of earthy patchouli.  After a bit I get that powdery marshmallow and it adds another dimension to the blend.  The longer this sits the more I get the brown earthiness from the patch and the sweetness backs down just a bit more.

This company is like a ride down to nostalgia town.  Necronomicon is up next with it’s notes of: A unique combination of book pages, leather, pipe tobacco, and a waft of blackberry bordeaux.

This is my BOOMstick!

I get a huge waft of blackberry bordeaux when I open the vial.  On my skin it starts out much the same.  It’s a gorgeous and light scent, which you wouldn’t think from the notes.  However, as it sits it mellows and this leathery scent comes out.  It’s a nice well worn leather – kind of a mix between supple brown and shiny black.  This is the first time I’ve smelled a leather quite like this.  Don’t know if it’s because of the blackberry bordeaux or what, but it’s very nice.  I’m not getting anything papery or papyrus like, but I do get a small hint of pipe tobacco.  Not fresh, more like the scent has ingrained itself into the book. While I may not really enjoy the scent sniffing directly on my skin, what is wafting up to be is just deliciously gorgeous!  It’s a sweet blackberry wine with almost no tartness, a hint of an almost cherry pipe tobacco, soft glistening leather, and now I’m getting something bookish.  I’m in love with this scent, I have to say.  I think I need this sooner rather than later.  It’s so unique!  Such good throw also.  And remember … Shop Smart, shop S-Mart. *wink*

The last EDP sample I have is White Rabbit, which seemed fitting, with notes of: The scent of fresh green grass, sweet wild strawberries, and a hint of leather to ground it all out. In the vial this smells a bit medicinal – that faux syrup they give kids hoping they’ll swallow it without too much protest.  Thankfully, on my skin, that medicinal scent is completely gone and I’m left with a sweet strawberry scent with just a hint of green grass.  The leather note is the same from Necronomicon and becoming a fast favorite of mine.  Once this dries it actually reminds me of Necronomicon – that same sweet leather scent.  I would’ve liked more of that grass note or something furry/musky to distinguish it more from Necronomicon.  Pleasant, but it doesn’t grab at me.

Now we are on to the perfume oils and in keeping with the Wonderland theme, I will be trying Absolutely Alice with notes of: A delightful sweet & fruity blend of fresh peaches, wild raspberries, and wafts of tooth-achingly sweet pink cotton candy.  In the vial I get a lovely sniff of freshly cut peaches ready to be eaten.  It’s actually so realistic it’s making my mouth water!  At the moment this is just a fresh peach single note, and honestly if it stayed like that I don’t know that I would mind!  But it doesn’t and eventually I get a touch of red and juicy raspberries.  There’s a sweet note around the fruit, but it’s not the overwhelming cotton candy that was in the lip scrub.  This is more subdued.  Overall I think I’m in love with this one as well.  It’s realistically fruity!  I might have to go to the store and buy some fruit.

Deadite will round out the reviews with notes of: Seemingly sweet blackberry with a sinister twist of patchouli, black pepper, and vanilla.  Groovy.  In the vial it’s blackberry and pepper – very odd indeed.  On my skin it wants to be a blackberry, but other things (namely the pepper and patchouli) are holding it back.  Which in turn is giving it an almost artificial scent to it which isn’t really sitting very well with me.  And after the realistic peaches in Absolutely Alice I was expecting more realistic blackberries.  The patchouli is the same soft and earthy one that’s in Stay Puft.  Eventually the vanilla comes out and adds more sweetness.  I think I would dig this one without the blackberry – it’s just not my cuppa tea.

Overall I’m quite impressed with this new company!  I definitely want Necronomicon and Absolutely Alice.  Possibly Stay Puft as well.  I will absolutely be trying more of their catalog!

 

 

Sugar & Spite and everything smelly!

Bringing a new house to everyone, and one that has bowled me over with not only their scent catalog, but their customer service as well as their over the top and on point packaging!  Sugar & Spite everyone – get on and enjoy the ride! (Not paid advertising, I just really dig everything about this perfume house.)

Bonus they are having a sale from now until Saturday July 9th.  Check out their Facebook page for sale details.  Because of the sale, this is going to be a rather quick and dirty review of 11 different scents.

These scents have been in my possession for almost 3 weeks now and I could already tell taking them out of their packaging that they’d rested and even gotten a little aging while they sat in a cool dark box.

