Whore of Babylon by Conjure Oils

Hopefully, by now, names of perfumes in the Indie world are no longer surprising.  However, snickering like a little kid at names is another thing entirely.  I admit, I snickered.  And then I sniffed … and I was in love.

I purchased this bottle from the lovely Rhinestone Housewife.  Always recommend going through her if you can.  It not only supports RH, but it also supports the companies she stocks, as well as opened up the opportunity for internationals to get items they sometimes can’t get from the Indie companies themselves.  /shameless-unpaid-plug


photo by smellallthethings

Now for the scent.  It is touted as Conjure Oil’s MOST POPULAR blend.  Ever.  I did not know this going in.  Now that I have smelled it, I can completely understand.


Whore of Babylonscorched vanilla, champagne and pink diamonds

I … would not have guessed that note list in a million years.  My husband said red grapes.  Cold sniff for me was wine.  On my skin, it smelled like spicy currants.  So … yeah.

Wet on skin, now that I know the notes, I do get that fizzy champagne scent that, with the “pink diamonds” equates to a sweet wine-like scent.  The pink diamond accord has to have currants in it.  It just has to.  I love currants and can usually pick them out of a lineup.

As this dries the boozier aspect dies down and that vanilla comes out.  I don’t know where the scorched it coming from.  It has some good depth and a touch of darkness, but I can’t quite place what is causing that.  The vanilla in no way smells burnt, or charred, or scorched.  It smells like deep vanilla, sweet (almost tooth-achingly so) but not bitter.

Dry this is intoxicating.  Sweet and drifting but with an edge I can’t accurately describe.  It’s almost spicy after a while, which it typical of currants on my skin.  The champagne manages to keep this effervescent despite the depth and complexity these “three” (we all know it’s not just three) notes portray.

I am holding myself back from getting a backup bottle, that’s how much I adore this scent.

Arcana – The Righteous Uterus

photo by smellallthethings

The name, the label art, the cause … it’s all wonderful!  For the unawares, The Righteous Uterus is part of Arcana’s bid to help Planned Parenthood40% of proceeds from this scent are automatically transferred from each sale to Planned Parenthood.  Julia, bless her hedonistic heart, is very transparent in how much has been sent thus far.  Curious?  Visit her company’s Facebook page or the fan page.

Like I said, the cause is wonderful.  Even if the notes are not “your thing”, this is another way to donate to a worthy cause.

But that label art!  And the notes!  And the name!  It’s the complete package really.

The Righteous Uterus – A power blend of fresh ginger root, bergamot peel, black vanilla, spruce branches, balsam of Peru, and sparkling water rests on a base of unbreakable sandalwood and corporeal amber.

In the bottle this is a huge, freshly peeled blast of ginger root.  I’ve peeled and grated enough and I enjoy that scent (mostly because I enjoy the food I’m cooking it in as well).  And on the skin that fresh ginger root is there, it’s strong and flowing.  It’s so strong that it’s overtaking everything else at the moment.

As this dries down I get that citrus-y bergamot peel and something that is reminding me of Arcana’s “fir jam” which might be the spruce branches (maybe a bit of the balsam as well) coming through.  Eventually I get that dark, caramel-y vanilla scent and it pulls the sandalwood and amber with it as it makes its way through the brighter notes.

It takes a while, but fear not, the ginger and bergamot falls to the back of the line and lets the other notes come to the fore.  The throw is not as large as it was when wet, but it’s still nice and I get a waft of it whenever I move my hand.

I really like this.  It wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.  I’d seen it compared to ginger ale, and I don’t like ginger ale.  I don’t think it’s like ginger ale.

Once this has had time to settle it is a gorgeous, soft scent with an edge.  It has that feel that is quintessentially Arcana.  Soft, slightly sweet, with a brightness that lifts you up and a base to keep you grounded.

Hyde + Alchemy – 020

I received my full size bottle of 013 (the purple one) the other day and I’m in love.  I can’t explain how it’s different than oil AND alcohol based perfumes, but it is.  I could smell it morphing throughout the day and my temperature rose and fell.  It was crazy.

photo by smellallthethings

So, of course, I have to try more!  Nabbed 020 out of the pile I still have from the discovery set.

020 – orange blossom, peony, iris, tonka bean, patchouli, vanilla

Sounds simple, right?  We will see!

In the vial I get something that seems like a very traditional feminine perfume.  Soft, floral, floaty.  Nice, but like I said, traditional.  Something not unique.

On my skin this reminds me so, so much of something I tried on at Sephora one time when I was looking for a scent that was more main stream.  I want to say something from Tom Ford but don’t quote me on that.  It’s almost like Tom Ford’s Black Orchid mixed with Lancome’s La Vie est Belle.

That comparison doesn’t last long though.  Literally by the time I got back with my bottle of La Vie est Belle (to spell it right) the scent had morphed.  Now the fuzziness of the tonka bean is making its way through the scent.  That fuzzy part doesn’t last long either.

Not even going to lie, this is amazing so far.  It’s really like the best of two or three of my favorite mainstream perfumes kind of mashed into one.  Take Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, mix with a touch of Yves St. Laurent’s Black Opium, and toss a healthy splash of Lancome’s La Vie est Belle on top and you have #020 by Hyde + Alchemy.  It’s really an intoxicating scent.

I could sit here all day and describe the different phases this goes through on my skin, but I’ll save you from that.  Instead, let me just say that while this may have a traditional vibe to it, it’s still amazing and a good deal cheaper than buying all three of the aforementioned perfumes and layering them.

020 is so bright, so fun, so full of life but it has that deep mysterious edge that has me hooked.

Love by Arcana

Best way to get back to something is to just jump right in, right?  Sure it is!  So, as I’ve mentioned I had some issues with changes in medication and I was trying to figure out just how the changes had effected me and my chemistry.  Well, the good news is that most if not all of my favorite blends got BETTER.  Didn’t think that was possible but there ya go.  So far there’s only been one or two blends where I just … I couldn’t take it but they had been on the fence for me anyway so it was no love lost.

photo by smellallthethings

Speaking of love …

For my birthday coming up, I placed a small order with Arcana.  I saw a few reviews on Reddit’s IndieMakeupandMore subreddit and just couldn’t pass them up.  Of course, after hitting “buy” I am second guessing myself and wondering if I shouldn’t have tossed Love into my cart.

I guess I’ll find out today if I need to place another order.

Love – A breathtaking vanilla accord is accompanied by fresh cream, sugarcane, soft musk, and a pinch of tea leaves.

In the vial this is a blast of sweet cream.  Like the mixture for my Great-Aunt May’s Sweet Cream Pie before it gets cooked.  But there’s something sharp on top of it, like a bright citrus or something … maybe the tea leaves?  It’s odd but not off-putting so to the skin it goes!

Wet on my skin this is like a buttery crust of some kind.  Like a puffed pastry that’s only lightly sweetened.  This is way more foodie than I think I was expecting.

As this dries down that bakery smell is not going away.  I find this quite amusing.  But I’m fairly certain my skin is turning the fresh cream from something delightfully soft and flowing into something approaching curdled – but not quite there yet.

I find I am having a very hard time putting what I’m smelling together with the notes as listed.  They just don’t seem to be jiving.  I’m getting pastries, but the notes don’t add to pastry in my mind.  I’ve got a friend who is a gourmand queen (you know who you are) and I may let her have a go at this to see if it’s just me and my weirdo chemistry or if I’m totally reading the scent wrong.

In the end I had to scrub this off.  It became a cloying sweet pastry that was making my teeth ache.

Ah the fun and joy of experimentation!!