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photo by smellallthethings

Let’s kick this off with the rollerball.  10ml of delicious Apple Sugar goodness. (Delicious, juicy apples and a heaping spoonful of pure sugar. Wonderfully sweet, yet somehow all grown up.)  I have to admit I’ve worn this quite frequently since receiving it and it was also part of my moving scents that stayed with me in my purse for comfort and use while my world was briefly turned upside down.  It is a beautiful crisp, freshly peeled, apple scent with just this smooth sugar scent that comes very close, initially, to making you feel like you have just put a spoonful of table sugar in your mouth.  Somehow while wet this manages to be an extremely accurate representation of apples and sugar, separate but preparing to come together in a most wonderful way.  As this dries the two scents come together and the tartness of the apple tempers the sweetness of the sugar so that it doesn’t become overly sweet.  This is gourmand, but not?  So hard to describe the dry down.  It’s almost like walking through an apple orchard with a bag of sugar and freshly cut apples.  This works in the heat and I’m going to bet this will work in the fall as well.  I am already planning on some body spray, body wash, and lotion in this scent.  The longevity of this blend has varied wildly but I think that’s more to do with my activities and just the extreme stress I was putting my body under and not necessarily to do with the scent itself.

Three Shades of White (Every fine vanilla in my arsenal, smoky white musk, white amber, grounded with a tiny bit of patchouli, bourbon and oak leaves.) smells of patchouli in the vial and on my skin.  It’s not quite a smooth patchouli, but it’s not that gritty and dirty patchouli either.  It’s a happy medium, brownish in scent to me.  The oak marries with the patchouli and as it tries the vanillas begin to come out.  After this has sat on the skin it ends up being this beautiful smoky, vanilla, and patchouli blend.  Overall it’s soft, slightly sweet, and a touch woody.

Strangefellow isn’t all that strange (tonka, amber, musk and pepper, with a sugar cookie base) … well, actually, it smells like vanilla popcorn in the vial, but it quickly smooths out into this beautiful amber, tonka, musk blend with a hint of sugar cookie.  The pepper gives just a hint of spice, but nothing overwhelming.  The tonka is soft and brown, the cookie leans a bit gourmand, but the amber and musk keep it from falling over that edge.  This is a sweet blend, unisex, and very beautiful.

Dionysus, the god of wine (Mahogany, amber, sandalwood, and barely perceptible red wine.) deserves attention sometimes.  Oh wow, in the vial the mahogany is deep, rich, and red.  On my skin it is dark and decadent, smooth and red and just luxurious!  Totally brings to mind much lounging with a glass of wine in hand.  It’s blended very well and the sandalwood is more of a fresh-off-the-tree scent rather than that of the smoother more aged sandalwood.  The amber just enhances the overall smoothness of the blend.

Tell it to the Moon sounds like a nice chill song to relax with and look up at the moon. (Precious woods, cashmere vanilla, resin, spice, and a swirl of bright mandarin.)  In the vial I get mandarin and I’ll be damned if cashmere wasn’t the most apt description for that vanilla.  On my skin the woods come out more with a touch of spice (generic melody of spices, but nothing I can pick out with absolute certainty).  But man, that cashmere vanilla is where it’s at, let me tell you.  If tonka is fuzzy brown, this is a fuzzy cream or taupe.  And on top of it all is that beautiful mandarin.  The woods sit to the back with the resins and it really is all about that vanilla and mandarin!

The Whispering Woods don’t talk behind your back (Crunchy leaves, damp soil, Incense smoke, a bitter snap of clove, and caramelized brown sugar), they speak sweet nothings into your ear.  In the vial I get that smoky incense which is just about all I can smell, even on my skin.  It’s a beautiful smoky scent.  Ah, it takes a moment but the leaves come out with a touch of soil.  After a bit the clove comes out but it’s just barely a hint.  Enough to get a whiff and know what it is, but not enough to overwhelm the blend.

Mothman (Black and green teas, clove, black orchid) is not your average superhero!  But that’s to be expected because it’s a perfume and not a person at all.  So there’s that.  Tea and clove come out in the vial as well as on my skin.  It’s reminding me a lot of walking into Teavana.  I’m not a tea person, like at all, which is kind of funny considering I moved to the south.  But this is making me wrinkle my nose as the orchid, clove, and teas aren’t meshing very well on my skin.  YMMV – so try it if you’re curious!

Barnum and Bailey?  No, just Barnum (Curiously sweet and dark. Tobacco leaf, a trio of rich musks, new mown hay, and a drizzle of creamy vanilla bourbon.) but half a circus can still be a good time … right?  Hay, musk, a touch of tobacco, and just a drop of bourbon.  So rich and decadent.  Masculine, don’t get me wrong, but I love that.  Oh wow, I could melt into this.  This is fairly straightforward on me which is just fine.  The vanilla comes out, but it’s that soft barely there vanilla that adds more creaminess to a blend than actual sweetness.

Meadow(s) are for enjoying (Fields of green, green grass, and a hint of sweet soil.).  And so is perfume.  Win-win!  In the vial this is just grass.  Super green, crunched underfoot so it releases it’s scent, with just a hint of soil underneath.  This is like taking a handful of dew covered grass and rubbing your face in it.  Not to say the perfume is overwhelming, it’s just … GRASS when you sniff it.  And hey, some people like that.  So here ya go … this grass’ for you!

Grim Bastard is not one to be trifled with (vanilla, sandalwood, black patchouli and leather).  But I don’t listen so well.  Shh.  In the vial I get leather.  It’s that mix between shiny black and well worn brown.  On my skin however, it morphs to that beautiful worn brown leather that I love so much.  The patchouli isn’t super prominent but blends with the sandalwood to give an overall woody feel to the blend.  The vanilla is there but hidden, just barely lending itself to the blend.  Very masculine, very leathery.

Leopold not to be undone (A sweet blend of vanilla bean, amber, musk, and white pepper.) is here to sweep others off their feet.  In the vial I get all the lovely notes and they translate almost seamlessly to my skin.  The vanilla lays overtop, lending it’s sweetness to the entirety of the blend while the musk and amber provide a golden base and the pepper adds just a touch of spiciness to the blend.  Very beautiful and another I would consider getting in body spray, wash, and lotion!

I think overall there were only two blends I would not consider purchasing full bottles of, and only because they’re not really my thing.  Hopefully this helps those on the fence about some blends.  Now, off to get some new smellies with their wonderful sale!

 

 

Cocoa Pink Samples

I’m back from my adventures in moving!!  It was an epic journey, but we made it!  Almost all settled in now, and I’m confident that the perfumes have had adequate time to rest from their hot and bumpy car ride.

Along with getting a new house, I have new scenery to take photo’s with.  So, please bear with me as I experiment with photo set ups and by all means, if you find/see one you really like, let me know!

Now, onto the perfumes!  Cocoa Pink still has my attention and I’m super curious to try more of their catalog.  Just as a side note, none of these samples came after the move.  I’ve had these for a month or more so they have not only rested but aged a little as well.

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photo by smellallthethings

April Sun Showers seems appropriate for as much as it’s rained since we got here last Wednesday.  We were initially greeted by a severe thunderstorm complete with hail.  Not only that, but it seems to have rained at least once a day/night since then.  New places, new experiences!  Now, April Sun Showers has notes of purple Adonis Tulips, prickly pear cactus, morning dew, ripe kiwifruit, white peach extract swimming in steeped matcha tea.  In the vial is a greenish wet scent with a hint of slightly sweet fruits.  On my skin the florals bloom and this is very heady and almost overwhelming at times.  After just a few minutes this settles into a beautifully soft and slightly sweet aquatic.  There is a greeness to this scent, but it not overdone.  Peach sits lightly on top, lending that juicy sweetness without being too assertive.  Overall this is gorgeous, soft, and aquatic without a hint of that saltiness you sometimes get with some aquatics.  I might have to wear this on rainy days to see if it’ll go well into my rotation.

Watermelon Kiwi Pops sounds like a delicious summer treat with notes of luscious watermelon and Kiwi juices frozen into yummy popsicles.  In the dram I get an overly sweet almost acidic scent.  Watermelon is hard to synthesize, if you look at foods/sweets that try to do it it’s always overdone, too much, and just not right compared to the real thing.  Unfortunately, that is the same vibe I am getting here.  I love watermelon, but it’s scent is so very hard to capture.  There is a hint of it in there, but mostly it’s making my nose and head hurt to smell it.  It could be part of the “frozen” aspect that is knocking it off kilter, but either way, I can’t seem to wear this one.  Hopefully it works for someone!

Sunkissed Clouds sounds heavenly with notes of blood orange and Satsuma juice raining atop fluffy marshmallow clouds.  In the dram I get that beautiful fragrant blood orange with the satsuma juice.  On my skin it is much of the same, very citrus-y with that gorgeous and sweet marshmallow adding a bit of sweetness to cut the acidity of the citrus.  This is a simple blend, but it is bright and happy, just makes you want to smile.

Next up is Autumn Splendor because my daughter insisted I try it.  Who could say no?  It’s notes consist of the gorgeous fragrance of bright red autumn leaves swirling around sweet white birch trees, whispers of golden sage, warm amber, rosewood and a drop of honey.  In the dram I get an almost apple-like scent, crisp, red, and soft.  On my skin it is still there, but it is flanked by a beautiful amber, golden and sunny and a touch of wine.  This is a gorgeous blend meant for warm days and cool nights.  The honey is clean and just a touch sweet.  Nothing in this blend overwhelms and it is perfectly blended.  Definitely a scent I want to get to wear and probably in a lotion as well.

Spring Fever will round out this set of reviews with its notes of hummingbird tulip, newly sprouted grass, white moondance rose petals, purple hyacinth, bergamot, juicy red apple and white oak.  In the dram this is fresh and dewy grass, green and lush.  On my skin the florals bloom with tulips, roses, and a touch of hyacinth.  The apple is fresh and just barely ripe.  This is a very green scent and reminiscent of new growth, new beginnings, and new adventures.  Thankfully the green notes don’t overwhelm, like they can sometimes do and instead just give everything a nice base to work from.  As it dries the oak comes out as the first leaves begin to bloom on its branches.  Perfectly depicted!